Beverly is originally from Utah, but moved to Fresno, California at the age of 11. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She also studied Psychology at San Francisco State University, thinking she might become a clinical psychologist someday.
However, Beverly always wanted to be a writer and loved to write as a child. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Beverly began her writing career as a medical writer, writing medical grant requests. “ They could not have an error on a page; I was typing over and over and over because it was difficult before computers.”
Her first book about Georgia O’Keefe was sent out to 3 publishers and 2 responded. One publisher was very interested in the book but asked her to re-write the first chapter. “I was so scared because I knew it would make the difference whether they published it or not.” They gave her a contract and half of the money upfront. The first 5 or 6 books she wrote were published by the same publisher.
Working as a Librarian at the Jewish library in San Francisco, Beverly read children’s books and ordered them for the library. This led to her interest in writing biographies of famous people for children 10-12 or a little younger. Beverly’s career as a professional writer began during her “mid-life.”
Beverly says “Before you can even talk to a publisher, you have to know a lot. “I do a lot of reading, writing and research before I suggest a person. I need to give the publisher enough information so they are intrigued and interested, asking a lot of questions. It takes me months to get prepared. You then talk to the editor and he or she takes the idea to a committee with the idea for approval.” Once a book is approved more research, writing, and editing takes place before you have a finished product.
Beverly says the most challenging part of writing a biography is getting accurate information and making the information interesting. She does most of her research reading books. She likes to work on only one book at a time.
“The most enjoyable aspects of being an author are doing the research, writing, getting your book published, visiting schools to talk to kids, knowing that kids read them and getting their input.” Beverly is currently working on her 12th book First Mothers, mothers of presidents.
In her spare time Beverly loves to play bridge, go to the theatre and read. Her favorite author is Wallace Stegner and she has recently enjoyed Perfect Reader by Maggie Pouncey, a contemporary author.
Books by Beverly Gherman
In addition to books for children Beverly writes “art” books.