When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I like to take naps and read Georgette Heyer books and watch mindless television series.
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?
Lay off the caffeine. No seriously, my mind is bright and alert when I’m not going from one hot cup to the next. It’s nearly impossible for me to stick to, however.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I write nearly every day, and as often as I can. But those moments are usually in between teaching or picking up the kids or walking the dog, which means that I can rarely write anything of substance. I will need to find a new groove before I can manage the blog posts and marketing posts well enough to still have time leftover to write something lengthier.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?
My advice is this. Charge through and get the first draft done at all costs. Write whatever and whenever you can, without any thought for whether it is grammatically correct, or even any good. Write from your heart. And then go back and pick a reasonable goal - a chapter a week? Go over and over that section - refining, adding, removing, changing until it’s perfect. Let go of the idea that the end date will be anything sooner than however long it takes you to do a chapter a week (and then a zillion more revisions after that). But I think the hardest part is in between the first draft and the series of final drafts when there are all sorts of literary knots to sort out. It takes time and space to work through that.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it - What keeps you going?
I can’t not write. It’s just not an option for me. It might be something simple - processing my world in a little light-hearted blog post that is full of pictures. But it has to be something. I need to process my world this way.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I think there’s a reason I write with such brutal honesty, usually to my own disgrace. I want people to feel not alone - about addiction or depression or grief - or even not to feel alone about being alone! I want people to feel understood and to know that there’s hope. This is how I want my words to reach others.
What’s your favorite meal?
Roast chicken with its sauce over rice.
What color represents your personality the most?
Blue - the blue of clear water, the blue of a sunny sky.
What movie do you love to watch?
The A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. I can watch it over and over again. I also like the movie Bedazzled with Brendan Fraser.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
Yes. It suits my personality to stay connected in quick updates. It takes the pressure off needing to write a letter or talk on the phone. And of course for spreading the word about my writing, it’s priceless.
If you could do any job in the world what would you do?
If we were to go back to Africa, I would want to go as a doctor or a nurse. That way I could really make a difference.
At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly—teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York.
When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Serendipity takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family.
Told with honesty and strength, A Lady in France is a brave, heart- stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds—and hope that stays in your heart long after it’s finished.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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