CRESTVIEW — Laurel Hill writer Joseph Barrow always wanted to become a published author with credentials he could list on a resume.
Now that the renowned “Chicken Soup for the Soul” publisher has accepted his story, Barrow — who writes as JB Steele — has achieved that goal.
"I have a couple of self-published books, but being professionally published … having that pleases me. I'm glad to have it," Steele said.
His story, "A Hospital Visit," is included in a new book, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude,” by Amy Newmark and Deborah Norville.
Like all Chicken Soup stories, "A Hospital Visit" is a true one — that's a requirement for publication. According to the series’ website, submissions feature something that happened to the author as told from his or her point of view.
“The Power of Gratitude,” the latest installment in the 250-book series, is about "the many benefits of gratitude and thankfulness (and readers will) see how a wide swath of people incorporate gratitude into their own lives," a media release states.
Shelton Interactive contacted Barrow in 2015 about publication. "There was about an 18-month lead time. It has to go through rounds of selection," followed by editing, grammar checking, wording and other processes, Barrow said.
As for the story's focus, Barrow said, "When I was younger I was a very, very sick little boy. I almost didn't make it. I was born several months premature in Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola."
The team of doctors and nurses in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit took care of Barrow and he was eventually able to go home.
"My mother (Lynda Barrow of Crestview) and I, whenever we had doctor's appointments, we would stop in at the neonatal unit so they could see how I was doing. She was friends with a lot of the nurses and she was a nurse, and we had to go around and visit."
When Barrow got older, he stopped visiting them. In 2005, however, "I was back in Sacred Heart Hospital visiting, and I decided to go look for that neonatal unit.
The rest of the story involves a touching, unexpected reunion — but you’ll have to read about that in the book.
A copy of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude" is available at the Crestview Public Library.
Barrow’s other works include two self-published ebooks, "Unknown Worlds" and "Wizard's Apostasy," which was his first full-length fantasy novel. The novel is the first part of a trilogy. Both are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, and other ebook retailers.
See www.steelewritingenterprises.xyz for more information about the author.