Widow Devotes Her Life to Helping Grieving Spouses
When her husband went on a snowmobile trip in 2001, Julie Cicero never imagined that it would change her life forever. An accident caused him to never return from his trip. Cicero was left alone with her two children, then ages seven and four.
She quit her job to try to make sense of the unexpected reality that she and her children faced. She made helping her children deal with the unexpected loss of their father her priority. During her family’s time in counseling, Cicero found a new passion for helping those who have suffered devastating losses. After much discussion and contemplation, she decided to return to school and become a grief counselor.
Working as a grief counselor, she found many people who had suffered tragic losses like her own. Hearing people explain going through the grieving process, she began to discover themes in the process of healing that most of them shared. Soon, she found the inspiration to write her book, Waking Up Alone: Grief & Healing.
Writing a book had never been a goal of Cicero’s. But, after hearing the heartbreaking tales of those who felt alone after losing someone they loved, she knew it was something she had to do.
“My focus became helping those who had experienced the death of a spouse or companion. I wanted to create the resource I was unable to find when my husband died,” Cicero said.
The Publishing Journey
When Cicero was ready to publish, she contacted the National Association of Social Workers to find publishing resources. They recommended AuthorHouse. After some deliberation and research of her own, Cicero decided AuthorHouse was indeed the self-publishing company for her.
“I have very little free time in my life with full-time work and an active family, so I needed a publisher who was professional, expedient, responsive, and easy to work with,” Cicero said.
Throughout the process, Cicero found that creating an error-free product was her biggest challenge. When she saw her manuscript, she realized that she was actually going to be the author of a book meant to help others, and it needed to be as close to perfect as possible.
“If I write another book, I will likely utilize the editing feature,” Cicero said.
The Joy of Success
Cicero has enjoyed marketing her book to the public and learning about the lives she’s touched. She participates in multiple book signings and enjoys meeting her readers, who are often eager to share their tales of overcoming loss.
“I have immensely enjoyed meeting and spending time with people at book signings and hearing their stories. It is undoubtedly the best part of my author experience,” Cicero said.
Cicero took advantage of the multiple publicity services available to her through AuthorHouse. These services have helped her reach her target market more effectively than she would have otherwise.
“I would say the greatest benefit [of working with AuthorHouse] for me has been the connection with Amazon, the Web sites, and the Web-based marketing and sales,” Cicero said. “I was able to target national, state, and local markets that included the population I was writing for.”
Her marketing efforts helped her gain positive press, including a multiple-page feature in the Kitsap Sun, Better Health and Living magazine in May of this year. Still, Cicero gets her greatest sense of accomplishment from knowing she’s helped those going through the loss that her family endured not so long ago.
“I have received numerous e-mails, telephone calls, written notes, and in-person accolades. Many people have stated they felt as though I was speaking directly to them. Since that was my goal, those comments are very heartwarming,” Cicero said.
Cicero is sure she made the correct decision to let AuthorHouse help her reach those she hoped to touch.
“I would absolutely publish with AuthorHouse again,” Cicero said.