Journal 004: All About Books; Insights From an Author, an Agent, and a Library CEO

When I looked back at the podcasts I published over the past few weeks I realized that my guests were all focused on books – writing them, creating them, and sharing them with the public.


  • In Episode 20, my guest was Grace Freedson. She helps bring books to life about resilience, careers, business, and other non-fiction topics.
  • In Episode 21, I interviewed Kimberly Palmer, a journalist and author whose third book, Smart Mom, Rich Mom, has just been published.
  • In Episode 22, my guest was Valerie Gross, President and CEO of the Howard County Library System. Valerie has created a model for libraries where they are recognized as a key part of our public educational system.

It’s not a big surprise that I found these three women because I love to read. I always have.

While growing up I used to read at night after I was supposed to be in bed. I had a night light next to my bed that I would use to read surreptitiously. I would build a stand using hardcover books and set my book on it just under the light, and of course, I would pretend to be asleep if I heard my mom or dad in the hallway.


You might have guessed that I love going to libraries. When my son was younger I took him to the library frequently. If I visited the library when he wasn’t with me, I would check out a stack of books for him to browse through at home – and hopefully read. I wanted him to have constant exposure to children’s books that covered a variety of topics so I chose biographies, science topics, and adventure stories. And, I still visit the library a couple of times a week to check out printed books, audio books, or DVDs for myself.


All that reading and all those library visits have led me to these three incredible guests.


Kimberly Palmer


Kimberly Palmer created her newest book Smart Mom, Rich Mom, How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family through applying the techniques she has honed as a journalist for more than 15 years. She felt it was important to share lessons about financial management from mothers of all ages so she found and interviewed 50 moms. Other books focus on clipping coupons and giving up your daily latte, but she wanted to dig into stories of managing money from real people, which she explains in this journal episode.


I often wonder how an author comes up with their book ideas. Kimberly explained that her parents would often talk about their finances and her mother wrote a letter to her and her sisters sharing her hard-won financial lessons. And this was some of the inspiration for her book.


Grace Freedson


The process of writing a book takes devotion and personal motivation. Each author approaches their work in a different way. As a book agent, Grace Freedson, my guest on episode 20, has seen many different work styles and discusses the discipline needed to write a book and how some authors approach their work.


An author has sell their idea to Grace or any other agent by researching the market for the book and creating a detailed proposal. They should also build a following through social media, a blog, or some other means. Grace discusses the proposal elements in this episode.


Valerie Gross


Valerie Gross, President and CEO of the Howard County Library System, is pursuing a mission to offer education to all through wide-ranging programs that are created based on needs of the community. In this journal episode, Valerie describes the importance of the library system and the impact of library programs.




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