I wrote my first book, Unveiling the Truth in English just because I felt more comfortable than writing in my first language Portuguese. It was easy to write 64,149-word count, but when I started to deal with the editors it was like a punch in the face. I had to hear terrible things like “Helen, your first language is not English, you are not right.” Yeah, I thought to myself, but I wrote a book, I can tell a story, can you? They couldn’t understand some of the passages of my book, and I had to spend hours explaining that I was right, and they were wrong. Here is an example: “The bride was dressed in a green gown, and her relatives were resplendent in their beautiful clothes—long flowing gowns with intricate patterns in shiny silk brocade.” They would automatically, without consulting me, change the passage to “The bride was dressed in a white gown…” Consequently, this misunderstanding from their part, lead to e-mails back and forth, phone calls, and of course, more bills to pay.
From the beginning, I made the decision to be self-published, I wanted to learn how to do it on my own, and the experience has been amazing. I have accomplished something beautiful in bringing my story to the world. The story itself holds steady, it is logical, understandable, and persuasive. Working in my second language is something to be proud of. I didn’t let those comments destroy my feelings towards the work as a whole.