Raising Jess by Vickie Rubin: Blog Tour & TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY

Monday, July 01, 2024
Raising Jess by Vickie Rubon
We're excited to announce the blog tour for Raising Jess: A Story of Hope by Vickie Rubin. This book is perfect for anyone seeking insights into the path of raising a child with disabilities. Whether you're a professional seeking to enhance your understanding of the families you support or a reader searching for a hopeful, heartwarming, and humorous memoir, the award-winning memoir Raising Jess offers invaluable perspectives and experiences. 

Don’t miss the tour-wide giveaway! Vickie is giving away a Grand Prize of Raising Jess and a $25 Amazon gift card as well as three other copies of her book. Enter to win at every stop along the blog tour. 

About the Book:

Raising Jess: A Story of Hope is the powerful story of one family’s survival when faced with adversity. Written with compassion, honesty, and humor, it tells of a family changed forever by the birth of a child with a rare chromosome deletion and their courageous decision to choose hope. Facing the challenges of caring for her daughter, marriage struggles, and the question of having more children, Vickie Rubin gives a glimpse in the world of her family and transformation while raising Jess. This beautiful, gripping memoir will delight and leave you wanting more.

PUBLISHER: Page Publishing
ISBN-10: 166246052X
ISBN-13: 978-1662460524
Print Length: 250 pages

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop and Apple Books
Be sure to add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, Vickie Rubin

Vickie Rubin
Vickie Rubin, M.S Ed. is a three-time award-winning author of the inspiring memoir Raising Jess: A Story of Hope. The memoir encompasses overcoming marriage struggles, having more children, and the sibling experience. Vickie's debut memoir won the 2022 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Award for Non-Fiction and was a Finalist in the Best Book Award and Books Excellence Award for inspirational memoir. 

She is an experienced public speaker and passionate advocate for families of children with disabilities. Vickie's essays are published in Newsweek and featured in the Buffalo News and guest blogs worldwide. She is a frequent Podcast guest sharing information about raising a child with a disability, inspiring hope, family dynamics, education, and advocacy. Her blog, Vickie's Views, gives a heartwarming and humorous view of everyday life, including raising a child with a disability, observing daily life, family, marriage, and RV travel. 
Before writing her book, Vickie was the director of the Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) for Oishei Children’s Hospital, Kaleida Health, a New York State Education Department grant-funded program. Vickie and her husband Mitch celebrated their 44rd wedding anniversary in 2023. They have three children, three grandchildren, and two very active dogs.

You can find her online at: https://vickierubin.com
Twitter/X: @vickierubin
Instagram: @vickierubin.author

---- Interview by Jodi Webb 

WOW: Congratulations on the release of your memoir Raising Jess: A Story of Hope. What was
the thing that finally made you decide to dive into writing a book?

Vickie: Jessica’s story, our story, was always in me – when I started writing, it just flowed every day; I wanted to share our story that even through all the challenges, we made it work – I think that is why it’s so hard for me to write a second book. Raising Jess is our story. (But I haven’t given up on the possibility of a second book.)

WOW: You mentioned that your mom spent decades bugging you to write your family’s story. After you got started, how long did it take you to actually write Raising Jess?

Vickie: The entire process took close to four years, which included daily writing. Once my draft chapter was complete, I set it free to my family members for feedback. This is also my husband’s story; I wanted him to check it for accuracy, humor, grammar, and authenticity. Next, my son gave his astute opinion. Once it passed my son’s stringent test, I felt confident to start the next chapter. When the book was complete, I hired a professional editor before sending it to a publisher. My book debuted during Covid in August 2021.

WOW: I admire anyone who can faithfully keep up with a daily writing schedule. Can you tell us a little about your writing habits?

Vickie: When writing the book, my alarm went off at 6:00 AM each day, even though I am considered retired.  I wrote for approximately two hours. The inspiration or fire inside me kept the words flowing, but once the fire receded, I stopped for the day. Now that the book is complete, I still get up at 6 A.M. to write my bi-weekly blogs. The laptop is my primary method, but I always have paper in the car or my purse for quick jots. Unfortunately, I often get an idea when my husband talks to me about softball (the idea is never related to softball) – yes, my mind wanders! And then I must sneak a text to myself….

I have participated in online writing courses and learned many strategies for creating new content, but once an idea strikes, it flows. Occasionally, I would wake in the middle of the night with a prompt and email myself under the covers to not awaken my husband.  Many ideas often interrupt my shower, which is a problem since I can’t write anything down. The other activity of inspiration is walking outside. I will frequently text and email myself with blog titles. I'm hoping I don’t fall since I am not paying attention to the path. Although that would be fuel for a new blog!

Writer’s block started for me after the book was complete; online courses have helped spark new topics and strategies to relight the fire. During Covid, I wrote daily about all the mishaps and experiences; again, it flowed. They were usually funny anecdotes; I often consider compiling those stories into a short book.

WOW: What was the most unexpected thing you discovered while writing your book?

Vickie: An unexpected occurrence happened when I completed the book. My Mom, who always said I should write a book, developed Alzheimer’s while I was creating Raising Jess. Mom, who lives 1300 miles from me, and I were no longer able to communicate on the phone due to her declining speech. As each raw chapter was completed, I sent the piece to my dad, who read the chapter to Mom. At the end of the book, Mom got on the phone and, in her halted speech, said, “Love….Your…. Book…” At that moment, I knew that she recognized her dream for me to write “that book!” was accomplished. It was an unexpected and heartwarming moment because Alzheimer’s takes away so much, but Mom could still communicate that she knew writing my memoir had come true.

WOW: Well, now I have to take a minute to cry a bit....I'm back! How about the rest of your family? I always wonder about the people portrayed in memoirs. How did they feel knowing they’d be the “stars” of your book?

Vickie: YES! A memoir differs from an autobiography because it is my memory, perspective, and portrayal of individuals and experiences. Whereas autobiography is a factual and historical account of events. I wanted my story to be accurate and authentic (and have humor). 

My first beta reader was my husband, Mitch. Mitch dislikes being in the spotlight, so I had some concerns. As I finished each chapter, he would read and provide feedback about his perspective of events (and his stardom; I assured him that he was not going viral!). There were moments when he considered whether he was comfortable with me writing about our marriage struggles. Mitch finally approved because he recognized that our experience is like other families, and knowing we got to the other side gives hope and encouragement to others. 

I also spoke with family members and friends, highlighted in the memoir, and received their approval. Jessica’s siblings and spouses all had the opportunity to read and comment before I published it.
Everyone was supportive and helpful. My son, Alex, was one of my editors before I sent the publication to an official editor. Alex is a tough critic, so when he said he loved the book, I knew I was heading in the right direction.

WOW: Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

Vickie: UGH! Writing and publishing were easier than promoting. There are millions of books published each year. How do I get Raising Jess noticed? I have stellar reviews on Amazon and receive emails and communications from readers about their love for the book. But it is hard for an unknown author to get the word out. One strategy is keynote speaking engagements. I am a frequent podcast guest and talk about topics related to my book. My blog often has companion pieces to the book, and some of my essays are featured in newspapers and national publications such as Newsweek. Another strategy is guest virtual appearances in book clubs.

Finding a publisher was less stressful. A fellow author had a great experience with the Hybrid publisher, Page Publishing. I contacted them and sent a .pdf of my story. My work was accepted, and they have been a delight to work with. However, they do minimal promotion.

Sometimes, I feel like giving up on the promotion side of things, and then (almost every time) I receive an email, a post, or a face-to-face encounter with somebody who cherished my book and its message, which keeps me going. Last night, I met a young mom who read my book and said she saw so many similarities; it helped her immensely. With tears in her eyes, she said she would read it again.

WOW: Tell us what’s next for you. Another book or some other adventure?

Vickie: Currently, I am focused on my blog and Podcast interviews, where I talk about raising a child with multiple disabilities, advocacy, special education, and the importance of planning for the future.

During Covid, our book club invited authors via Zoom to join our group. Reading the book and speaking with the writers about their work was amazing. I have virtually visited (nice alteration) several book clubs and the discussions and personal stories were enlightening and heartwarming. Recently, I developed book club questions for Raising Jess and plan to reach out to book clubs everywhere. I guess I am starting here! So, if you are reading this and are interested in inviting me to join your book club to discuss Raising Jess, please contact me.

Writing Raising Jess: A Story of Hope came so easily for me. The stories flowed. I often think about writing a second book and have many ideas, but I am still waiting for inspiration to do it!

WOW: I look forward to the results of that flow of inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Raising Jess by Vickie Rubin Blog Tour

---- Blog Tour Calendar

July 1st @ The Muffin
Join WOW as we celebrate the launch of Vickie Rubin's blog tour of Raising Jess. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book

July 2nd @ Just Katherine
Katherine is bursting with questions for Vickie Rubin, author of Raising Jess. Stop by for and interview and review.

July 5th @ A Storybook World
Stop by for a spotlight of Vickie Rubin's memoir Raising Jess: A Story of Hope.

July 6th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Learn more about Vickie Rubin, author of the memoir Raising Jess in today's interview.

July 10th @ Jill Sheet's Blog
Meet the author of Raising Jess: A Story of Hope during today's interview with Vickie Rubin.

July 11th @ StoreyBook Reviews
Vickie Rubin is visiting with a guest post about the importance of a Friend Network.

July 12th @ What Is That Book About
Looking for a great book for the weekend? Check out the spotlight on Raising Jess: A Story of Hope.

July 14th @ A Wonderful World of Words
In today's guest post What's Happening With My Baby?, Vickie Rubin shares what it's like to learn your child has a severe disability.

July 17th @ Create Write Now
Author Vickie Rubin writes about how her Failed Retirement led to her memoir Raising Jess.

July 19th @ Word Magic
Fiona welcomes Vickie Rubin with a guest post This Will Make You Stronger.

July 22nd @ Words by Webb
Author Vickie Rubin shares a guest post about rocking babies in the NICU.

July 25th @ Choices
Vickie Rubin shares her writing journey with the guest post: From "Gee, I should write a book" to "I'm writing a book!"

July 26th @ The Faerie Review
Looking for a new memoir? Today's spotlight is on Vickie Rubin's Raising Jess.

July 30th @ Chapter Break
Have fun with Vickie Rubin's guest post: Mh.D.: Getting My Self-Awarded Doctorate in Motherhood.

August 3rd @ Teatime and Books 
Stop by for a spotlight on Vickie Rubin's memoir Raising Jess.


3 Winners! Enter for a chance to win a copy of the inspiring memoir Raising Jess by Vickie Rubin and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The first winner drawn randomly will win a copy of the memoir and the gift card. Two more winners will win a coy of the book. The giveaway ends August 9 at 11:59 pm CT. We will draw a winner the next day via Rafflecopter and follow up via email. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Angela Mackintosh said...

Great interview! Vickie, the story about your mom totally made me tear up! I was a caregiver to my father-in-law who had Alzheimer's/dementia, and you're right, it takes away so much. It's so heartwarming that your mom remembered and supported your writing! <3 I also loved hearing about your writing process and how it flows at certain times. I'm the same way, and also find walking a way to spark inspiration (and doing the dishes, for some reason!). Congratulations on publishing your beautiful memoir, and good luck on your tour! :)

Jeanna Massman said...

This is such an interesting and important topic. It’s inspirational to learn about the experiences of this caring parent.

Sara said...

I look forward to reading your book. The sample offered on Amazon was very gripping.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great giveaway.
Marlene V.

Megan said...

This sounds great, it's so important to spread awareness!

wghutton said...

such an interesting topic, thanks for sharing

Heather Swanson said...

Do you write in a daily journal?

Andrea said...

How did you stay disciplined to write every day for 2 hours?

Crystal Smith said...

I am so excited I stumbled upon this interview; Raising Jess has me so intrigued! I know this is a story that I want to hear. Thank you for sharing

AshleyS said...

I have this on my to be read list. I'm very intrigued.

Anonymous said...

Love the cover! Read the interview and I hope to read the book.

Nancy P said...

Congratulations on your beautiful book.

Julie Lynn Bickham said...

look forward to reading this

Ed said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to read the book

Ed said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to read the book.

Antoinette M said...

Great interview. I enjoyed learning about the author and her book.

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