Can Prejudice Cause
Writes Her Way into Health
we all experienced the devastation of bigotry?
We are diminished when we dish it out.
We feel keenly its destruction when it is directed at
us or at those we love.
I believe that years of suffering from suppressed feelings
of unworthiness due to bigotry contributed to my cancer.
That was twenty-five years ago, but I still consider
it a life changing—and surprisingly—a life
I refused to let it beat me. I began to journal through
the prejudice I had experienced and eventually turned
my story into a novel.
is the Place is inspired by the stories that
I confronted. It tells the story of a young journalist,
Skylar Eccles who finds intolerance cloaked by family,
love and community and does not recognize it. By examining
her own history--several generations of hardy Utah women
who--and by experiencing a series of devastating events,
she comes to see she must make her own way in the world,
follow her own true north. Skylar Eccles is a fictionalized
version of me and is based on family records (the journals
of other women and my own.)
This Is the Place is out of print but it still
is available on Amazon’s New and Used feature
for about a dollar. Authors don’t receive a cent
from books sold on this feature unless they are selling
their own books. I still consider the feature a great
service to authors because it can keep a book alive.
People can still find a long out-of-print book to read.
And most authors care more about being read—sharing—than
Reviews and awards of this novel suggest that This
Is the Place is a winner. Misti Jackson, author
of Help from Above, said, "I look at the
clock and it says '3 a.m.;' I just can't seem to put
Gompertz, UCLA professor and author of Abraham the
Dreamer said "This is the Place is
a magnificent book and Carolyn Howard-Johnson is
a magnificent writer. Her book is a joy to read.
It is a work of literary art. It is an important
book. It is a book that touches the heart, mind,
think I bring a unique perspective to my work. I was
born and raised in Utah and lived in Southern California
for many years. My life in Utah, my experience at the
Salt Lake Tribune, and my life outside of Utah
including a stint at Good Housekeeping magazine
early in life all brought me insight into the two cultures-the
Mormon and the Non-Mormon. Many years of experience
made me aware of the many faces of prejudice and allowed
me to write about them with a gentle touch. But I couldn’t
have this sense of accomplishment if it weren't for
writing. And I wouldn’t have written a novel if
it hadn’t been that cancer came knocking to warn
me that if I didn’t follow my dream in that moment,
I might not get a chance to do so.
if Prejudice can cause cancer, journaling or writing
about it creatively can cure it. I am living proof of
Tips and Tidbits
(Each month in this box,
Carolyn lists a Tidbit that will help authors
write or promote better. She will also include
a Tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected
books or a sapphire among the newly-published.)
Tidbit: Everyone is a writer
these days. They write on social networks.
They blog. They may even write books.
My multi award-winning The Frugal Editor
will help them with all the grammar and
formatting that their English teacher
never taught them. Or all the things that
have changed since their English teacher
gave them an A.
The Frugal Editor is now in its
second edition in paper or as an e-book.
It’s been reformatted, updated,
for Readers: This is a frugal
gift indeed. And, yes, it is This
Is the Place. I hope a few Back
to Literature readers find a moment to
learn about my first step out of repression
into health and use it to consider the
value of writing for their own happiness