A Guest blog from Merryn Fergusson.

A congratulations to Merryn Fergusson, who’s been an editorial client of ours in the past. Her book What is wrong with ME. A Case of childhood Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: The Illness and the Controversy was published by Grimsay Press on 19th September, 2012. It is available to order from amazon.

‘What is Wrong with ME-  A Case of Childhood  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis-The Illness and the Controversy’

            I realised while our teenage son, Chris, was recovering from ME that the diary that I had kept during the previous three years might usefully be the basis of a book.  The book would be one that I, both as a physiotherapist and as a Mother, wished had been available to help me.

A conversation with my husband’s older cousin, all of whose extended family are writers, led me to send him the draft as it was then.  He replied by saying that it was not, normally, his sort of book, but that since it had affected him, why did I not try the Writer’s Workshop, and then the Grimsay Press.

Claire’s meticulous criticism was invaluable. [Claire = Claire Gillman, the Writers’ Workshop editor who worked on this project.] Amongst other points she explained that I could write as a journalist.  It was not necessary to back up every medical statement with references.  This freed me up to include the essentials and allowed the science to be written so that it was easily accessible.

Directed by Claire I submitted the manuscript to two or three large publishers.  The discipline required to do this was useful in itself, particularly in making me focus on who was my target audience.  The manuscripts were rejected.  CFS/ME is not exactly best seller material.

Grimsay Press was excellent to work with, and patient with all the corrections and changes that are unforeseen by a novice writer.  I left it to our two older sons to choose the cover which was produced by revocreative. 

At the launch at our local Arts centre The Catstrand in New Galloway (Dumfries and Galloway-South West Scotland) I invited the leading Consultant on ME in childhood.  The hall was full and the interest was overwhelming.

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