Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have the gusto to say “I am well” even though I have a chronic illness which causes me to be housebound several days a week. This is because I have learned that my sense of wellness isn’t associated with the physical. I have dipped my toe into the water of authorship with my first book “Well”.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Well – A Memoir” sprang from a very unusual and interesting source. I dealt with my chronic illness with very bad coping mechanisms that led to major depressive disorder, alcoholism, pain pill addiction and a suicide attempt. As a Christian, this was so shameful for me and I didn’t understand how I could let it happen. Was my spiritual life that big of a mess?
When I got home from the psychiatric hospital, I began pouring over a decade worth of journals looking for answers. I found relevant entries and collected them in a scrapbook. I also included in the scrapbook original artwork telling my story through the end of a paintbrush. Then I went through my blog and other essays I had written and included those as well. The scrapbook told a story, and I realized it had evolved into a unique type of book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to write longhand on paper and doodle or create art throughout the writing. I use several art mediums while writing, such as, collage, painting, sketching, and mixed media art forms. When I am done I have a visceral, textural and authentic work. However, it doesn’t transfer electronically easily. My book “Well” was my first attempt in making this transfer happen.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I am no longer a prolific reader because of my illness. However, I prefer non-fiction inspirational and challenging books. Dallas Willard is my favorite author.
I would have to say that the book that has influenced me the most is the Bible. The words on those precious pages breathe life into me. I write in “Well” how words of scripture were the only concise thoughts flooding into my mind while in the psychiatric hospital.
What are you working on now?
A compilation of family anecdotes. I have several funny storytellers in my family with great tales. Even though I have heard the stories over and over again growing up they continue to entertain.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am so new to this!!!! Right now I am using social media; i.e. Facebook and Twitter. I have my own blog, https://aliasintown.blogspot.com where I post regularly.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I am one. Does someone have advice for me? I could use it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
One word. Savor. Life is hard and when great moments invade that cause a belly laugh, a sense of awe, a warmth of love, or just joy savor it; not only in that moment but put it to memory and savor them over and over. Savor.
What are you reading now?
The Quest Bible Study by Beth Moore.
What’s next for you as a writer?
It is my deepest desire that “Well” will help another person. I’m very focused on getting it into the hearts and hands of people who need it.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Bible, 14,000 Things To Be Happy About, and a coloring book.