I have two traits (well, a lot more than two) that are going to get me in trouble or going to make me famous (rich would be good, too). The jury is still out, but the “trouble” verdict is looking most likely. I know this because I am neither famous nor rich. Smart, huh?
The traits I’m talking about are that I’m honest and that I don’t mind spilling my secrets out loud. In public. That’s why the very first book I wrote and published was a wing-dinger of a memoir called How Was I Supposed to Know? The Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost.
Everyone who read it (and by “everyone” I mean “people who love me”) told me I had a best-seller on my hands and that this book was perfect movie material. Of course, I was (and by “was” I mean “allowed myself to be”) ecstatic delighted encouraged.
I like to be prepared—especially for good things. So I’ve been fantasizing rehearsing for my book tour interviews. Wouldn’t you?
Since I am alone a lot, I talk to myself role-play in my bathroom mirror. That way I can monitor my nonverbal as well as verbal mannerisms. The camera catches everything, People.
In the interest of full disclosure and to prove to you that I am as crazy honest as I say I am, I’m going to share with you my totally never going to happen future interview.
Playing the part of me is “Lorna.” Playing the part of Famous Interviewer is “Mirror.”
Mirror: Welcome, Lorna. It’s a privilege to meet the woman both behind and inside this amazing book!
Lorna: (Smiling shyly, blushing ever so fetchingly) Oh, thank you so much, but it’s my privilege and honor to be here. I never expected my little book would attract this much attention. (Looking down, then looking into the camera and around at the audience with sincerity glistening in my eyes)
Mirror: This is your first book. Tell us about your writing career, your training as a writer, other works…
Lorna: (Clearing throat) Well, I have no formal training as a creative writer, but I’ve done a heck of a lot of writing in my life. You know–letters, emails, essays as a student, reports for work, shopping lists, the odd note to a teacher for my son—that kind of thing.
Lorna: And, um, I’ve read many, many books. You can learn a lot about writing from reading…
Mirror: How so? (Skeptical look from Mirror)
Lorna: (Shifting positions and looking to the ceiling, because “up” is where all the answers are—except when “down” is where they happen to be. I never know.) I pay attention to how writers write. I try to emulate the techniques of the good ones and avoid the problems of the bad ones. (Said with finality hoping Mirror doesn’t ask follow-up question about “good” and “bad” books. I never know how cooperative Mirror Me will be.)
Mirror: Moving on. Who are your muses?
Lorna: (Internal whew!) An amusing question. Get it? A-muse-ing?
Lorna: Seriously, I wrote a book about my life and what I learned from the wack-a-doodle situations I found myself in. I never gave much thought to muses. My inspiration for writing was a personal need to share my story so others might find something they could learn about their lives, too. I’ve always wanted to help people. Animals, too. But animals won’t read my book…too bad.
Mirror: (Somewhat distracted by last answer) Don’t famous people usually write memoirs?
Lorna: Yeah. I know. Those sell like umbrellas in Seattle. Thanks for pointing that out.
Mirror: But you chose to write your story—the story of an ordinary person. How could others learn anything from an ordinary person’s story?
Lorna: (Quelling swelling miffed feeling at being called “ordinary” twice) Well, do ordinary people get zapped by lightning twice and live to write to tell about it?
Mirror: Well, no. Really? Twice?
Lorna: Yes. Twice. And it probably explains a lot of things. Read my book. You’ll understand. But back to this “ordinary person” business… My story is everyone’s story. It’s a story about a person who faces what life throws at her in the best way she know how, makes a ton of mistakes, and keeps on going because the alternative is unthinkable. Whether you’re ordinary or famous, life happens. That’s everyone’s story. I just tell it with humor and honesty.
Mirror: Talk more about the humor and honesty.
Lorna: There’s a part in the book where my high school sweetheart dumped me and I lured him back one more time for “pity sex.” He gave me pubic lice as his parting gift. Not many people admit that kind of thing, especially when they know their mother will read it. In another part of the book I talk about my recovery from alcoholism by going to AA meetings. After my first AA meeting potential “sponsors” swarmed me, asking for my phone number and giving theirs. I wondered if this was how recovering drunks got dates. Too bad I left out a story about how I got stuck in a dress….
Mirror: What was that? You got stuck in a dress?
Lorna: Yeah, I was a chubby kid and the dress wasn’t stretchy. I’m sure they had elastic back then…But that’s not even in the book. Next question?
Mirror: Uh, okay. (Looking at handy interview notes) How is the book doing, sales-wise?
Lorna: (Making kooky look into the camera) I really don’t have a head for business, so I don’t know. Sales are slow but steady. I pay more attention to what people are saying about it. People who don’t know me are using words like: comic, poignant, interrogative, superb, emotional, engaging, delightful, insightful, openly honest, page-turner, suspenseful, witty, brave, inspirational, cathartic, sexy, compelling, and as good as any mystery read or love story.
Mirror: Did you always want to be a writer?
Lorna: Yes and no. My dream careers were: nun, nurse, Solid Gold Dancer, and actress. I said I always wanted to help people… But I always told myself, “I have a book in me.” I just didn’t know it was this one. After a string of really horrible bosses—men who were, let’s say, vertically challenged—I thought the book would be “Little Men, Big Problems.”
Mirror: Well, our time is just about up. Are you working on anything at the moment that the reading public can look forward to?
Lorna: Yes, I am. This book is a fictionalized account of a true story. It involves my grandmother and my mother, who emigrated from Finland to France and then to America. But they got stuck in Paris while it was occupied by the Germans during WWII. While the memoir is light and funny, this novel is quite dramatic—a real change in both genre and voice. It’s called “Never Turn Back.”
If you want to learn more about me or my book, hop on over to zany blog, Lorna’s Voice, right here on Word Press.