Eight years ago, when we first discussed writing “the book every HR person threatens to write,” we never imagined it would be a journey. Okay, some of you are saying, “What took them so long? What about those contests to write your novel in 30 days?” Well, let’s share a bit about how this book came together and why it is coming out in 2020 and not in 2012 when it all began.
Our plan was simple, or so we thought. Interview a hundred or so (well, not that many) of our HR and business colleagues and friends. and ask them to share their zaniest stories of workplace behavior. With those stories in hand, all we would have to do is write them up just like we’d written The Big Book of HR. (“It won’t take us very long to write.”) After all, we wrote The Big Book of HR in less than six months. Once written, it would be edited and published – probably within a few months.
It didn’t quite turn out that way. First, enter our publisher, who kept asking us for more books – three to be exact and a revised edition of The Big Book of HR. Next, we realized that gathering the stories was fun and easy, but we couldn’t tell them exactly as we heard them. We’d have to use the idea of the stories, but camouflage the details to maintain confidentiality and assure we’d have friends left when we were finished.
What to do? The answer was simple. Write a creative nonfiction book that is like historical fiction where you take a part of a story or fact and create a narrative around it. How to do it? That was our challenge.
Since the other books we’d written together were nonfiction, we had much to learn. So, we took classes, attended writer’s conferences, and listened to podcasts and webinars to learn about story arcs, writing dialogue and transitions, and creating characters. Then we created a fictional company and characters and used them to tell the stories. And don’t forget the endless reviews, rewrites, and edits – which every writer goes through. Finally, we have book that portrays the people issues that can arise in any workplace; tells stories that spotlight the world of HR leaders and how they keep things on an even keel; and provides a glimpse behind the scenes into compelling and relatable tales.
It’s time to announce that They Did What? Unbelievable Tales from the Workplace is finished. To say we are beyond excited is a vast understatement. It will be available on December 1 either directly from our publishing partner at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/they-did-what or wherever books are sold. See our website https://www.bigbookofhr.com/they-did-what for more information.
No matter your preference, ebook or physical book, there’s a copy available for you from your bookseller of choice. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. And positive reviews on Amazon are always appreciated.
Thanks for being on this journey with us.
Cornelia and Barbara