Author Archives: susangolant

The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up

I’ve watched with amazement as my new book has occupied the #1 slot in cardiology and heart health rankings on Amazon for weeks at a time. And every once in a while, we find ourselves in the top 100 books. The reviews from readers in April have been terrific:

5.0 out of 5 stars: Fantastic!
Very informative and very helpful. It really tells you what to eat to be healthy. Thank you! Every doctor should care so much. Instead of giving a pill, eat and exercise correctly to prevent or correct the problem.

5.0 out of 5 stars: As Advertised
The most complete book on heart health I’ve read. Diet, exercise, mental health, quality of life and quality of what goes in your body…they’re all covered here. Thanks to Dr. Masley for a complete guide to cardiovascular health!

5.0 out of 5 stars: Easy to read and a lot of information
I enjoyed the book and learned a lot about my heart condition. Good and practical advice, everyone should read it.

This is so gratifying for me and Dr. Steven Masley. Be sure to catch him in early June on PBS, when his show “30-Days to a Younger Heart” will be playing around the country. The stations will be giving away books, DVDs, heart rate monitors, and other goodies as a part of their fund-raising efforts. You can also see Steven’s website: for gift packages (that include the book) and informative blog posts. You’ll find additional important information and recipes on his other site:

I’m so happy to know that this book is helping innumerable people around the world.

A Book is Born

The bound galleys . . . uncorrected proofs. . . of my latest work, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, arrived last week, and I celebrated, as I always do, the birth of a new book. (Even though I’ve had more than 40 “children,” each one is still special to me!) It will be in hard covers and on bookstore (and Amazon) shelves on February 4, 2014–just in time for Valentine’s Day, Heart Month, and also, most likely, the next Congressional argument with Obama about the budget and the debt ceiling! Oh how politics and history play havoc with book releases and publicity plans. I do recall in 2000, when the Gore/Bush election was contested and the country’s breath hung on every Floridian chad, that I felt so sorry for authors publishing books then. . . I knew that despite months-long planning and expenditures of great sums of money, none would get any air time on “The Today Show” or “CBS this Morning” or “Good Morning America,” and I felt their pain.

Little did I know that the following year, I would be facing a worse fate. My wonderful book, In the Company of Women–Indirect Aggression Among Women: Why We Hurt Each Other and How to Stop, was published on Sept 10, 2001. Yes, one day before 9/11. My partners had already embarked on a whirlwind book tour that was to include a spot on “The Today Show.” Our book was covered in a full-page article in Time Magazine. “This is it,” I’d thought then. “This book is going to make it to the top.” So as I watched in horror as the buildings crumbled and wept for the thousands of lives senselessly lost, I didn’t lament the aborted launch of our book. But, indeed, who could pay attention to anything else that week, month, or year? To its credit, the publisher re-released the book 6 months later, and my partners did appear on GMA, but the best-seller momentum was lost, although I do have to say that the book continues to sell even now. 

Such is the fate of authors. Quixotic at best, the publishing industry is subject to the vagaries of fad and fashion but also to the harsh realities of time and place. All of us cast our fates to the wind. . . fearing the worst, hoping for the best. Many of us work hard to get our books out to the public. My dear friend, science writer Linda Marsa, for instance, just published Fevered: Why a Hotter Planet Will Hurt Our Health–And How We Can Save Ourselves. She has been crisscrossing the country for the last couple of months, signing books, speaking on panels, being interviewed, getting the word out. It’s a full-time job–one she readily undertook–but it’s exhausting and expensive nonetheless. My current partner, Dr. Steven Masley, is preparing a documentary on the subject of The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up which will appear on PBS. If all goes well, it will be broadcast when the book launches in February. But will anyone buy the book if the nation is glued to CNN, worrying that the government will be shut down, pulling the world economy and our fragile recovery with it? Who’s to say?

And the more’s the pity. Because this is an excellent book. Filled with solid advice about a diet that anyone (including me) can follow, great recipes, reasonable exercise goals, lifestyle choices that reduce stress, recommendations for supplements to help the process, and even a chapter on the positive feedback loop between a healthy heart and a robust sex life. My fondest wish is that it gets into the hands of people who could benefit from it. . . which means most of us! Only time and the ineffable march of history will tell. . . And so I wait and hope for the best. 


Hello dear readers. . . this is my first blog post and like millions before me, I feel that I’m throwing my thoughts and words out into the void. What do I have to add to the great and democratizing cacaphony known as the blogosphere? I guess experience. I’ve been at this book-writing business since 1982 and have observed many changes over the years. I’ve also garnered useful insights into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to writing and publishing a nonfiction book. 

During the years that I taught book-proposal writing at UCLA’s Writers Program, my students often asked what makes for a bestseller. Damned if I know! Nearly thirty years ago, my first publisher, Eleanor Rawson, told me that this is a quixotic business. You never know what’s going to catch the public’s imagination. I didn’t want to believe her back then, but in fact she was right. I am often astounded by the books that become popular while other much more worthy works fall by the wayside, never to be read or appreciated. Nevertheless, I do know what makes for a good nonfiction book, bestseller or otherwise, and I will be sharing some of my insights and experiences with you in this blog. 

If possible, I’ll also bring you along as I develop a book, sell it, and then write it. It’s an adventure with great highs and lows. Still there’s nothing like the moment the finished product arrives at your door all dressed up in its shiny new book jacket. It feels like having a baby. And for a first-time author it is a life-changing event. You can never go back to the state of never having published a book. 

Many of my partners have called me a midwife. I like that. My grandmother was a midwife in pre-World War II Poland. She was a wonderful person, and I enjoy being in her company. But instead of children, I help my partners gestate and give birth to their ideas. And in the end, we all celebrate with wonder and awe the emergence of a new book.