Jan Louthain- Government Worker turned Author of Children’s Books!
If you ever lean back in your office chair and dream about pursuing another passion, think about Jan Louthain. She did it! Louthain worked for the Federal government for 32 years. She had a good career as an Accountant and Management Analyst and even lived in Washington, DC for a few years. Her projects often involved travel and her job was rewarding. Nothing to complain about, but what she really wanted to do was write. She wrote in her spare time and had published several magazine articles, but she wanted to write full time and move toward the publishing field.
With the help of an inheritance, she was able to retire from her government job at the age of 54. At first she was overwhelmed with the freedom she had. She now had time and even a little money to pursue her PASSION, but where would she start? She was used to having a supervisor somewhere tell her nature of the project and the expected final product. Now she was on her own.
Her first step was to complete the children’s book she’d been working on for years, 23 to be exact. She began exploring the world of self publishing and met a local publisher who mentored her and helped her publish her first book, Tagger, Alone Along the Mystic River. Promoting the book was tough, because she wasn’t used to marketing. There’s very little of that in the Federal government. But soon she was learning the ins and outs and was thrilled when her book was selected for the Fall 2002 Children’s Booksense 76 List and later recommended for the Nutmeg Award in Connecticut.
With these successes under her belt, Louthain wrote another children’s book, Ame the Elephant, Terrorized by Evil Mice. She wrote this allegory in the 4 days after 9/11 to help children understand the complexities of terrorism by using animal characters to represent people and countries.
As she enjoyed these accomplishments, she began to think of the other Baby Boomers behind her who were considering retirement, second careers, financial issues, coping with aging parents, downsizing homes, health issues, etc. With the experiences she’d had already, she decided to start a free, online newsletter called BOOMER-ING, for Baby Boomers who are Independent, Notable and Graying. With little effort, she found several experts to contribute articles and advice. BOOMER-ING has become a success in it’s own right, and she’s appeared on several radio talk shows to tell listeners about it’s content.
In the meantime, Louthain has taken on three other writers and now publishes their books as well. She went from having one book on her website last November to having 7 this year. So she’s also realized her dream of becoming a publisher.
What can we learn from Jan’s story?
Jan used her previous experience and skills to move towards what she really wanted to do. She pursued her passion a bit at a time building upon each small success she went.
To join BOOMER-ING (for those born between 1946-64) and learn more about Louthain’s books, just visit her website at www.alexiebooks.com.