Friday, May 24, 2013

Interview with Missy Salick

Missy B. Salick is a new author who has written her first novel, Claiming Jeremiah. Her fictional memoir on foster adoption is drawing a hefty buzz around the sensitive topic. The novel is small in size, but contains a powerful message. "Children in foster care need a place to call home."  Salick, a foster care advocate, wrote this book based on her personal journey of foster adopting her four-year-old son.

Before self-publishing, Claiming Jeremiah, Salick spent several years as a freelance business writer for Fortune 500 companies such as: Shearman & Sterling, KPMG, Deloitte and many more. She also had a stint with song ghost writing. Salick's experience in the entertainment industry stems from working with entertainment companies and media including Violator, MBK, Village Voice and more. As the founder of J.J. Autumn Publishing, her publishing company is geared towards highlighting urban fiction dedicated to special causes and community awareness projects.

When Missy is not promoting foster adoption, she can be found volunteering at Junior Achievement, being a Big Sister and counseling young girls through Journal Writing or helping to save the Polar Bears with WWF.
Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 28 and I have just written my first novel Claiming Jeremiah. A fiction memoir based on foster adoption. The book's foundation is based off of some of my personal experiences. I have worked for many Fortune 500 companies, but writing has always been my excitement. I volunteered at Junior Achievement, Big Brother Big Sister Program, and thoroughly enjoy counseling young girls through Journal Writing. I have created a program called iJournalNow where I personally donate Journal packets to children in foster homes (or other agencies) to promote writing, and give them a safe place to write their thoughts or experiences down.  

What inspired you to write your first book?
My personal experience of fostering my son was the inspiration to write Claiming Jeremiah. Through the foster adopting process I realized how many children are in similar situations and need a place to call home. It is such an untouched topic that I decided to raise awareness about the Foster Care system, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Giving every child a home has become my passion and mission.   

What do you wish more people knew about the foster care process?
I wish people knew the full story. The facts, statistics - the horror stories that are told are not always true. The information they think they know about foster care, are at times just myths. For example: you don't have to be married to foster or foster adopt, you don't have to own a home, and you don't have to be in a heterosexual relationship. The process while not an easy one for a long shot, is very much worth it to open your home to a child/teen who wants nothing more than to have a place to lay his/her head at night. 

How do you feel about people who adopt children from other countries?
To each is own. However, I feel more people should look into their local agencies for foster adoption first. They may be surprised how easier and more feasible it is to do the same thing they are doing outside of their state or country. People don’t realize that there are over 400,000 children in the United States that need a place to call home.

I know you have a program called "iJournal Now"  Can you give your readers more information on it and how can they contribute to the cause?
Sure. iJournalNow is a great project I created with one thing in mind. To give "in-need" children a creative outlet to express their feelings and emotions. Children in places like foster care, group homes, shelters, etc. have a hard enough time expressing themselves. With iJournalNow I personally donate journal packets (containing a journal, pen, sticker and personal note) to these children in order for them to journal write. Journal writing is a great therapeutic way to help overcome the toughest situations. 
Readers interested in helping can spread the word, donate unused composition notebooks, folders, stickers and/or bookmarks or reach out to me about starting their own local iJournalNow program in their area. You can email me at to learn more.  

For your first book, how long did it take you to find an agent?
I currently don't have a literary agent only a business manager. I am taking on much of the roles myself. This allows me the freedom to go at my own pace, and make my own rules.  

How important was a "platform" in selling your books?
Very important. Prior to completing your book it’s important to set up a platform of how to sell your book. Who do you want to target, where and how. I developed a solid team to assist me in all aspects- and they have been wonderful, I feel truly blessed. I've also founded my own publishing company- J.J Autumn Publishing. This allowed me to write what I want, and not have to make many edits or leave facts out. This also gives me the freedom to write more books at my own pace and publish them on my terms.  

Do you have book signings coming up where readers can meet you?
Yes, I am going on a summer tour beginning in a few weeks. You can stay connected with my happenings on my website or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @meetmissy24, or my blog-

What advice do you have to an aspiring author on writing a memoir?
Patience is a virtue. As much as we want to speed write to see the final product, it takes time. Relax, gather your thoughts think about the characters and the chapter developments. Think about how much of yourself you want to put on paper and share with the world. Evaluate your material over time. I put down Claiming Jeremiah for a year. When I picked it back up I had fresh ideas to add. Once your story is complete, review, review REVIEW! Find a great team to assist you in promoting and putting the final details on your projects- because there are a lot! When you’re ready publish it on your terms- don’t let anyone tell you how or what you should change. This is your book- and will forever have your name as the author. Continue writing and striving and looking forward. Don’t let anyone discourage your dreams.  
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On the same night that twenty four-year-old Jordyn Sims has a miscarriage, her sister-in-law Tori Sims conceives a child. Nine months later, Tori, a long term heroin addict, abandons her two-hour-old drug addicted newborn Jeremiah, in a hospital stairwell. Jordyn receives the news and pursues foster adoption. However, Oscar, Tori's possessive drug-addicted boyfriend, is not about to give Jeremiah up so easily. While in confrontation with Tori and Oscar, Jordyn seeks help from the Administration of Children Services (ACS), only to discover she is faced with a maze of departments, regulations, legalities and overworked social workers. Jordyn, however, remains strong and continues to push through the uphill battle, even after she discovers she's pregnant.

With all odds against her adoption of Jeremiah, and her pregnancy at high risk from increasing stress, will Jordyn win this tough battle, or will her world crumble before her?

1 comment:

  1. I like the way this book sounds. It is on my to read list! Much success to you.