Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Autism Answer: Honored and Afraid - The Author Interview Series

Honored. Validated. Afraid. Excited. Vulnerable. Curious. 

These are a few of the feelings that cascaded over me when I was invited to take part in an Author Interview Series with author Mandy Eve Barnett. 

I'm an author; I'm sure of it. And yet, as with so many dreams that come true, it feels and looks different than when I imagined it as a little girl. I don't have Margaret Atwood's number in my Rolodex and I haven't been asked to sign books at bookstores or conferences. 

Some things are exactly as I imagined them. I'm broke. I've gotten wonderfully high off of kind book reviews and "fan" letters. I've also hidden away from the world in the almost physical pain of fear and self-doubt. I've lost hours of real time in a world of seemingly infinite time while writing. 

And I've answered questions, in podcasts and now in writing, about my book and myself as a writer. I've shared heavy and illusive writing hopes along with what snacks I prefer and some marketing tips. 

I'm honored. I feel validated. There's fear that I will waste your time. I'm excited to tell you more. I've stripped my reasons naked, left them vulnerable. I'm curious - what this means, what you'll think, what I'll do next. I'm curious about so many things. 

Mostly, though, I'm grateful. 
To you, to Mandy, and to myself.

I invite you to peek at the interview, my friends! Scroll down for an excerpt and a link to the full interview. 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

An Author Interview? Me!? Why, yes please!!
Article Excerpt:
What inspired you to write your first book? 
As a little girl I wanted to be a writer and a mom when I grew up. I have four sons who have given me all the reason in the world to learn important things. Including, following up on my passions. I’ve always been writing, but I had never actually finished anything until about ten years ago. My boys were sleeping and I sat up all night writing a screenplay. It was intoxicating! I’d never wanted to write a screenplay, a novelist is how I’ve always imagined myself, so perhaps that’s why it got written so easily. I wasn’t in my own way with fears and intense desires. Anyway, writing and finishing that screenplay encouraged me to write and complete articles and short stories. One day someone commented on an article I’d written, “Collect articles into a book.” His comment was kind, but more than that, it planted the seed of an idea. Over time that seed grew into a true idea for what is now my first book, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up.

How did you come up with the title? 
I borrowed the title from a song on my mom’s Crazy to Sane CD. In her song, Crazy to Sane, she has the lyric “spinning in circles and laughing to myself” which I’ve always liked. When I asked myself why I liked it the reason was largely visual. It’s fun to imagine! But also it’s because I find myself always learning the same lessons over and over in life, but with more experiences and bigger understanding. So I wrote an article “Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself” which sort of examples one of the big ideas I try to present in my book. As we grow up we are consistently learning from ourselves; the world offers us ideas and perspectives and we then take them inside ourselves to evaluate them. Too many of us don’t do this with enough purpose or clarity, leaving us open to eagerly—but uncomfortably—adopt the beliefs and assumptions given to us by others. However, with the vision of spinning in circles I imagine collecting images and colors from the world, but using myself as a center to discover my own interpretations. My own passions and beliefs. The subtitle is equally important to me. A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up reminds me that our lives are a collection of stories and that we have the pleasure of slowly growing them. Of telling our stories with more and more understanding and knowledge, but also of accepting that everyone is different and that their stories are equally valuable even when they are drastically different, or even opposed, to our own. Because when we look at the stories we believed about ourselves when we were young, they often are not how we would tell the story now. We often don’t agree with our old selves, and this is beautiful to remember. Because we weren’t evil or stupid or wrong when we were younger, we were just different. This can serve as a beautiful reminder not to judge others as evil or stupid or wrong. Just different.
Read More Here: Interview with Tsara Shelton on Mandy Eve Barnett's Blog