Gretchen Preston – Writing as a Blind Author: Challenges and Opportunities

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On September 13th, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with self-published  author and entrepreneur Gretchen Preston about the challenges and opportunities of living every day as a legally blind, visually-impaired person. Gretchen Preston is a children’s book author who lives near Marquette, Michigan. Legally blind since the fifth grade she writes her books on a laptop computer equipped with talking software. She shared with us some important aspects of her work life and success including:

  • Educate us about your visual problem and the assistive technology you use to write your books.
  • Your books are beautifully illustrated; share with us how a blind author produces such a nicely illustrated book.
  • Writing for vision impaired readers — what should people know?
  • How do you keep organized at book signings and sales events?
  • How does your low vision contribute to your books?
  • You have a totally blind character in your second book, what motivated you to create Winslow the blind professor?
Gretchen Preston

Gretchen Preston

Originally from Portland, Oregon Gretchen Preston is one of five children. She went to college at the University of Oregon and went on to graduate school at Arizona State University. Trained as a medical social worker, Gretchen worked on an organ transplant team in Denver, Colorado.Her interest in writing came early. She wrote her first book when she was seventeen. The Idiot Cookbook: The Complete Cookbook for the Complete Idiot was an unpublished work patterned after Peg Bracken’s I Hate To Cookbook.In her job as a medical social worker she wrote newsletter articles and patient education manuals.Gretchen is married. She lives with her husband Tim, their old dog, Rosie and Buddy Boy the cat. Her Valley Cat series of children’s books are set on their rural dirt road near the south shore of Lake Superior. Currently, she is working on the third book in the Valley Cat series and several adult books.
Gretchen Preston is the author of the Valley Cat series of children’s books. Jam-packed with local fun and adventure, Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River and More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends can be purchased via her website. For more information including a list of stores carrying her books visit,
Watch for her upcoming book Valley of the Cats: Earth, Wind and sky 
More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends

More Valley Cats: Fun, Games and New Friends

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