Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Wow. Writing my book taught me that you can have a story in your head as you go along. You don’t have to create a story line or characters or even a plot until you write the first word of Chapter One. I know most people don’t write that way, but as a sketch comedy improv actor, that’s where inspiration comes for me…just thinking about my story and characters as I go along. Where do I want to put them, how do I want them to look, act, what do I want as the story’s arc? It’s AMAZING fun for me.
Oftentimes, when I go back to reread something I’ve written after a long period of time, I am truly amazed, perplexed and honored that one sentence struck me so much as being JUST what I wanted to say…and saying it in a very creative way…surprising myself that those strings of words came out that way. If this has happened to you, and you’re really honest with yourself, you understand what I mean.
What kinds of things do you read?
I feel compelled to read the newspaper every single day, and if I miss a day, I feel left out in some way, left out of what is trending in the world, left out of human interest stories about amazing people, events, catastrophes, rescues, governments, sports victories, etc. I need to KNOW what is going on.
When and why did you begin writing?
You know. This is such an interesting question, because some writers were born to do nothing but write, like any other compulsion, like acting or being a doctor, etc. I never kept a journal or wrote much more than a few letters to friends. I just never thought about it when I was young, but I knew that I liked it in school and I was a really good speller. I think that I am a Renaissance woman, because there are so many things that I love to do, want to do, am good at and that intrigue me. Writing is just one of them.
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?
As a certified yoga instructor, you might guess that it would be yoga…in SO many different ways…from doing chair exercises to doing physical postures on the floor to learning the 3-part breathing technique that sends more oxygen to the brain to learning how to fall asleep. Yoga should be your best companion if you’re a writer. And, with yoga you can learn to go upside down, which I now believe is just about the best thing one can do…get the blood flowing to the head…Mmmm. This has made me want to do a headstand right now. Hairy Arm! I mean, Hari Om!
How often do you write and when do you write?
For me, it has to be when I want to write. I cannot force myself to write from 9 am to 1 pm, for instance. I’m a day person, and a morning person, and those are good idea times for me. I like to take a cigarette break about every two hours…reread what I’ve read, mull over it, enjoy the smoking process, then return to my desk, rejuvenated and raring to go at it again.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I want to be able to be a good enough writer that readers will read a sentence or a paragraph somewhere in my book and stop right there…reread that sentence or that paragraph and think, “Wow…what an amazing sentence (or paragraph).” This happens to me every now and again…I stop, let the book fall in my lap, look up, smile and think, ‘Wow, THAT is a beautifully crafted sentence or paragraph. I LOVE it when that happens to me, and I want to provide other people with a little ‘wow’ moment or maybe even two of them.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
I love Facebook and use it often to market both my book, A Texan Goes to Nirvana, and a business page for The Midlife Gals, the blogging, vlogging website produced by my sister and I, www.themidlifegals.com.
I do not like Twitter, because I am a visual person (and I write visually too) and you cannot see the photos or videos unless you click on the link. I can even keep up with the news through both platforms. Word spreads quickly about whatever the latest ‘trend’ is as well. I am a boomer, and this is the way I’m keeping up with friends and family. I couldn’t beat’em, so I just joined’em…Facebook and Twitter.
If you could do any job in the world, what would you do?
I would be a co-writer, star and producer with my sister of a hit, primetime comedy series called, The Hotel HuLaLa, which sprang from a pilot script that we wrote a few months ago and are now trying to sell.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
At the risk of offending any publishing houses out there…I fear that in today’s writers’ world, there exists the perfect Catch-22. You can’t publish a book unless you’re already famous, and you can’t become a famous author unless you are published. This is why self-publishing excites me, because from this well spring of really great independent authors have come a few who have ‘gone viral,’ and become very well-known and yes, famous!
The last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
The last book I read was Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen. He is such an entertaining writer, and definitely of my genre (comic mysteries). Bad Monkey is a mystery surrounding the discovery of an arm in the Florida waters. There is a voodoo queen, a pest inspector, a requisite blonde bimbo and Driggs, the monkey, and he really is a bad monkey. This book is not as good as some of his other books, but entertaining and affirming to me about my own writing.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I like the notion of making people laugh. I’m pretty good at it, because I grew up as the ‘pleaser’ child and that is the way I survived and thrived and made friends and kept everyone from arguing.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I am a control freak of the first order. I’m just convinced that if people would just do what I tell them to do (and the way I want it done), both their lives and mine would be infinitely better. Is that so wrong? Therapy, you say? Pish Posh…I knew more than Dr. Maples.
Yoga has finally come off her high horse to reveal doubters, sufferers and cynics. This is the story of one woman’s comic misadventures at the ashram from hell.
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Genre – Humor Mystery
Rating – PG