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From Tragedy to Triumph: M.J. Flood’s Journey of Healing and Publication


In the vast tapestry of human experience, few events leave an enduring mark as profound as the loss of a child. For M.J. Flood, the stillbirth of his firstborn in 2008 carved an emotional scar that lingered even amid the joy of two subsequent daughters. Yet, amidst the depths of his grief, a flicker of hope emerged, illuminating a path toward healing and culminating in the publication of his poignant memoir, “Where are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss.”

The Genesis of an Idea

Years after the tragedy, Flood found himself at a crossroads, wrestling with a persistent sense of emotional stagnation. A serendipitous conversation with a friend sowed the seeds of an idea: to pen a book about his stillborn child. This revelation struck a chord deep within him, offering not just a cathartic outlet but also the potential to realize his long-held aspiration of becoming a published author.

Unveiling the Power of Personal Narrative

With newfound resolve, Flood embarked on a solitary journey of self-expression. During the summer of 2018, he poured his heart and soul into his computer, meticulously crafting a narrative that captured the raw emotions and profound reflections born from his experience. As he delved deeper into the writing process, Flood discovered the transformative power of personal storytelling, finding solace and healing in the act of articulating his grief and vulnerability.

Seeking Validation and Overcoming Rejection

Eager for feedback, Flood sought the opinions of those closest to him. His friend, Kenneth Frank, a seasoned filmmaker, offered enthusiastic encouragement, instilling confidence in Flood’s pursuit of publication. Buoyed by this initial validation, Flood shared his work with his wife, Tara. Her heartfelt endorsement served as a pivotal moment, providing the impetus he needed to take the next step in his literary journey.

Embarking on the quest for publication, Flood encountered a series of setbacks. Despite positive feedback from an acquaintance at a major publishing house, his manuscript faced rejection due to his lack of a substantial social media following. A string of subsequent rejections followed, each one a disheartening blow to his hopes.

Persistence and the Path to Publication

Undeterred by the rejections, Flood remained steadfast in his belief in the power of his story. Convinced that the right publisher would eventually recognize its worth, he pressed on with unwavering determination. A fortuitous encounter at a cocktail party led him to a writer who suggested he contact En Route Books and Media, a small Catholic publisher based in St. Louis.

In August 2019, Flood’s manuscript found a home at En Route Books and Media. Recognizing the profound value of his story, the publisher transformed his 30,000-word manuscript into a beautifully crafted 130-page book titled “Where are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss.” The culmination of Flood’s years of perseverance and unwavering belief in his work had finally come to fruition.

The Profound Impact of Loss and the Power of Creation

Receiving the bound copies of his book was a profoundly emotional experience for Flood. It marked the culmination of a transformative journey, a testament to the healing power of writing and the resilience of the human spirit. The act of creating something meaningful from the depths of loss imbued him with a sense of empowerment and purpose.


M.J. Flood’s journey from tragedy to triumph is a poignant reminder of the transformative power of personal narrative. Through the written word, he found a path to healing, self-discovery, and ultimately, publication. His memoir, “Where are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss,” stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the profound impact that loss can have on the creative process.