I’ve mentioned before that I am as excited as the author when one of my clients publishes a book. James Doughty and I have been working together on Some Monument to Last for more than two and a half years, and James had been gathering the material and writing for several years before that.
I edited and formatted the book and helped James find the cover artist (Aundrea Hernandez who also did the cover for Dream or Destiny) and a printer. The formatting was a learning experience for me because generally I format simple text only. Some Monument to Last has photos interspersed in the text as well as a section of photos, many of which had to be converted from color to grayscale. I used a different script font for every letter writer—the printer was a little taken aback with the number of fonts in the document until I explained. The poems and quotes had to be formatted a little differently than straight narrative.
I enjoyed the challenge, and James is a delight to work with. He’s not at all like the predatory journalists in Dream or Destiny! When you read the book, you will discover that he takes his responsibilities as a reporter seriously.
Today James is a successful TV journalist, recognized in the San Antonio area as James Munoz. But his achievements haven’t come easily. The back cover blurb on the book says:
When television viewers see James Muñoz on the air, they see a man who has achieved his lifelong dream. They don’t see the lonely, sexually abused child with a father-sized hole in his heart. James grew up missing the father he never knew and spent much of his early adulthood searching for his paternal family.
Today he uses the name Muñoz (his mother’s maiden name) on the air to honor his maternal family and Hispanic heritage and the name Doughty (his surname) in private life to honor his father and his paternal family’s legacy. He shares his story to inspire and encourage others to achieve their dreams regardless of the challenges they face. His grandmother’s poems and his father’s letters that helped fill that empty place in his heart will touch the hearts of readers, and his advice to young people will motivate them to build their own monuments to last.
Some Monument to Last: Memoir of TV Journalist James Muñoz with Family Poems and Letters begins with James’ story. The book also contains poems written by the grandmother he never knew and letters from the father he missed though he’d never met the man. Precious family photos and some of James’ favorite quotes are also part of the book.
The book’s title comes from a short, untitled poem his grandmother wrote:
I can’t erase or blot out the past,
But I can build for the future
Some monument to last.
James has created some monument to last with this book. He hopes to inspire and encourage anyone who is going through rough times, especially minority youth. He serves as an excellent role model, and this book gives him a way to inspire and encourage young people he can’t meet in person.
Some Monument to Last would make an excellent Christmas gift for anyone who is facing challenges in life or anyone who enjoys reading true stories of overcoming challenges. I bought a dozen copies for gifts.