Catherine Dold: The Recovery Book

2nd edition

Al J. Mooney, MD, Catherine Dold (NASW member), Howard Eisenberg
Workman Publishing; September 9, $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-7611-7611-4

Dold reports:

Nearly all my work as a freelancer comes via networking. The Recovery Book was no exception. Howard Eisenberg posted on the ASJA Forum that he was looking for a co-author to work on the second edition of this book, which he and his late wife Arlene published with Dr. Mooney in 1992.

Catherine Dold

I had no experience writing about addiction, had never written a book, and honestly didn’t think I’d want to write about the topic. Perfect fit, right? But I knew that Howard and Arlene were respected, successful writers. Arlene was an original author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The publisher, Workman, has a great reputation. And while I had no background in addiction, I do love writing materials that help people to understand health issues.

Getting to contract was different from the usual route, since this was a second edition. First I had to convince Howard and Dr. Mooney to take me on as collaborator. Then we had to sell the book to Workman. There was no proposal, but we did write summaries of how we would update the content, handle social media, and more.

One of my biggest concerns was the collaboration process. I researched many options, and finally settled on a system of Dropbox folders shared with Dr. Mooney. I’d put files he needed to review in a folder. When he was done, he’d move them to another folder, and I would then pull them back into my master set of files. It worked beautifully. Over 14 months we collaborated on 350,000 words without a single version-control nightmare. I also kept detailed spreadsheets of everything, and set all deadlines. Dr. Mooney and Howard were dream collaborators who met every deadline. The spreadsheets kept me sane.

This project opened my eyes to the reality of addiction. Visiting Dr. Mooney’s treatment center, Willingway, I expected to meet a lot of older, weary alcoholics. Instead I met many young people. Most looked like they belonged in college. But that’s what addiction is: an equal opportunity disease. The good news is long-term recovery is possible.

Contact info:

Buy this book now in the ScienceWriters bookstore.


NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Take advantage of this opportunity for shameless self-promotion.

Tell your fellow NASW members tell how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you started working on your book, or had done differently.


Send info and images to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor,

Sep. 3, 2014

Advance Copy

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

Publication of NASW members' reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

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