Katherine Preston is the author of Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice. She visited AIS to several years ago in order to interview Catherine Montgomery and visit with our Tuesday night support/practice group. Its been along time coming, but her book is finally hitting the shelves! She was kind enough to participate in a brief interview about her book with AIS clinician Carl Herder.
What led you to write this book?
In 2008, I felt like I was trapped and living someone else’s life. I had a good, sensible job in asset management in London but I was worried that I would never fulfill whatever potential I had. I was afraid that my life would be ruled by something as uncontrollable as my voice. So I decided to face my biggest fear. I set off on a year long adventure to interview over a hundred stutterers, researchers and speech therapists all over America (even talking to celebrities like Emily Blunt and Bill Withers). I wanted to immerse myself in stuttering, to find out why it happened and how people were living their lives. I hoped that I would be able to turn my experiences into a book of oral histories and, more quietly, I imagined that I might stumble upon a cure.
What is your book about?
When I began writing Out With It I envisioned it as a collection of stories from all the people I interviewed. Yet, in writing it I realized that I couldn’t do their stories justice without being honest and vulnerable myself. So the book evolved into a memoir and an investigation of stuttering through the voices of the people I interviewed. The book begins the day I start stuttering and tracks the long and, somewhat flawed, journey I took to find my voice. It is about learning that the part of myself that I always wanted to hide is, in fact, the best part of me.
When will your book become available?
Out With It is being published by Simon & Schuster and will be released on April 16th. You can pre-order it on Amazon and hear all the latest updates by following me on my blog, Facebook and Twitter.
Carl Herder, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Atlanta Clinic Director, Board-Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders
Carl is the Clinic Director for our Atlanta office. He joined AIS in New York in 2006 and worked closely with our founder, Catherine Montgomery for five years. In 2016, he moved to Atlanta to open our first satellite office.