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Becky Villareal – Books for Children

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Today we welcome Becky Villarel,

 Born in Dallas, Texas to missionary parents. 

“As the fourth of five children I was often left to my own devices to entertain myself.  So inventing new stories became my passion at a very early age where I would create small books out of any scraps of paper I could find around the house.

“For twenty years I taught in the Dallas Independent School District.  For the past ten years I have been completing family research on my mother’s and father’s families. The grandmother of two I enjoy writing and spending time with my family.

“As an elementary teacher and ten-year veteran of genealogy, I have been able to enjoy not only working with children but finding out about my family history.

One of the books you wrote, Gianna the Great, is an interesting book. Tells us about it.

“Gianna just wants to know about her ancestors, but she has to join an after school history club to do it. Now, she’s about to embark on a journey that will change everything she thinks she knows about her family. becky first boookAknaXBL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

The mother is both unwilling and unable to give her information on her father.  Finding out information is a big part of the story.  In the beginning of the series, she doesn’t want her daughter digging up old bones because of how her own mother reacted when she was expecting Gianna.

What was your primary reason for writing the books?
“To encourage children to explore their ancestry.  This would mean actually talking to their grandparents to get information.  In today’s society, so few families take the time to talk to one another anymore and I was hoping to begin these important conversations.  When the older members of our families pass away, that link to the family history is often lost.
“The use of Multicultural books in and out of the classroom in this day and time is imperative  when so many children are coming from multi-racial and multi-cultural backgrounds. The need for them to see their reflection in books is one of the ways to encourage them to become life-long readers and learners as well.”
Tell us about the Genealogical Research.
“Genealogical research is taking what you know about your family and searching for what you don’t know.  It begins with discussions with  parents, grandparents, and any family members who might have information; this includes pictures and stories.  After this information is put together, you can begin an actual family tree (see attached) this is where it becomes like a puzzle. What piece is missing, a name, date of birth, or place of birth?  These records can be found online many times through Family Search.org that has one of the largest databases available free of cost.   There is also the National Archives and Genealogy Departments available in the larger libraries.  As the tree grows, so does the bank of information that can be put together in book form and given to relatives.
“By learning about my family history, I found out why my hair is the color and texture it is, why I have an overbite and why I have a very strong, determined nature that can take me through the many trials of life.  It is because of my ancestors and the resilience they
have shown that I am who I am.”
Then you wrote, Halito Gianna.: The Journey Continues. Tell us about it.
“On her  journey, she was able to access online information and find out things she never envisioned. However, many of the questions she has remain unanswered until in the new book, Halito Gianna: The Journey Continues Gianna Saldaña finds out about connections she never knew existed.” becky second book41R488IPoBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
Why did you get into writing and researching this information.
“I have been a family genealogist for over ten years now and have researched ways of finding out obscure information online.  When my own children began to ask questions, I knew I needed to have the truth in hand.  This gave me the idea of Gianna who is modeled after one of the students I worked with who is bright, articulate and curious.
There is a third book currently in the hands of my wonderful agent Jessica Schmedlier who works with Golden Wheat Literary Agency that promises an even better journey!
Becky, thank you so much for visiting today and telling us about these wonderful books.
These are great books for parents to get for their children.
Be sure and visit Becky at:
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Bob Srother––A Page Turning Author

We welcome Bbob strother photoob Strother with us today.

We’ve known Bob Strother for since the beginning of Southern Writers Magazine. He is a master at writing short stories and his short stories have been published in numerous magazines.

Bob, you wrote a book called Burning Time. David Burnsworth, author of the Brack Pelton Mystery Series said,Burning Time is a page-turner of historical fiction! Strother is a class act whose prose does not disappoint. He has mastered the art of rooting the reader in the time-period and then supported that with a great coming of age tale.”

Tell us about the book.

Set in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the early 1900s, Burning Time  portrays the life of Louise Schmidt, from early childhood to adulthood, as Louise, her mother, and younger brother fight to survive the abuse of Louise’s father, Will.bob strother book_

 The largess of Will’s parents initially provides refuge from her father’s drunken exploits, but Louise learns too young that nothing lasts forever. Though previously ostracized from the family, the prodigal son returns at the behest of his ailing father, and brings along a new wife, Maude, who fans the flames of Will’s inherent avarice and disregard for his former wife and children.

At fifteen, Louise is forced from the only home she’s ever known and into marriage with a man ten years her senior.  Even as Louise comes to terms with her life and assumes the role of family matriarch, she still must face the consequences of her actions—including a death sentence for murder.

Susan M. Boyer, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Liz Talbot Mystery Series said, “One-part Southern Gothic, one part crime novel, one part coming-of-age story, Burning Time is a compelling read I couldn’t put down. It’s beautifully delivered in Strother’s clear, concise prose and authentic Southern voice.

Now, you have a new historical novel out, A Fire To Be Kindled, the sequel to Burning Time.

Tell us about it.

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This sequel begins with the Roaring Twenties. Cleared of murder charges and finally free of her father’s tyranny, Louise, it would seem, has it all. With money in the bank, she branches out into other business ventures. Meanwhile, the family delights in young Bobby’s escapades while See-Boy builds a lucrative, albeit shady, side business. But, as Louise knows all too well, hard times are always just around the corner. As the Great Depression besieges the country, Louise and her family suffer personal trials — an unwanted pregnancy, clandestine love affairs, and unseen forces scheming behind the scenes to tear apart everything Louise has, including her family.

Wow, well we will be reading this sequel. You did an excellent job weaving your story and characters together in Burning Time, I definitely want to see what happens in this new book.

Bob, thank you for visiting with us today. I know readers are going to love this sequel. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for being such a wonderful supporter of Southern Writers Magazine.

To order Bob’s book Burning Tree go to:

https://moonshinereview.wordpress.com/moonshine-press-releases/burning-time-new-publication-by-moonshine-press/

To Order his new book A Fire to be Kindled:

https://moonshinereview.wordpress.com/moonshine-press-releases/new-a-fire-to-be-kindled-bob-strother

Be sure and visit Bob at: https://www.facebook.com/bob.strother

Maritza Martinez Mejia–Vanilla and Chocolate

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Maritza Martinez Mejia, a bilingual educator, author, and translator born in Colombia, lives in Florida with her husband and their two teenagers. For her active participation to the community, she obtained the Crystal Apple Award 2006. For her literary work, she received The VCB Award 2015, and Latino Book Awards 2016. 

Maritza published her memoir Hazel Eyes (2010), Vanilla and Chocolate (2012), Grandma’s Treasure (2014), Poems, Thoughts and More (2015), and Ojos Avellana (2016). 

Tell us about your latest book. How did it come about?maritza-martinez-mejia-vanilla-and-chocolate-2017-sw

Vanilla and Chocolate was published in October 2012 by WRB Publishing. This book was written to help children understand the virtue of tolerance and appreciate each other’s differences. In 2017, my illustrator and I, created new characters and fresh drawing to celebrate its five years of publication.

What is the story behind the creation?

Vanilla and Chocolate is an honor to all teachers who dedicate their lives to education. The story behind the creation is to reflect the hard work teachers endured and the responsibility behind teaching. This is the first book of Lessons for Living Collection. In summary, the tale is about a concerned teacher who helps two friends be together after their parents refused to let them play because of their skin color.

Was your book research intensive? Did you find some fun facts?

The research was not intensive, but the editing process was. The topic required a careful approach and delicate words to make the message clear to children ages 5 – 10 years old or Kindergarten to 4th graders.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

I didn’t find not so fun facts, but did find not enough children’s books about the topic to research. For this reason, I felt an important topic to address even though, racism, it is not an easy topic to discuss with young children.

Does coincidence play a role in your book? If so, what was strangest coincidence you experienced and did you use it in your book?

I didn’t experience coincidences in writing Vanilla and Chocolate first edition. I had a clear picture of my goal since the moment I wrote the first draft. The second edition was written as student’s request. The more I visited school classrooms to read the story, the more I noticed the need to include more characters in the story that represents them. I listened to my young audience and worked together with my illustrator to please their demand.

What do you like most about writing?

As a mother, educator and author, my motivating passion is to help children and teenagers through inspiring and creative stories. I write monthly reflections and quotes on my blog and social media “LuzDelMes” to inspire people to be good and do well.

What do you like least?

My writing style may be rejected since English is my second language after Spanish, but I love to write in both languages. What I like least is to translate from one language to another. Each tongue has its particular music and rhythm difficult to reflect in both languages.

Are you working on the next book?

Yes, I am working on my next book, it is a rhyming picture book. This is new to me, but I love writing challenges. I wrote Grandma’s Treasure, the second book of Lessons for Living Collection in 2014. Now, it is the time for the third tale: “Grandpa’s Box.”  I expected the book to be ready in the summer 2018.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

Vanilla and Chocolate took me a year from the first draft to the final, but the story was in my drawer for several years. I wrote the tale to my children who are now in College.

Tell us something fun you like to do.

This is not an easy question to answer. What I used to like the most, and have fun with it, was traveling. Now days, it is getting too complicated and the fun experience is turning into a scary situation. So, I think for me writing and presenting my books in different locations are my fun experience for the moment.

What’s next for you in writing?

My next projects are to complete the six tales of Lessons for Living Collection, and write the continuation of “Poems, Thoughts and More” a second bilingual poetry book (English & Spanish).

Thank you for visiting us today. Let us know when the new book is released.

 Be sure and drop by Maritza’s website and say hello and follow her on social medias. You can reach Maritza in all social media as LuzDelMes.
www.luzdelmes.com

Molly Jebber Amish Historical Romance

molly      Welcome Molly Jebber, Amish Historical Romance author. We are delighted to have you today.

You have a new book releasing, January 30, 2018 titled liza second chance

 Tell us about your latest book.

Liza’s Second Chance” is the first Amish Historical Romance book in my Amish Charm Bakery Series. The sweet welcome of straight-from-the-oven sugar cookies and hot cocoa. The warm invitation of apple pie and fresh cold milk. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is the heart of a close-knit, faith-nourished community, where people can find a refuge, a place to start again—and love that can make their lives new . . .

For Liza Schrock, the bakery her late husband bought was an unexpected haven from their unhappy arranged marriage. Now she’s perfectly content to cook up mouth-watering delights for her hometown, give to those alone or in trouble—and remain happily unwed. And though she’s willing to give handsome, newly arrived widower Jacob Graber all the help he desperately needs, she is sure they can stay just friends . . .

But as Liza also tries to aid Jacob’s troubled teenage daughter, she starts caring far too much for his gentle ways and steadfast hopes. And when a wrenching secret she must keep comes between them, can Liza find the faith to risk opening her heart again—and reach for one more chance at real love?
How did it come about?

I visited the Amish community of Charm, Ohio, several times, and fell in love with the quaint, small town. The shops were filled with beautiful quilted items and unique ideas, and the Amish food was delicious at the restaurant.  I wanted to write a bakery themed Amish story and the community of Charm seemed to fit. miller's dry goods                               helping_hands_quilts__47726.1396578279.285.250

What is the story behind the creation?

I love making up my characters and stories. Although Liza, Ellie, Jacob, Hannah, and the rest of my characters are real now that I’ve formed their personalities, quirks, and brought trouble and happy times in their lives to keep readers entertained. I also loved adding an additional character insisting on causing my hero and heroine so much trouble!

Was your book research intensive?

The visit to Charm, talking to the Amish, and learning more about them was fun. I enjoy all the research.

Did you find some fun facts?

Writing Amish Historical Romance, I research the time period, and learn so many facts about what happened in that particular year.  “Liza’s Second Chance” takes place in 1912, the same year the Titanic met its demise. I learned interesting tidbits of information about it, and put them into the book.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

I did feel sad for the people who suffered the loss of their loved ones during the Titanic tragedy.

What do you like most about writing?

I love interacting with readers during Facebook parties, signings, speaking engagements, etc.

I can see God’s hand in all the exciting things that have happened since I first sat down to write my first book. He continues to amaze me, and I’m so grateful.

What do you like least?

That last edit!

Are you working on the next book?

Yes. Book 2 in the Amish Charm Bakery Series.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

Eight months, because I love walking on the beach, swimming, and the things I mentioned below. Sometimes I have to get on myself and say, “Time to write!” But I always make sure I’m ahead of my agent and publisher’s deadlines.

Tell us something fun you like to do.

I love to write, read, golf (but I’m not that good), travel on cruises and take weekend trips, spend time with my husband, Ed, and Misty, my daughter, and friends. I hardly ever turn down going to lunch or shopping! Now, skydiving is a different story. No way! LOL

What’s next for you in writing?

To finish out my contract for the Amish Charm Bakery Series with Book 2 and Book 3, and I already have an idea for a new Amish Historical Romance series to submit to my agent for my publisher.

Thank you Molly for visiting with us and sharing this information about your new book. Can’t wait to read it.

Be sure and check Molly’s website for more upcoming information on her new book.

http://www.mollyjebber.com

https://www.facebook.com/molly.morrisjebber

 

Lindsey Brackett~Still Waters

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Welcome Lindsey, we are delighted to have you  on Authors Visits.

I am axious to hear the story behind the creation of Still Waters.

This novel really started with a place—Edisto Beach, where my family spent most summers of my childhood. When I first decided I thought I could actually do this, write a book, all I knew was I wanted a story set on Edisto. From there I began to build characters who might be there and to discover what brings them back or makes them stay away. As I grew as a writer, and began to understand how little I knew about novel structure, the plot changed many times, but ultimately it has always been a story of homecoming, relying on the power of family that ties us to a place.

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What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?

I love writing as a craft. I love to trip over the words and find the best verb to suit an action or develop a way to make a scene seem to linger—without compromising my word count. I love to see the story escalate and the tension heighten. I love resolution, though plotting is a struggle for me. I’m 100% pantser. But the crafting of a story, nothing about that stresses me out. I even love editing and rewriting, though at times it gets tedious. What I don’t like is the after—the pitching and selling and marketing. I’d really love to have a personal assistant who could do all that for me.

How long did it take to write this book?

Forever it seemed. I started fiddling with this story in 2007. I had two really young daughters and I was teaching middle school. It was the height of the Twilight era and all my students (girls) loved that book. I read it with them so we could discuss it, and I thought, this writer is not that different from me. If she can do this, so can I. But then life happened (two more kids) and along the way, I lost momentum for much beyond sleep. When I picked the story back up in 2014, I still had no idea what I was doing, but I’d been blogging awhile and was more comfortable with my voice. I attended a writers conference, received some positive feedback, and over the next year, completely rewrote the book so it would be ready to pitch. It went under contract with LPC Books in November 2015. So it’s been a long road to publication.

Where did the characters come from?

Nan is modeled after my maternal grandmother whom we called Grandmommy White Hair. She died suddenly the Christmas I was ten, and so much of this story was motivated by the “what if she’d lived” scenario. What would she have been like for me to experience as an adult? She was a true Southern lady and my mother, aunt, and uncle make sure we grandkids remember her and our grandfather. Lou is much sterner and colder than my own mother, but my mom wrangled a passel of kids, too, so they have that in common. Cora Anne and I share a lot of the same qualities—that tendency to hold onto guilt and perfectionism, but she’s way more organized and self-disciplined that I have ever been. Tennessee’s patience and persistence with her are characteristics I borrowed from my own marriage.

What does this book mean to you?

I remember, the day Eva told me she would contract my story, crying so hard because when this story is read, it’s like my grandmother is living again. So much of what I remember—and it doesn’t matter if it’s fact, it’s an impression—is embedded in these pages. My grandparents lived in Colleton County and spent every summer on Edisto after the tobacco was brought in from the fields. We hunted snail shells and made homemade ice cream and she loved to play solitaire. It was so important to me that I get the pace of Edisto right, because it’s a slow place. There’s a phrase I use in the story “an invitation to linger hung among the Spanish moss of the live oaks edging the highway” and for me, that captures Edisto. It’s a place to linger and refresh and let your soul be filled with good food and fun family memories.

What was the hardest thing to write in this story? What was the easiest?

Probably, since I knew I was going to sell CBA, the spiritual takeaway was difficult. I didn’t want to be preachy and I didn’t want to make assumptions about anyone’s faith when they read my book. I just want them to enjoy the story, and if they want to talk about how Cora Anne found her peace, it’s there, but hopefully in a very organic way that rings true of the characters and setting.

The easiest part, for me, was indeed evoking the setting. I researched and read a lot of history, even though it’s not a historical novel. I used this as an excuse to go on vacation and I made notes about what I saw and heard and touched. Edisto is very much a main character of the novel.

What’s next for you in writing?

Well, I have several projects going, including a Christmas novella that gives Hannah and Ben (Still Waters minor characters) a story. I’ve also got a sequel for Still Waters in the works. But an agent gave me some valuable advice to pursue a completely different project because of its strong hook and sale-ability. The new project is more Southern Gothic, really strong narrative drive, teenage protagonist, and all the drama and conflict of a small community split down the county line by a tragedy. There’s football and fried chicken and country music and references to Friday Night Lights and Footloose. It’s really different from Still Waters—not nearly as lyrical—but I’m enjoying the process of creating a completely different world. It’s set in the North Georgia mountains, which is where I’m from, so that’s been fun to make people see what this culture is like, because Appalachia is not the same as the Lowcountry.

Be sure and get her new book, releasing September 2017.

Thank you for visiting today.  

Please visit Lindsey at: https://lindseypbrackett.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LindseyPBrackett/

https://twitter.com/@lindsbrac/

 

 

Diane Burton~Adventure and Romance

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Welcome to Authors Visits Diane. We love your books. I especially like the title on your website, Adventure and Romance–in this world and beyond. It intrigues my imagination. Thank you for coming today.

I won’t to know about your series. How they started, why you write different ones and why you’ve added two new genres-mystery and romantic suspense? 

Switched started as a fun story because I’d felt beaten down by rejections of my romances. My heroine is very fond of Star Trek. So when she’s transported aboard an alien starship and thinks it’s a gag pulled by her brother, she sees everything in terms of the TV show and movies. Switched was supposed to be a stand-alone book, not a series. When readers started asking when I would write Scott’s (a secondary character) story, I had to and that became Switched, Too. The 3rd book, Switched Resolution, wrapped up everything.

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My second series, Outer Rim, explores what strong women have to do to survive and flourish on the frontier of space. Each story is a stand-alone. Secondary and tertiary characters eventually get their own stories. This series was a lot of fun to write while exploring the heroine’s relationships—with their parents, best friends, romantic interests. I chose a different “world” for this series because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do in the Switched world.

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When did you join Romance Writers of America? How do you feel your association with them helps you as an author?

I joined RWA when I decided to write for publication in 1993. I learned a lot from the national conferences and the magazine Romance Writers Report. At the same time, I joined the local chapter, Mid-Michigan RWA. My fellow writers are super-supported. They are my rock when my confidence is shaken.

 

What three things do you do to make yourself successful in your writing?

I’m visible online—I blog (my own plus as a contributor to two others, Paranormal Romantics and The Roses of Proses), Facebook, Twitter, my website—I’m active in online writers’ groups and offer other authors spots on my blog.

 

One of your newest books is The Case of the Meddling Mama. This is book 3 in your Alex O’Hara Novels series.  Tell us a little about this book.

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Well, once again, Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries. After surviving an attempted murder, all she wants is R&R time with Nick Palzetti. But his mother leaving his father (“that horse’s patoot”) and moving in with Alex puts a crimp in their plans. Then Nick leaves on assignment and the teen she rescued from an abusive father believes his buddy is doing drugs. Meanwhile, Alex has two easy cases to take her mind off her shaky relationship with Nick—a philandering husband and a background check on a client’s boyfriend. Piece of cake.

This is great Diane. Can’t wait to read it.  I thank you so much for visiting with us today.

Every one can go to Diane’s website and keep up with her events. Just go to

http://www.dianeburton.com/home.html

Linda Phillips~A Beautiful Here

 

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We want to welcome Linda Phillips today. She is the author of  A Beautiful Here: Emerging From The Overwhelming Darkness of My Son’s Suicide.

Linda, thank you so much for coming today and sharing with us your story. Tell us about your book and the story behind it. 

Actually, A Beautiful Here is my first book. I’ve always loved to write essays, poetry and a sundry of other things. But in 1996, my life changed in such a way that led me all these years later to write this book.beautiful here

In 1996, my 22-year-old son, Nuçi, killed himself. He had suffered from major depression manifesting in his early teens. Now it’s true that in this country, someone takes his/her life about every 12.3 minutes. But this one is different.  It was my son. My family’s tragedy. It was up too close and too personal. I had to do something.

So you wrote your book, A Beautiful Here. Tell us about your son. 

Nuçi was one of the finest people I’ve had the privilege to know. He was kind, caring, smart, talented, sincere and though he couldn’t see it very handsome. Until the age of 16 years, he was, as far as one could see, happy and easy-going. But when major depression assaulted his brain, this happy young man morphed into a sullen, withdrawn doppelgänger of my son. With treatment, he struggled to feel good and as was his practice, he threw his whole self into getting healthy. Sadly, Nuçi was one of the minority of depressed people who don’t respond sufficiently to treatment. On Thanksgiving Day 1996, he ended his life. I’m sure he was tired. He had tried so hard but was not able to sustain a bearable life and as he told his psychiatrist, he didn’t want to spend his life in and out of hospitals.

As soon as I was at a point in the grief process (years later) that I could think clearly, I decided to create a foundation in Nuçi’s memory, one that would be fitting for an aspiring rock star. We opened for business in 2000. Now in 2017 Nuçi’s Space in Athens, Georgia is flourishing. We bought an old warehouse, restored it and turned it into practice rooms for musicians. With the money we make, we provide low-cost mental health counseling for those suffering from brain illnesses. We also depend on private donations, grants and benefits for support. Not only do we have practice rooms, we have a stage, a coffee bar, a library and a meeting place for support groups. Camp Amped is one of the programs I am most proud. Every summer, budding musicians ages 11 – 17 come and are mentored by some of the most talented musicians in Athens, including members of the Drive by Truckers, Widespread Panic and many others. And, most important, they learn life skills including how to get along with and respect others.

In 2016, after thousands of musicians, artists and music lovers have passed through our doors, many having received professional counseling through us, I’m privileged to say we have been instrumental in saving lives. In my work with a Survivors of Suicide Support Group, I have talked and grieved with a wide range of people who have lost loved ones to suicide. It finally became clear to me that I needed to write about my experience not because it is unique to me but because my experience is shared by so many like me who have lost someone they love to suicide. 44,193 Americans die each year by suicide. That’s a lot of people.

As a survivor, I have a story and I feel it is incumbent upon me to share my story. Hopefully, it will help another survivor or someone suffering from major depression. And perhaps, it will enlighten and educate the ignorant who contend that mental (brain) illnesses aren’t real. You know the ones! “What have you got to be unhappy about?”  My favorite: “He took the easy way out by killing himself! What a coward!.” And the list goes on and the stigma persists.

Your research must have been intensive

I am a Registered Nurse and my husband is a Radiologist. We’ve both had mental health experience. When we identified Nuçi’s depression, I read and researched everything I could find on the subject. But the bulk of my knowledge, Nuçi taught me.  The one positive fact is that 99% of people who get appropriate treatment do well.

So tell us what took place in order for this book to be written and published.

My husband and I moved to NYC about six years ago. Having never been published before, I wasn’t sure how to go about it. After speaking to an editor and discovering that she would charge what I thought was an astronomical fee, I was very disappointed. A few days later, I met my neighbor, an old newspaper man, in the elevator. I was bemoaning my experience with the editor. He emphatically said that I didn’t need an editor, I needed his wife, a literary agent! The next night, I met with her. She was great, had a particular interest in mental illness and held my hand through the whole writing process. Thanks to her and that old newspaper man, I found my voice and my confidence. Only in New York!

What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?

I happen to love the solitude of writing. Me, my thoughts and my desktop! Although I flooded my keyboard many times while writing this book, I learned a lot about myself. Finding just the right words to express my thoughts and my feelings clarified so much for me. Also, this writing reminded me and confirmed that there were many more good times than bad ones in our life with Nuçi. He was so much more than his illness!

Are you working on the next book?

At the moment, I’m not working on another book but I’m getting that itch which can only be scratched by my typing.

I understand your book, A Beautiful Here, is being translated into Albanian. How did that come about?

This is quite significant for my family. And here comes a coincidence. My husband and I have our ritual cappuccino almost every day. On one of these occasions my husband is standing in line to order. A woman in front of him is asked by another customer, “Are you Italian?” “No,” she responds, “I’m Albanian.” My husband’s ears perk up and he interjects, “I’m Albanian too.” It happens that her parents and husband are from the same towns as my husband’s parents. She then asks my husband what he does for a living. “I’m a radiologists.” With a look of surprise, she responds, “I am too!” She has a son named Pier and my husband’s name is Pierre. It goes on and on from there. Her husband’s father knew Pierre’s grandfather! We have all become good friends. Our friends mother is translating my book! Only in New York.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

Once I started to write, my story poured out in torrents. It took about six months to finish.

Tell us something fun you like to do.

I love to read and consider myself a chain reader. I must have a book waiting to pick up as soon as I finish one. Yoga is what keeps me grounded and healthy. And I love walks in Central Park with my husband.

What’s next for you in writing?

Not sure yet. Recently, I had a most interesting day at Nuçi’s Space. I think I’d like to write about some of those days, of which there have been many. I’d also like to delve into the stigma which continues to weigh heavily on mental illness.

Well I hope you do, and we want you to let us know when it releases.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know it will help many families who have experienced a loss like yours.

Come back and see us soon.

Linda’s website is: https://www.lindaphillips.org/