Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Jersey Woman Revives Her Publishing Dream

A little inspiration in tonight’s post. I have always admired single-mothers who not only carry on in life after mistakes or bad times, but do so magnificently while overcoming all obstacles!

Mary Jo Kalchthaler (pictured at left in picture) is one strong and determined writer who is a survivor and debunks all the fictional garbage about Jersey women portrayed on TV in “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Jersey Shore.”

Here is her story as told by staff writer Deborah Walsh (no link for this writer) in

A group of Jersey women involved in online book publishing would like people to know there’s a lot more to women from the Garden State than what is seen on “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Jersey Shore.”

It all started when Mary Jo Kalchthaler resurrected her passion to become a writer. She had an 800-page typewritten manuscript that she didn’t quite know what to do with – securing an agent was not something she wanted to do. Mary Jo latched onto Amazon’s e-reader, Kindle, which opens a whole new realm of possibilities to all the frustrated writers of the world.

“I came across the virtual world. It opens a whole new world to new authors and Amazon’s Kindle has the largest virtual library,” said Mary Jo.

The first task for Mary Jo was to find a way to turn her 800-page manuscript into a computer document. Mary Jo admitted that she had limited computer savvy. What better way to find out about the art of book publishing than to visit the institution that has the largest collection of books in town? Mary Jo took her manuscript to the Kinnelon Public Library where she encountered Tanya Lenkow at the circulation desk.

Mary Jo explained to Tanya that she needed to transform her manuscript into a computer document. Tanya put Mary Jo in touch with Carol Sventy, who has experience publishing brochures for the Friends of the Library and Center for Lifelong Learning. Carol also teaches youngsters computer skills at the Kinnelon After School Enrichment Program.

Carol said, “I love a good challenge, especially a computer challenge. So when I met Mary Jo and she explained that she needed to get an 800-page typewritten document onto the computer, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Now that she captured the right computer and editing smarts in Carol, Mary Jo realized she needed some artistic help for the creation of illustrations for her Kindle books. So she visited Kinnelon High School (KHS) and was put in touch with Alice Kivlon and Jacqueline Castro, teachers in the fine arts department. They recommended Melissa Slade, now a junior at KHS, for her expertise in graphic arts.

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