Slide from Dr. Mary Hemphill presentation, Chamber of Commerce Women of Impact, Brunswick County, NC.

Women and Adversity:
My Interview for

I was honored to be featured in by Suzanne Lieurance, author of 40 books and a writing coach. The complete interview is available at, which I have posted in as many places as possible!

It’s amazing, though, when I read the interview after it was published, how much important information I didn’t include. For instance, I didn’t mention that the article I wrote about the humorous side of having a car stolen was for Grit, a family magazine. The magazine continues to be published but praises rural living, which I don’t recall it doing when I had my story published decades ago. Another fact I didn’t include was that the story was the first one I got paid for. A week after that check arrived, I received my second check for a story I sent to Ligourian, a religion magazine. Those acceptances energized me to continue writing.

Another fact I didn’t include in the interview was the name of my local newspaper that published the story of the experiences of two women, one a fiancé of a Chicago Bears football player and the other married to a former Bears player. The paper was The Star in Tinley Park, IL. As an aside, in 2007 the paper merged with the Daily Southtown and became the SouthtownStar, which the Chicago Tribune later bought.

I say in the interview, “I got a call from the features editor, who asked me if I wanted to write as a freelancer for the paper.” The fantastic, encouraging features editor was the late Joanne Zerkel. That story started a host of assignments and an offer to be on staff part time, which I accepted. I think my title was copy editor.

Where does this lead?

  • When writing a story, make a separate list of the items you believe MUST be in it.
  • Like Santa, check the list twice.
  • Reread your story to confirm you have all those points included.

I believe in advocacy for women to achieve their goals. The image I include here is from Dr. Mary Hemphill’s presentation at the Women of Impact Luncheon in Brunswick County, NC.

More on this dynamic woman in February.

More Information:

Available at and

Honoring 23 Black Women, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists  

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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