On this last day of February we might reach a high in the 20s, but this weekend will be frigid. The cold is one of the reasons why I love this week’s featured author…because we get to go away from it. I hop in the transporter and pick up Ms. Roxborough and in no time we’re lounging on a secluded beach in Hawaii where there is nothing but sun and sun and warm temps and did I mention sun. Sipping pina coladas and munching crab cakes, shrimp, and lobster and I’m never going to leave…well, until I have to go back to my job in frozen Iowa. Oh well, on with the interview.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I am a single mother of three adult children and six awesome grandchildren. I have been an artisan since the age of 6 and love creating beautiful things for others to enjoy. I love meeting new people and enjoying new experiences, so I am also an entrepreneur and partner in a couple of businesses that allow me to do both of those. I love to teach what I know and share the gifts I have been given with the world.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think that people would be surprised to know that I am not always as confident as I appear to be, or as strong. Most of my close friends I think see me as unshakeable most of the time, but that’s not really true. I have just learned to hide it well.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as a movie star?
Even in school I always enjoyed writing and seemed to be pretty good at it. After a break up with a common law husband, one of my daughters suggested that I should write a book about my rather interesting life. Coincidentally, several years before I had begun making notes with that intention. After hearing it from someone else, I started working diligently on a series about my life with the hope that my experiences would help and empower others as well. I felt that my story needed to be told in order to raise awareness on some very controversial, but serious issues.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
My favorite author to have dinner with I think would be Stephen King. I’ve read all of his books I think, and often wondered what kind of a mind could write the way he does, I mean where do some of his ideas come from? It would be very interesting to find out!
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?
It would take just about 4 hours to read through my book, perhaps a bit longer, so it would be perfect for a layover. A desert island would be a great place to reflect on some of the issues that come up in my book. Most readers have told me that they could relate to my experiences in some way and were able to start working through some of their own. What better time than alone on an island?
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
My story is 100% true, so I didn’t have to do any kind of research. For many years I saved small pieces of memorabilia and photos, so I started by using those to build a timeline. I just wrote about experiences that I remembered from those, and put them in order of when they occurred. From those notes I just started writing. I’ve always had a great memory, so once I started writing I could almost take myself back to the time I was writing about. I had a full time job, so I would make notes by hand during my breaks and then expand on them when I got back to my typewriter. That’s right, I started with hand written notes and graduated to an electric typewriter. When I finally moved to a computer it got a lot easier and faster. Most of my writing was done evenings and weekends, whenever I could fit it into my schedule.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
If you haven’t done much reading, I suggest doing that first. I have read some books that make me wonder if the author ever read a book before trying to write one. Then just start writing. Take notes, jot down ideas, anything that pops into your head. Let the idea formulate and when you are ready to start actually writing, do it when you will not be distracted. Most authors I have talked to say the same thing, once they start writing the words just seem to flow out of them. When you aren’t writing new material, read over and revise the original. If you have a close friend that you can trust, try brainstorming some of your ideas with them and build on those. Spend some time in meditation and just let the ideas come as they will. Then write, rewrite & edit until you are happy with the result.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
I heard a couple of quotes many years ago that have become my philosophy. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” – Jon Kabat Zinn & “A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are for”. John A. Shedd. I face everyday challenges with a positive attitude & enthusiasm, much like catching a wave. I take leaps of faith and encourage others to do the same, instead of being afraid to live life!
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
No I am not done writing yet. And Sew it Begins – The Intricate Pattern of Incest was the first book in my series Shadows of the Mind. I am currently working on the second book Between the Crack – Journey of an Addict and hope to publish it this spring/summer. Then on to the third book, title undecided as of this writing.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
Thanks so much for asking
Author website – http://shadowsofthemind.webs.com
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shadows-of-the-Mind
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DebbieRoxboroug
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/debbieroxborough