ORGAN TRANSPLANTS was my first non-fiction book for
Young Adults.  I agreed to write the book because I found the
subject interesting but I did not know anything about organ
transplants.  While doing my research I read medical journals with a
dictionary by my side.  I read Christian Barnard's biography and
newspaper reports on the accomplishments of transplant pioneers  
Drs. Thomas Starzl, Norman Shumway, and Denton Cooley.  I also
read about the early survivors of transplant surgery and interviewed
recent recipients of donor organs.
       The research was difficult but the subject fascinated me.  Although I slept with my fingers locked and my arms
wrapped around my head,  From the day I decided to write the book, until the last copy-editor's question was answered,
my  interest or enthusiasm level remained high.
       In the introduction of my book I tell Jacob Aaron's story.  I met his mother online and she shared her
experience with Jacob's liver transplant.   Joyce Aaron who lived in Mobile, Alabama at the time said,
"Jacob was born on May 14, 1984, but we didn't truly celebrate for him until May 23, 1990.  That is when
life began in the fullest for him."  And, "Thank you for your gift," she added, in memory of the stranger who
saved six year old Jacob's life.  You can read more about Jacob in ORGAN TRANSPLANTS.  You can find
it at the library or one of the online used bookstores.
       I learned a lot about writing nonfiction while writing this book.  Bonnie Szumski at Lucent books edited the book.  
Now I know that she deserves an award for "Most Patient Editor."  I am glad she was my first nonfiction editor - we have
worked on a number of books together since then and  I have written books for several for other editors.  I believe,
however, that the shadow of Bonnie's blue pencil resides either in my mind on my hard drive and once in awhile I just
know that "Bonnie wouldn't let me get away with that" -  and I edit myself!
       A wonderful critique group encouraged me through the
process of writing this book.  What a great group of gals
they were!  We learned the ropes together.  And, one by
one we began collecting our publishing credits... and one by
one we moved on.  Some of us changed residences, some
of us took maternity leave, some of us took sabbaticals from
writing, and some of us ploughed on.   Still, we grew
together until we each reached our own special plateau.  I
thank each and every member of that group I hope that
some day we meet again..
We celebrated with cake and champaign!  
 Birthdays, acceptances, and new books -
we celebrated everything.  (We also
shared rejection letters and tears)  Soon
after the box of ORGAN TRANSPLANT
books arrived, the local florist delivered a
dozen red roses - sent with love from my
critique group.
Deanne Durrett
Author of Nonfiction for Kids and Young Adults*
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Last update 8/22/08