Interview with Mary Langford, Editor for Author Meryl Hershey Beck’s Book, Loss, Survive, Thrive: Bereaved Parents Share Their Stories of Healing and Hope


I’m pleased to bring you this interview with Mary Langford, editor for Author Meryl Hershey Beck’s book, Loss, Survive, Thrive: Bereaved Parents Share Their Stories of Healing and Hope (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

Please enjoy!


Vincent Lowry


1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
My name is Mary Langford. I live in Cincinnati, OH

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
I am a writer/ghostwriter/editor. While I’ve not yet authored a book, I’m extremely proud of the developmental editing and editing I did for Author Meryl Hershey Beck’s book, Loss, Survive, Thrive: Bereaved Parents Share Their Stories of Healing and Hope (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

3) What is the book about? 
It’s a compilation book about grief containing stories by 27 parents who have lost a child, survived, and gone on to thrive.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I didn’t; Meryl did. After she lost her 35-year-old son Jonathan to suicide in 2011, Meryl found books about grief lacking the kind of comfort and hope she was needing. It was during a conversation with her best friend, Robin, a few years later that the idea of Loss, Survive, Thrive was conceived.

5) How long did it take you to write/edit it?
When I first came on board as editor, Meryl asked me to also help develop some of the stories. Including Meryl, only 7 of the book’s contributors were published authors, so it took close to 8 months before Meryl and I were happy with the manuscript she’d be turning in to the publisher.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Yes. The death of a child is not only survivable, it’s possible to be happy in life again, and thrive.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
The website for the book is My website is

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to other authors?
I stay in close touch with my clients throughout the editing process. It’s my goal to ensure that every author with whom I work comes away from our time together a better writer.

9) What genres do you like to read?
My favorite genre is biography, including autobiography. I also enjoy reading nonfiction books about recovery and spiritual matters.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? 

Sidney Sheldon’s Master of the Game. Before I got hired by Mr. Sheldon in 2001 as his personal assistant, I had not been an avid novel reader. At the time, I was much more familiar with his work as creator of three of my favorite TV series – The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, and Hart to Hart. I hadn’t understood the true meaning of “page turner” until I took a
copy of Sidney’s book, Master of the Game, home to read. When I dragged myself into work a day and a half later, he wondered what had happened to me. “You kept me up all night!” I shouted. Though the book was well over 500 pages long, I could not put it down. I don’t remember stopping to eat and barely got any sleep. It was then that I realized how compelling
great novels are, especially those written by the Master Storyteller himself. Working for my beloved Sidney Sheldon changed the trajectory of my life.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
I don’t have any pets of my own, but I get to be surrogate mom to the most amazing, loving, adorable cat I have ever known – Annie. She lives with me for four months each year while her parents winter in Arizona. Annie is white and black and the most precious little kitty in the

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