One of the best aspects of blogging is meeting other bloggers and writers!
Becky Lewellen Povich, of Missouri, was one of the very first bloggers and writers I met in the fascinating world of blogland.
Her blog is Becky Lewellen Povich: Writer, Humorist, Bliss Follower.
She revealed to readers that she was writing her memoir.
Many of us came to know her as a humorous, kind and thoughtful person.
Early on, she didn't have a title for her book. Eventually, it became, "From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir and More."
Fellow bloggers and writers shared Becky's joy when the book was finally finished and then printed!
You know, I think it takes great courage to delve into our past, think about the good and bad things that happened to us and even mistakes we've made, write about them and then share it with the world.
I applaud anyone who does that and that includes Becky!
Today, it is my extreme pleasure, to introduce those of you who have yet to meet her, to Becky.
For those who do know her, it is my hope you, too, will enjoy the question-and-answer format of an interview with Becky.
1. Becky, when you were writing your book, how often did you write and for how long? Where did you do most of your writing?
Well, since it took me only 12 years to write it, it’s apparent I didn’t write very often or for very long periods at a time. Since my memoir was my first attempt at writing anything longer than a 500 word newspaper column, or a 1200 word Chicken Soup for the Soul essay, it was difficult to get started and into the “groove.” Thankfully, too, after struggling for months, I heard that writing a memoir is much more difficult than writing fiction. It might seem like the opposite, because after all, writing memoir is about events you already know, you lived them. But remembering them and writing about them are two very different things. And unlike fictional stories with a beginning, middle, and ending, I just kept writing and writing until I felt like I was at a good stopping point. (I still have tons of memories to write about and I’m working on my sequel!)
2 2. Did you write in a notebook and use the same pen each time you wrote or was it all on computer? What are you most comfortable writing with?
As far as writing anything on paper, I did a lot of what I call “note scratchings.” In the beginning I tried to always have the same notebook with me at all times, so that when inspiration hit and I was away from my laptop, I could jot a few words or sentences down before I forgot them. But, no matter how many large or small tablets I bought, I usually found myself scribbling notes on any tiny piece of paper that was handy, thus: note scratchings! That’s the only time I hand wrote anything, because I’d write so fast, and nothing was legible, plus the fact that my hand and fingers wouldn’t be able to do it for more than a couple of minutes. Typing/keyboarding is definitely the only way for me.
3 3. How long, from start to finish, did it take you to write the book?
As I’ve said before, it took 12 years from the time I actually declared I was going to write my memoir, until I completed it. But I spent so much time not writing during those years for various reasons. Thankfully, I’m not having too much of a problem…..yet….writing the sequel.
4 4. If you could give advice to other writers about writing their
own memoirs, what would it be?
own memoirs, what would it be?
I have a Two-Part answer to that:
A) I’d say the same things that various authors and journalists told me. Read. Read books by authors you like, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Notice their different styles of writing, their “voice.” You will discover your own voice after you’ve written for a while. Just be yourself.
Search. Search online for blogs and websites that feature articles on writing, anything that has to do with the ups and downs, ins and outs of writing and publishing and platforms and marketing.
Learn. Learn as much as you can while you’re on your writing journey. Join writers’ groups if you can. Attend conferences and critique groups, if possible. Hang out with writer friends! They “get it!”
Feel free to write to authors you admire, famous or scarcely known, asking for their advice, etc. Maybe none of them will reply, but maybe one or two will. What do you have to lose?
B) Here is a favorite link of mine: http://www.barbaradoyen.com/writing-nonfiction/what-is-a-memoir-what-makes-a-memoir-different-from-an-autobiography-or-biography
5. What is the hardest aspect of marketing a book?
There isn’t just one aspect because so much goes into the marketing of a book. I think the biggest difficulty would be if the writer wasn’t quite sure of his/her finished product: the writing, the editing, the overall quality of the book. That may sound silly, but I’ve seen some that are in the category of books that give/gave “self-published” a really bad name. The next hardest is probably for those who are introverts. Fortunately, I’m an extrovert and I really enjoy the marketing part, but it takes a lot of time and energy to do it right, which makes it hard to keep writing, blogging, attending meetings, and doing a load or two of laundry!
6 6. How many public speaking engagements have you had?
Do you mean during all these past 12 years, or just the time after my book was published? During these past years, I’ve spoken at libraries, elementary schools, and high schools, which included all ages. I’ve been interviewed on radio stations and one local TV show. I’m a go-getter, so I expect to continue with these kinds of events.
7. What would you like readers to get out of reading your
I’d like readers to feel as if they’ve spent time with a great friend, talking and laughing over a cup of coffee, or glass of iced tea, or wine, etc. I’d like them to laugh at the funny incidents, maybe shed a tear when reading a sad or poignant chapter, and feel my strength when they read how I got through the hardest parts of my life.
8 8. Is it expensive for one to self-publish a book?
It can be very expensive, and there are so many companies online just waiting to “help” writers. This goes back to my answers to question 4. A lot of homework needs to be done to find out which companies are legitimate and have good policies, guidelines, and no hidden costs, etc. Ask around. Ask for advice.
9 9. Did you give a copy to your local library?
Yes, I gave a copy to a branch of my library district. I also mailed a complimentary copy to the library in Greenfield, Iowa. It’s the small town my maternal grandparents lived in for many years. And I also recently gave a copy to the library in Cahokia, Illinois which is the town I lived in for the first eight years of my life. Both towns are lovingly written about in my memoir.
1 10. How do you decide where to give a presentation about your book?
At this point in my career, my decision is mostly based on who will allow me to give a presentation! But, I know that will change, too. I have a couple of really nice events on my calendar for later this month, and in July.
Thank you very much, Susan, for having me as your blog guest! You asked terrific questions and I really enjoyed answering them. I hope your readers will want to run out and purchase my memoir J which is available in print, at various online locations, and e-book for Kindle.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO READ BECKY'S BOOK?
HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED WRITING YOUR OWN MEMOIR?