It took me three years to write my first book. In the early 1980s, I was a freelance journalist, reporting on human-interest stories, mostly for the Los Angeles Times. The Times syndicated one of those articles (about very early infant stimulation and prenatal learning), and it was published around the country. A breakthrough! The woman whose research I’d reported on, Dr. Susan Ludington at U.C.L.A., was impressed. A few weeks later, she called me to say, “You did such a good job on this article. How would you like to write a book with me?” “Sure,” I replied, stupidly. “How hard could that be?”
It was quite a steep learning curve for both of us, as we’d both come out of academic backgrounds, me with a Masters Degree in French literature and Dr. Ludington as a professor of child development and maternal-child health. But in the process, I learned how to structure and focus a book. I learned about the voice one must use when addressing a popular (rather than an academic) audience. And I learned about the surge of joy that comes when you finally see your words in print between the covers of your very own book.
Today, more than 30 years after its publication, How to Have a Smarter Baby is still in print and has sold over 250,000 copies worldwide.