January 16, 2022
Ozalle Toms puts perseverance to the test with her memoir Letting Perseverance Finish
Assistant Vice Chancellor Ozalle Toms’ has recently published a book called Letting Perseverance Finish on January 1, 2022. She is so grateful for the experience and accomplishment of publishing this book. She had her doubts and had to do her research, but Toms successfully published a memoir that she is proud of.
“I’ve always had conversations with people where we talk about our childhood and our past and our upbringing. It’s kind of like a common thing to do with people. And I would kind of talk a little bit about my background. And people will say you should really write a book about your experiences and I’m like, oh, yeah,” says Toms.
“My “why” for writing the book was that there are a lot of children in foster care across the United States. 427,000 kids are in foster care, and then in addition to that, there are a lot of people who have experienced trauma.”
“I also talk about my experiences in foster care. And then I also talk about my childhood in an abusive, traumatic situation. My experience in foster care, but then also how these experiences had an impact on my adult life and so, you know, it’s like, when people experience trauma, you know, there are some who kind of get stuck and they never move on from it. And so, I had to talk about how my background impacted my young adult life, and I had to get out of that cycle.”
After many years of research papers and articles, Toms was nervous to publish a memoir all about her and her experiences.
Toms says, “So first, I was like, well, who’s going to buy a book about me? I’m not somebody famous. I’m not Lebron James or anybody like that. Does somebody really care about my life? So, a little of like that doubt, like, when people actually bought the book but then I have to remember when I was writing it. And I’m like, okay, I’m writing for a particular purpose.”
On top of multiple doubts about publishing a memoir, Toms had to figure how she wanted to publish it and how to properly go about writing a memoir. It is obviously much different than formatting and procedures for research papers. It can be difficult for anyone to transition from that style of writing into something that is not necessarily facts per se, but your truth and real-life experiences.
Toms says, “In addition to doing research on writing a book, I had to do research on, should I self publish or publish with a publisher. And so, I talked to a couple of colleagues who were very successful with their books.”
Ozalle Toms put a great amount of hard work and time into creating and completing her memoir. To put so much effort into something so personal, you want people to be glad they chose to read the book. Toms was definitely grateful and glad about the reactions to Letting Perseverance Finish, especially after going through her doubts and nervousness. Accomplishing anything personal and receiving love from people for it is a good feeling for anyone.
“As people read my book, those who are sending me text messages in the middle of the night, you know, say, like, wow, thank you so much for telling your story. This is going to help so many people. Thank you for putting yourself out there like that,” says Toms.
“So initially, when it came out, I was just like, okay, everyone’s going to talk about me, but then the responses I’ve received from people since it’s been out there has been amazing.”
“So at this point, I do feel like the book is doing what I wanted it to do. And I hope that it even does more as I try to reach those who I’m trying to really target with the book.”
After receiving such positive feedback from readers of Letting Perseverance Finish, Toms is going to have book chats where people can also get their copy signed. These signings will take place on Tuesday, February 15th at Anderson Library, and Saturday, February 19th at the Book Teller Bookstore.