Interview with Writer, Blogger, and Author JoAnne Macco #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Good Morning, and welcome to another writer and or blogger interview. I’m excited to share with you an interview with a newly published author, JoAnne Macco. I think you’ll love her blog and her book as much as I do.

As per usual, this interview will also be featured on the Go Dog Go Cafe, a blog for writers and lovers of writing, of all kinds. It’s a blogger and writer’s community so make sure you stop by there after reading this interview on my site. You can also submit writing of your own on the site such as poetry and short fiction through the Contact Page.

JoAnne’s blog site is JoAnne of the Forest: Anything is Possible with Faith, Hope, and Perseverance. 


JoAnne Silvia Picture
Credit: JoAnne Macco

1. JoAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

On WordPress, I’m best known as JoAnna of the Forest and I live in North Carolina on the east coast of the U.S.

In January, I took a leap of faith and retired from a 30-year career as a substance abuse counselor to spend more time writing and painting angels. My goal is to provide hope through my blog, and my book, Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.

My long-term goals are to continue to develop my storytelling skills, to write a novel based on my parents, and to travel more. As a military kid, my family moved around a great deal.

I longed to settle in one place, so I’ve stayed near the Carolina coast for most of my adult life. It’s comfortable here, most of the year, although summers can become hot and humid. It helps that my little urban cottage is 15 minutes from the ocean and surrounded by trees that provide a lot of shade.


2. When Did you Begin Writing and Blogging? For What Reason and What Does Writing Mean To You? 

I wrote poems and songs in high school and I’ve journaled, off and on, for most of my life. Writing has always been therapeutic for me, which is probably why I wrote more when I approached menopause as a single mom with a 13-year-old daughter.

Writing helped me find perspective and meaning during those rollercoaster years. When I wrote my book in 2012, someone told me I needed to blog as well. Blogging has broadened my world tremendously, and I’m thankful to be part of this supportive community on WordPress. I believe that when we all share our experience, thoughts, and feelings, we discover that we have more in common than we might have realized.


“In January, I took a leap of faith and retired from a 30-year career as a substance abuse counselor to spend more time writing and painting angels. My goal is to provide hope through my blog, “Anything is Possible,” and my book, Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.” – JoAnne Macco


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write and Blog? Why Is Writing Significant to You? 

I’ve learned a lot in my 60 years of life and I’m still learning a ton. I hope to share my experience and give people hope that even when your world seems to be falling apart, things are going to work out if you hang in there and work on you. Plus, writing helps me organize my thoughts and process my feelings. It helps me explore what I want to understand better about myself and the world.


4. Do You Have Particular Writing and/or Blogging Habits? What Do You Enjoy Most About Writing? 

Since I’m a night owl, my natural tendency is to write more in the afternoon and evening. But when I was working on my book, I found I had to write in the morning to keep from being distracted and staying up too late.

I’d force myself write in the morning for at least two hours before looking at any social media or email. Then, after checking those, I’d return to writing a couple of more hours in the afternoon.

I loved those long stretches of working on my book and becoming absorbed in the process. I look forward to doing that again with my next book. For now, I’m writing most of my blog posts at night.


“I hope to share my experience and give people hope that even when your world seems to be falling apart, things are going to work out if you hang in there and work on you. Plus, writing helps me organize my thoughts and process my feelings.” – JoAnne Macco 


5. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects with Your Blog and Outside of Your Blog?

On my blog, I’m searching for positive and inspiring experiences to share with others, whether these experiences are global, local, or personal stories about overcoming challenges and also about meaningful coincidences.

I want to engage readers about relationship issues and personal growth topics that come up a lot in Trust the Timing, my book on Amazon.com. Outside of blogging, I’m beginning to research and collect material for future books I want to write.


6. Have You Published Your First Book? Do You Plan To Publish More in the Future?

I’ve just published my first book, Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again which is told from the alternating perspectives of two high school sweethearts. It became available on Amazon.com in July 2017.

As well, I’m planning to write and publish at least two more books, one about Doodle, the problem step-dog (who makes an appearance in my first book). Also, I’m writing a novel based on the lives of my extraordinary parents. At some time, I would also like to publish a book of poetry.


“On my blog, I’m searching for positive and inspiring experiences to share with others, whether these experiences are global, local, or personal, stories about overcoming challenges and about meaningful coincidences.’ – JoAnne Macco


Trust the Timing: A Memoir of Finding Love Again

by

JoAnne Macco

(Available for Purchase one Amazon.com)

*****

Book Cover JoAnne Macco Amazon.com
Credit: JoAnne Macco (Amazon.com)

*****


7. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? Did You Self-Publish or Go Through and Agent or Publishing Company? 

When I first started writing, I edited too much as I went along. Now, I think about a story or blog post in my head for a while first. When it comes to the writing, I’ve learned that a stream-ofaconsciousness style, without editing, makes my writing more interesting and fun.

I try to draft a chapter or a blog post without editing as if I’m talking to a friend. Then I’ll go back and edit the chapter or post later. Although, I don’t know if I’d want to write an another entire book like that. As I mentioned earlier, it’s better if I write before I peruse social media. I have to keep reminding myself of that!

Moreover, after considerable research and weighing the pros and cons, I decided to self-publish with Create Space for my memoir. I enjoyed the control this provided me. I think my next book maybe done with a small publishing company.


“When I first started writing, I edited too much as I went along. Now, I think about a story or blog post in my head for a while first. When it comes to the writing, I’ve learned that a stream of consciousness style, without editing, makes my writing more interesting and fun.” – JoAnne Macco


8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genres? 

In college, I took journalism and technical writing and my previous career required a lot of factual reporting and clinical notes. As a result when I began writing my book I had a strong nonfiction framework. Also, I’ve enjoyed learning more about creative nonfiction over the past five years, working on my memoir.

Moreover, I’ve always been talented at making up stories in my head and I look forward to writing more fiction. However, my reading habits lean toward inspirational nonfiction, by authors like Anne Lamott and Elizabeth Gilbert, with an occasional sci-fi novel thrown in for fun.


9. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Bloggers and Writers Starting Out? 

I think I started writing and blogging, being too serious. Maybe it was my journalism and technical writing background? I thought I knew how to write, but creative writing is a whole different process than what I had been used to writing. To begin, I took online classes and engaged with supportive critique groups. 

Moreover, I learned that it’s vital to be conscientious and caring, when you’re writing, but not to forget to have fun. Also, it’s a good idea not to make your blog posts too long. About ‘five hundred’ words are plenty for a post (unless of course, you’re doing an interview). As well, I’ve learned to use photograps in every blog post I publish. 

My creative writing experience outside of blogging is primarily with my memoir. What I’ve learned from it is to write from your heart and not to be afraid to delve into those feelings if you’re in an emotionally stable place. It can be difficult and you’ll need to take breaks. Also, I’m sure writing fiction can bring up emotional baggage too. If you’re not ready for that, write for fun. Write poetry to yourself or write in a journal.

You can also keep a notebook handy for ideas that pop-up in your head so you can jot them down and allow these ideas to flow and transform into some kind writing later on.


“I’m sure writing fiction can bring up baggage, too. If you’re not ready for that yet, just write for fun. Write poetry to yourself. Keep a journal. Keep a notebook handy for ideas that” – JoAnne Macco


Writing Notebook Thought Catalogue UnSplash
Credit: Thought Catalogue via UnSplash

10. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share About Yourself or Your Writing? 

In my short biography, I describe myself as an open-minded, tree-hugging Christian. Like Madeleine L’Engle, I don’t consider myself a “Christian writer” but a writer who happens to be a Christian. I like to explore spirituality and connections between things that don’t seem to be connected.


11. Just for Fun. What Are Your Top Three Favorite Blogs? What Do You Enjoy About Them? 

It’s so difficult to name only three! I could easily name 10 favorites or more! But here it goes:

  • Sacred Touches –  Natalie Scarberry always has something to comfort or inspire me with vibrant colors and natural delights.
  • SmileCalm Home – David’s gentle, loving wisdom comes through in each post and makes me smile deep down in my heart.
  • Behind the White CoatBehind the White Coat is written by a smart doctor with a big heart. Her posts can be informative, entertaining, hilarious or heartbreaking. Her honesty makes me feel like I am not alone.

“In my short biography, I describe myself as an open-minded, tree-hugging Christian. Like Madeleine L’Engle, I don’t consider myself a “Christian writer” but a writer who happens to be a Christian. I like to explore spirituality and connections between things that don’t seem to be connected.” – JoAnne Macco 


Jo Anne Silvia Book Cover 2
Credit: Provided by JoAnne Macco

12. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Blog Writing. 

“If We Lose Electricity” 

By

JoAnne Macco

*****

JoAnne Macco
Credit: JoAnne Macco – http://www.joanneoftheforest.wordpress.com

*****

If we lose electricity

in the storm,

We will still have power.

We have the power

To check on our neighbors,

To ask for help,

To move to higher ground.

The power to tell stories,

To laugh,

To sing lullabies.

The power to write a poem,

To mend what’s torn,

To read by candlelight.

The power to hope and pray,

To reminisce,

To hold hands in the dark.

The power to clear a path,

To rise from ash,

 and rebuild.

_____________________________

When we say we’ve lost power, it minimizes the power we still have. If we lose electricity, let’s say we lost electricity. We still have power, at least over our thoughts, words, and actions.

I send prayers for safety and comfort to all those in the path of the storm.

13. Here are Some More Blog Links to JoAnne’s Writing:


Thank you so much to JoAnne for her patience with this interview. I loved learning about her writing and her background as a writer. I also think it’s neat how she is, particularly, a nonfiction writer. I also loved her quote about being a Christian writer who doesn’t, necessarily, do Christian writing.

If you’re a blogger or writer, or someone who blogs about a cause, please feel to contact me if you would like to be interviewed. My contact page is HERE. See you when I see you :).


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With Katrina Sarah Cain


Welcome back to my bi-weekly interview series. Today I am interviewing the talented poet, wonderful person, and beautiful lady, Katrina Sarah Cain. Please check-out her blog The Darkest Fairytale herewww.thedarkestfairytale.wordpress.com

Katrina Interview Picture
Katrina Cain

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself Katrina?
Well what can I say about myself? My name is Katrina and I live in England. I’m twenty-four-years old. I work in data analysis and I’m secretly, a massive geek. I have a interest in psychology, philosophy, and any science really. I’m also an identical twin. My hobbies include Pokemon-Go, gaming, keeping fit, and I’m a general adventure seeker. If I had to describe myself I would say I’m fun, sarcastic, a realist, and wise with old fashioned morals.

2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging? What Does It Mean to You? Why Do You Write?
I began blogging in January 2016. I started my blog without any intention of anything special coming out, but then I began writing poetry and it turned my blogging into writing-therapy for myself. I do apologize to my readers for some of my random pieces.
My sister initially, told me blogging and writing was great therapy for a person. I thought, ‘Why not? We all need some therapy?’ I had never written much before, hence, my terrible grammar, but once I started writing I realized I had a talent for it and I began to enjoy it.
Poetry to me isn’t just words, it’s an expression of what we’re unable to say out loud and it helps us relate to others.When I started writing it wasn’t only about rhyming or poetry, it was about reaching out to others, people with similar experiences to me and still go through these experiences. If one person can find inspiration or peace in what I write, then it means everything to me.

“I started writing because my sister told me it was great therapy for a person. I thought, ‘Why not? We all need some therapy?’ . . .When I began writing it wasn’t only about rhyming or poetry, it was reaching out to others . . .If one person can find inspiration or peace in what I write, then it means everything to me.” – Katrina Sarah Cain

3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

I cannot say anyone in particular, inspires me. I aim to write most days, but I often get  frequent writer’s block. I think most of you can relate. I’ll be sitting at home thinking  of what to write and nothing appears. Then, I’ll be preparing tea and my mind turns into a rhyming magician and I rush to write down what I’m thinking. My poetry is either written at the most random of moments or when I am feeling low or written when I have something specific on my mind to write about.

4. Do You Find There Is A Time Of Day You Most Like to Write? What Are Your Most Current Poetry Projects? Are You Planning On Publishing Any Of Your Work?

The time of day I end up writing is probably, in the evening or at night when my mind decides it’s nocturnal and comes alive. I don’t have any current projects, only what I put my blog; poetry published when the the words appear for me to write. No, I’m not planning on publishing my work. At the moment, I blog and that’s all.

” . . .[M]y mind turns into a rhyming magician and I write down what I’m thinking. My poetry is either written the most random of moments or when I am feeling low or written when I have something specific on my mind to write about.” – Katrina Sarah Cain

5. Do You Have A Writing Process? Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genres?

 My writing process is unorganized and unpredictable. I say no, I don’t have any preferred writing or reading genres but then I look back on my blog and I see some pieces are rather dark. I think when I write poetry, I stick to my perspective of life and the reality of life which many people tend to miss; the things we long for but don’t actually express verbally or otherwise.

6. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers or Bloggers?
Yes, it’s your blog and it’s your words. Not everyone will understand how you mind works, but as longs as you enjoy writing keep at it. No one should judge you for your self-expression, but yourself. There’s always magic in artistic expression, chose to express yourself how you want to in your writing (on your blog) and in life.

” . . .I stick to my perspective of life and the reality of life which many people tend to miss of what happens in everyday life; the things we long for but don’t actually express verbally or otherwise.” – Katrina Sarah Cain

7. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From You Blog, Some Of Your Favorite Or Most Loved Pieces?

Would you
Kiss
My lips,
If they’re
Bleeding
Pain?
Would you
Wipe away
Acid,
If my tears
Leaked with
Shame?
Would you
Hold me
Close,
If my heart
Fired
Ice?
Would you
Carry me
Home,
If I’d fled
From this
Life?
Would you
Chase me
Into a
Storm,
To battle my
Thunder?
Would you
Protect me
With your
Arms,
To give me
Shelter
To hide
Under?
Would you
love me
If this
Was reality
Could anyone
Ever
Love me,
Unconditionally.

(July 24, 2016 – Katrina Sarah Cain)


Here Are Some Links To More Pieces of Poetry By Katrina:

Thank You to Katrina for sharing her journey beginning to write poetry, using blogging as therapy to help herself and help others relate to similar life issues, and providing inspiration through her fantastic writing. The link to her blog is here againThe Darkest Fairytale. Please make sure to visit her blog and follow, I guarantee you will not be sorry, her poetry is amazing!

Would you like to be interviewed for my bi-weekly writer/blogger interview? I would love to read and learn about you, your writing, and your writing process and so would my followers. If you would like to be interviewed please reach-out to me through my Contact Page and I will email you some interview questions. Thank you for reading and have a lovely September!

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: He Came Home


“Hey girly. Such a good girl. How about a belly rub? Last one for a few months, I’ve got to go fight some bad guys. Seems as if there is an unending supply of them. That’s life, eh Emmie?” my Dad Dylan says.

Then, he kisses my Mom Kristine.” It’s going to be alright, Kristy. You know how well we’re trained for these missions. I’ll be back in a few months sweetheart. Email me, you can write me an old-fashioned letter even.”Dylan remarks soothing Kristine. 

“What if this is the time . . . I never see you again, and it’s only Emmie and I? I’ve only had five-years with you. It’s not enough.”

Dylan hugs Kristine tight and they both cry. I feel their sadness and cuddle between them to comfort us all. I whimper and I lick their salty hands.

“Emmie, you sucky girl. I’ll be home before you know it,” Dylan tells me giving me one last pet and kissing Kristine hard.

“Don’t go Dad, don’t leave us. Mom’s sad, I don’t want her to be sad. You didn’t walk me today. Mom will be too sad to walk me….” I yap to Dylan. But he leaves.

Ages pass before I hear Dylan whistle. I bark in delight; he came home.

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Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Why Don’t You Love Me?


Dear Dad,

 “I know it’s only been three weeks” but Mom says she doesn’t know when you’re coming back. She tries not to cry in front of me but I know when she is crying because her mascara runs and her face turns red. Mom lays in bed and I don’t know what to do.

I tried laying beside her and rubbing her back. I tried making her soup (from the can) but I can’t make her eat. She doesn’t get up to make supper much or clean. I’m trying to help out but it’s hard, I have homework too and I’m only nine-years-old. I don’t get to play with my friends anymore, there is too much to do.

I had to ask Oma Jane and Opa Paul for your email. I phoned them and told them what happened. On the weekend I go to their house. Oma sends me home with food for the week that I can microwave. She yelled at Mom to ‘get up,’ but I got mad at Oma and I hit her. I told Oma Google said Mom is depressed. 

Before you left, I heard you fighting with Mom. You got mad at her and then she cried and you shouted at her loudly. Mom is trying her best like me. Oma isn’t sure if you’re ever coming back. Where are you Dad, how come you never answer my emails? You used to call me everyday from work. Don’t you love us? What did I do? Why don’t you love me?

Jessica 

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Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.