Welcome to our Author Interview series.
Today we're featuring an interview with Ross Schriftman, author of My Million Dollar Mom: The Story of the Remarkable Life of an Ordinary Person. Our author interview series provides an opportunity for our readers to get to know our authors on a deeper level and also learn more about the types of books we're publishing.
Ross Schriftman was a devoted son. In addition to his love of family, Ross has been active in politics for more than 40 years. He ran for Pennsylvania State Representative in 1974, 1976 and 2004 and Montgomery County Controller in 1979. He has been an insurance agent since 1975 and specializes in Medicare and long-term care insurance. Professionally, he served as the Associate Chair for Long-Term Care for the National Association of Health Underwriters from 2001 to 2003 and Legislative Chair of the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters from 1994 to 2003.
Ross served as Regional President of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods in the 1980s. He has run marathons since 1970. Though Ross is a frequent speaker and writer on health care issues and public policy, My Million Dollar Mom is his first published book.
Synopsis: My Million Dollar Mom
My Million Dollar Mom is an uplifting true story of a lifetime of sacrifice and caring between a mother, Shirley and her son Ross. Love of family, politics, community, patriotism, teaching, animals, nature, music and service to others was Shirley Schriftman; a member of the greatest generation. When Alzheimer’s strikes this loving mother their roles reverse and Ross, with the help of care giver Nora, takes Shirley to the end of her life with dignity and joy.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
They will be able to relate to the joy of family love as well as have a connection to similar experiences in their own lives.
In two sentences or less can you tell readers something unique about your book?
A mother’s life is detailed from the point of view of her son. The tragedy and triumph of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s is detailed so the reader can really see what it is like on a daily basis.
Who designed the cover?
Infinity. I love the cover! So does everyone else that sees the book.
List three adjectives that describe your book as a whole:
Uplifting, joyful, funny.
Where do you find your ideas? Does something trigger them? Do you carry around a notebook in case inspiration strikes?
I kept a note paid while my mother was dying. After her death and during the “Shiva” period I sat in her TV room and wrote notes for hours. I was amazed and how much and how quickly so many events in her life and my life came back to me. My biggest fear was that I would have it published and then remember more that I had not written down.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do?
I consider myself a fairly good speaker. However, I am always concerned that in speaking I haven’t conveyed all I want to say or have said it in the correct way. Writing allows me to express my self, review, edit and make the message come out the way I intended. I write a lot of letters to the editor and opinion pieces.
What is your writing process?
Early in the morning as I am waking up thoughts come to me and when I get to the office I just write down all the thoughts and then develop the text. Sometimes I work from an outline.
If you were told your stories were unbelievable and no written very well, would you continue to write? What would your response be?
I am in the sale of a product (insurance) that no one likes to buy, no one enjoys, no one can see and everyone thinks is too expensive. I am used to rejection. I also know that a novice writer needs honest critique. We don’t learn from our successes. We learn from our defeats. I just keep trying and work to understand what I can do better.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
Being new to writing a book I tried to get an agent and it was very difficult although I am grateful to local author’s who encouraged me and gave me contacts. At first I was not sure about self-publishing. I found Infinity to be one of the easiest and fun associations I have experienced. They were very helpful.
For more information about Ross Schriftman and his mother's legacy, visit: