FITCHBURG – Town resident Dorothy Preston recently released her memoir, “Getting off the Radiator: A Story of Shame, Guilt, & Forgiveness,” which details her often tenuous and complicated relationship with her mother while growing up in Springfield. .
“I was inspired by my mom at a very young age to write her story because I thought she was a fascinating woman who had been through so much,” Preston said. “It’s not always pretty, but the story is about resilience and loyalty.”
The back of the jacket of Preston’s book states that his earliest memoir “is the story of a child who grows up in a 28-room mansion infested with cockroaches and overrun with hippies, thieves, drug addicts, alcoholics and a murderer.
The youngest of seven children abandoned by their father, Preston watched as his mother struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads while diving deeper into the bottle, queuing for the social assistance and renting rooms in their house to earn money. . Considering the cast of characters who walked through the house and the lack of parental guidance, the family lived the life of a twisted fairy tale in which shame, guilt, and anger played the main roles.
Preston recounts his journey from childhood to adulthood, his years struggling with his difficult past, overcoming adversity, practicing forgiveness and cherishing the love of a family whose ties cannot be. broken. Beautifully written and accompanied by intimate family photographs, this is a memoir that unveils what it means to live with a difficult past while struggling to embrace a hopeful future.
Preston said she has always loved to write.
“When I was a kid, I made fake newspapers and wrote silly stories for my mom, who was my best and my only audience,” she said. “I am still amazed to have finally been released.”
She said after taking numerous writing classes, she ended up hiring a coach to help her write her book proposal, “which is an important part of the publishing process.”
“It was expensive, but it was totally worth it,” Preston said.
She spoke directly to small independent publishers after the death of an agent whom she ultimately pulled out of the hundreds she interviewed.
“It didn’t take long before Shanti Arts sent me a contract, and here I am,” Preston said.
She has a blog and has published articles, but this is Preston’s first book.
“I wrote many different iterations of a second book,” Preston said. “It’s still a work in progress, but I absolutely have a second book in me.”
Asked about her writing process, Preston said she writes when the mood strikes, whatever time of day.
“It seems like I often get inspired in the middle of the night and jump out of bed to run to my computer and start a blog or add to my story,” she said. “Now I always keep a pen and paper by my bedside. Writer Block has happened to me, and especially during COVID, but I realized you can’t force it. It just has to flow through you when things come to you.
Preston said she likes to read aloud after writing something.
“In a way, it helps bring it to life,” she said.
In an excerpt from “Getting off the Radiator,” Preston recounts his mother’s colorful and complicated personality.
“During my teenage years, I compared Mum to a cross between Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind and Joan Crawford, and me, her protégé, who watched and learned. We had been through hell and we came back together, and here I was interviewing her like she was a glamorous Hollywood movie star, which she was for the first 10 years of my life.
She said she has already sold several copies of the book, and although some people in her life encourage her in her writing work, not everyone feels the same.
“Some of my family weren’t very supportive as they didn’t like the idea of me ‘airing our dirty laundry’, but that’s my story to tell, and they each had the chance. to read and give their opinion before publication, “said Preston. “My friends have been extremely supportive and happy for me.”
For more information and to buy his book, visit https://dorothypreston.com/.