When Writing Gets Personal

I know what it’s like to write from personal experience.  My first novel, Wedlocked, is based on my first brief and disastrous marriage.  But my friend and fellow author James Wilcox’s experience writing about his own personal experience is much different. His new book, Miracle Child, is a memoir that tells the story of his premature infant son, Nathaniel. I’ll let James tell you what it was like to share his heart-wrenching journey with the world, but first a little about the book…


Miracle Child cover shot

This is a story of miracles, both big and small, and the story of one little boy born sixteen weeks early, weighing only one-and-a half pounds.

Nathaniel Wilcox needed a miracle.

He wasn’t expected to make it through the night.

This is Nathanial’s story of his five month journey to survive, and how he touched the hearts of everyone who cared for him. This is the story of how one family managed to overcome tragedy and despair, to find a renewed faith in each other and in God.

A miracle child?


Now James tells us about the writing of Miracle Child…

Coming up with an idea for a story, developing believable characters, mapping out plot lines, creating smooth transitions, and pulling everything together for an exciting, satisfying conclusion, these are just some of the things an author has to worry about when writing a book.  Each of these steps takes time, patience, and creativity.  They are also extremely personal because they are important steps in the creative process for the author.  Authors give a little piece of themselves to each step of the process, a little bit of their imagination and creativity.  Writing is personal because authors are sharing a piece of themselves with the world and leaving themselves open for criticism and ridicule, but also for praise and enjoyment.  Although I find writing extremely fulfilling and rewarding, I always find it hard to take that next step, the step that will publish the book and share it with the word.

Having published two novels and a collection of poetry, I thought I had figured out how to deal with the excitement, the stress, and the nervousness of publishing a book.  That was before I decided to write a book about my son, before my writing really got personal.  My newest book, titled Miracle Child, tells the story of my son’s five month battle for life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital.  My son Nathaniel was born sixteen weeks early and weighed only 1.8 pounds.  He was very sick and wasn’t even expected to make it through the night.  Although Miracle Child is a story of anguish, fear, stress, and frustration, it is also a story of love, hope, and faith.

In many ways, Miracle Child is the easiest book I have written because I didn’t have to create the characters or develop the story line.  At the same time, Miracle Child is the most difficult book I have written because it is the most personal.  I never imagined writing a book about my son and I never intended to write a book in which I am one of the main characters. I wish I could say that I am the hero of this story, but I can’t.  My son is the hero of Miracle Child because he was able to touch the hearts of everyone who cared for him.

Miracle Child is the most personal book I can write.  Now all I can do is wait and see if this story touches readers as much as it has touched me.

James Wilcox photo

James P. Wilcox is the author of Miracle Child, two novels – Sex, Lies, and the Classroom and The M-16 Agenda – and Musings of a Particular Bear: A Poetry Collection. James, a former newspaper photographer and writer, is currently a high school teacher in the Kansas City area, where he lives with his wife and three children.

To find more about James and his work visit his website at www.jamespwilcox.com

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-P-Wilcox-Author/138615939640998?ref=hl

Twitter @m16agenda

Miracle Child available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Child-ebook/dp/B00BUHGWOU/ref=la_B005IGG5G4_1_3_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1364102084&sr=1-3

For Nook at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/miracle-child-james-p-wilcox/1114844969?ean=2940016184098



2 Responses

  1. James Wilcox Says:

    Thanks for hosting my on your blog today Bonnie!

  2. admin Says:

    It was my pleasure, James. Best of luck with the new book! 🙂

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