1. What do I love about writing?
I love writing because it allows me to express my true feelings about any subject I choose to write about. Freedom of expression and writing is important and after retiring from teaching I realized that I there were so many new things I could learn to do and wanted to try. I have always loved writing poems, short stories and reviewing books that my friends would write or short stories that they wanted an honest opinion about. Writing is an art. Writing children’s stories is something that I am new at and hope to continue doing.
The main character, Bertha is really I. Bertha is smart and she has her own unique voice and personality. She is over weight as I was as a child and is often the brunt of jokes, ridicule and more. Her sister was always prettier, more agile and able to do sporting activities, dancing and ice -skating. Bertha was and still is a total klutz- but a klutz with a great sense of humor. Bertha’s father would not let her play any sports that required running. She was allowed to play punch ball but had someone run for her. But, she always got a home run so she did not need a runner.
Bertha in both of my books learns to deal with her weight issues, mean teachers that treat her unfairly and always feeling that she was hiding in the shadows of her sister. But, do not get me wrong, my sister and I were always best friends and I guess I never expressed how I really felt about being the outcast and the over weight not so cute sister until I wrote these books.
2. I have had girls at my book signings, family members, salespeople in stores that I knew before I lost the weight tell me how empowering my two books are and how great that I am reaching out to help them understand that what you look like is not who you are as a person. I would tell them that if they feel comfortable the way they are then do not let others make fun of you because you feel you are over weight. When you are ready and want to lose the weight you will. I always explain to girls and adults that losing weight is hard and do not happen over night. It can really be discouraging at first. It took me 6 months to lose 3 pounds when I finally realized that I needed to lose the weight or have other problems.
I think that buying my book would help all kids understand what someone who has a weight problem goes through. I would welcome emails from girls and adults to help them and tell them how I did it and possibly give them other resources to help them get started.
3. The best method of selling my book is a hard question. Wherever I go I manage to tell people about my books. I am on so many sites and have been the featured author on many and even had an interview on live radio- but no matter now many sites you are on if someone is not looking for my type of book or the classification is not refined to what my book is about- it will not be sold. I could use some help with that. I have blogs, websites, email addresses. I have five star reviews on many sites and my books were just reviewed by online stories magazine by Wayne walker for the July issue. I will take suggestions for this question.
4. My Dad was over weight and I guess I always took after him. I have never hurt or insulted anyone ever for the way they look, their appearance or anything. I have gone into stores and been made to feel that I did not belong there because of my weight. I was told in one store that a plus size stores was just across the way and maybe I should shop there. I will not repeat what I told the salesperson. Let’s just say she was encouraged to work elsewhere.
My mom has Alzheimer’s and it is has a devastating impact on my life and my family’s life. She is in the last stages of the disease and is at home with split shift home health aides. It is hard for me because I have to monitor her care on a daily basis as well as give her the medications she needs twice a day. I am writing a book about how she dealt with the illness when she first learned she had it and how she is now. The book will include research and information about the disease, websites to find more support as well as original poems and stories that I wrote and other members of my family wrote. There will be a dedication and good memories section that will have short sentences or paragraphs dedicated to anyone who wants to wish my mom well and whose family members have or had the illness.
I lost the weight when my doctor called me one morning and told me my cholesterol numbers were off the charts and that I was eating all of the wrong foods. I realized that my Dad died because he was over weight and had diabetes and more. My mom had a stroke and now Alzheimer’s disease. I did not want to have any health factors that would cause me to have any serious problems if I could fix them by dieting. I lost over 75 pounds in three years and will never gain them back again. I walk everyday and I never eat eggs, fried foods, butter or red meat. I eat healthy and I have never felt better in my life.
I hope I have answered all of your questions. Let me know if I need to do anything else for our blog tour. This is still new to me. Fran