Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
STATIONS is my debut novel. It is available on Kindle and also published in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book is composed of essays I have written over the years. Each essay covers a phase, decision, transition, pathway, or challenge that ordinary people experience during the course of a lifetime as children and later as adults.
What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I have always wanted to write a book, but never discussed it seriously with anyone. I wrote short articles and essays, showed them to a few friends, but I assumed that my thoughts and ideas had been written and discussed many times over and there was no need to repeat what others had done. I continued to create essays and put them aside. I began to re-read my documents and thoughts about 10 years ago and decided to publish them only after a chance meeting with a former colleague and author, Dorothy Sweet Calhoun, in a restaurant. Dorothy and I were teachers at Kennedy Middle School in the Grand Prairie ISD over twenty years ago. During those years, she told me weekly about her desire to write a children’s book. When I asked if she had accomplished her dream, she explained that she had published four books and that I should move forward and contact a publisher. She suggested a publisher, told me to consider the company, and I researched the options offered. I thought about the information she had provided, the conversations I had with my husband, and decided it was time to publish.
Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?
My book is not plot or character-driven. It is related to the various circumstances that families face when raising children including early social skills and financial responsibility to proactive soft skills and behaviors required of all students, new workers or tenured employees.
Are there any under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
STATIONS addresses many issues and concerns for teen parents, teen workers, single parents, young and older first generation college students, adults in job transition, and ex-offenders in re-entry programs. Many of these persons have not been exposed to the written and unwritten rules and nuances of social behaviors applicable to personal success, a college campus, simple workplace protocol, or even networking practices to jump start a business or change jobs. STATIONS attempts to cover these areas in a simple, but practical manner.
How does your book related to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?
I think my book is a condensed version of the positive and negative experiences of my life and the lives of persons I have encountered over the years. The topics I selected were the ones that had the most profound effect on me as a child, student, parent, educator, college adjunct, observer, confidante, advisor, and caretaker of aging parents.
Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
The personal lesson I learned from writing this book is acknowledging that we often have internal components (gifts) in us that we do not investigate, promote, develop, or expand. Many times the hesitation stems from fear and doubt. My husband had been trying to persuade me to publish for over 20 years. I simply had one excuse after another that delayed my dream of writing a book. After my parents died, and I talked with Dorothy, I realized that I had run out of excuses. Finally, I also learned that when it is time to act, we often create reasons, excuses, or hurdles to slow down or hinder the decision to move forward. My final excuse had been my parents’ declining health.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals and intentions of this book were to encourage and inspire others to move forward while making better decisions, utilizing time wisely, and identifying those skills and competencies necessary for living a life filled with achievement and personal success. Most important, teach all children the concepts and behaviors required to survive in a fast moving world that becomes more competitive each day. In the end, they will be working on jobs that were not created during your lifetime or mine. I tried to write in way that was thought provoking, student and parent friendly!
STATIONS is a mini-resource guide for:
Teen parents, teen workers, single parents, parents of first generation college students, Upward Bound students, School Counselors, Student Affairs Coordinators, GED students, Student Success Directors, ex-offenders in re-entry programs and adults in life transitions.
METRO AUTHORS BOOK SIGNINGS
Saturday, Oct. 22 & Nov. 12, 2016, The Library Cafe, 1480 Woodhaven Blvd., Ft. Worth, TX 76112
4:00 – 8:00 P.M.
“He who opens a door, closes a prison.” Victor Hugo