Brian and Jan Healy – Navigating Through the Fog

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Our book is called Navigating through the Fog: The Story of a Stroke Survivor and the Woman who loves Him.

On August 5th 2009, I watched in horror as my 49-year-old extremely healthy, athletic husband had a severe hemorrhagic stroke in front of my eyes. After those first harrowing days, Brian had 7 months of therapy ahead of him. Amazingly enough he was able to return to work as a mechanical engineer. This book is told from the point of view of the caregiver and the stroke survivor.

Tell us something about yourself.

I, Jan Healy, am an English teacher and HS counselor. I have a Master’s degree in English and have been in education for 20 years. I have read thousands of college essays as my students have applied to college.

My husband, Brian is toastmaster and has written hundreds of speeches. He has also authored United States patents.

We are also a caregiver and a stroke survivor. We are now speaking at rehab facilities, schools and hospitals.

What inspired you to write this book?

I felt driven to write this book, for several reasons.

1. I wanted to heal from what I had been through.

2. I wanted to help others learn from our experience.

3. I had wished for a book like this when Brian had his stroke and I couldn’t find one.

4. I want to help others recognize the symptoms of a stroke and to have a recovery like Brian’s.

How did you choose the title?

Brian and I discussed different ideas for a title, but throughout the stroke experience he always said he was in a fog so Navigating through the Fog seemed perfect.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I sent it to a couple of agents and one publisher, but when I heard friend say that she self-published and found it to be easier and more rewarding; I went that route.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I always wanted to write a book and wrote a romance novel when I was younger; it was only when I had such a compelling story to tell did I really want to write.

Do you have any writing rituals?

My main writing ritual was to sit down and do it. I would start early in the morning and write all day.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I have learned that marketing can be even tougher than writing. J

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

The only thing I would do differently is to hire a proof reader earlier in the process.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I love to read and am always reading a book. I like to read everything except murder mysteries. Right now my favorite author is Isabel Allende.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

The best advice I can give to a writer is just do it! If you have a story to tell then tell it, don’t just talk about it.Get it down on paper. I like having the control of self-publishing so if you have the up-front money, I recommend self-publishing.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

The perfect readers for our book are stroke survivors and their families and of course the caregivers. It is also wonderful for people in the medical fields. But because it is a story of hope, healing and survival with a happy ending, it can be a story for anyone.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can learn more about our book on our blog where Brian speaks on Youtube.

The book is also available on Amazon.