An author's letter to her book, 7 Forms of Respect, a week before release
Listen to Dr. Julie Pham read this letter.
April 20, 2022
On April 26, you're going to be released to the public. I’m nervous. Excited, but nervous. I have a lot of hopes and dreams for you. And I want to write them down before I read other people’s reviews of you.
This world you're entering is filled with hurt people who protect themselves by judging others. This leads to a lot of disrespect, both intentional and unintentional. Pausing to get curious can help us process and move past our judgment. Listen to others and ask questions. Learn about our differences, ourselves, and our relationships.
I hope the way you show that there are different forms of respect gives people tools to talk about how they want to be respected. I dream one-day people will ask each other, "What are your forms of respect?” in the same way they talk about their love languages. I hope you inspire people to want to understand each other better. And that even people who never ever read you will still benefit.
I hope you help people see the complexity of belonging to multiple cultures simultaneously, and how we are influenced by them all.
I suspect you’ll be like me, a late bloomer. Throughout my childhood, I didn’t have many friends. It was only after I stopped trying to find a home in one group did I find connections with many diverse groups. If your message spreads, it will be from the slow swell of readers from different communities who discover you.
I was going to bring you into this world, no matter what. People tried to persuade me to get an agent or a publisher first. I didn't want to wait. I knew I was going to create you independently through self-publication, even if I had to hire a production crew. You don’t know this, but not many people who look like me publish books like you. By choosing this route, I hope other women and people of color learn they can be authors too.
Actually, I got a lot of support preparing for your arrival. Nine months ago, I put out a call for help. Over 340 people contributed. To acknowledge them, I included many of their names on your pages. Dozens of people guided me in drafting and revising you. I wouldn't have been able to do it without them. The CuriosityBased team is so excited to help me raise you.
A village is waiting.
You carry the stories of hundreds of people who shared with me how they want to be respected and how they have been disrespected. Even if you only get a few readers, these people were heard.
I want you to know that no matter what the world thinks of you, I'm proud of you.
Julie Pham, PhD