What childhood experience did you have that made you realize how powerful language is?
When I was young, I took solace in the company of older generations from my neighborhood on Beachwood Dr. in Mansfield, OH. These people, who were old to me at 5 year of age, were happy to talk and ask questions (and give treats) for a little company. I learned to listen and enjoy their stories. One family had survived the holocaust and I remember their arm numbers. I learned a lot when I was young from talking to others and hearing their stories.
What did you edit out of this book?
I decided to keep the theme of the book light-hearted, because no one should be sad while eating cake, in my opinion. I did open up about some traumatic experiences, but I kept it very surfaced. I plan to dig deeper in the next book.
Hardest thing to write- knowing it would be published forever and all eyes? why?
The hardest items to write were the traumatic events, because I don’t talk about my past to others and I also didn’t want to upset my Mother in anyway. As a Mother now, I hope my daughter never goes though some of these things and I know it would be hard to hear.
What are your thoughts on writers block? Is it real or not?
Oh, writers block is a unique beast. I don’t think it is so much that you are unable to write, just unable to continue down a certain thought pattern for a while. I can always write, but luckily I work writing and editing for a magazine, so I have a lot of variety. If I was an author full-time and had to stick to a subject or storyline, I am sure I would be blocked a lot more. I am already writing my second and third books. Why you ask? Because sometimes I need to switch topics to keep the creative juices flowing.
ADVICE for future authors!
The key to being a writer is writing. I know it sounds simple, but writing takes discipline. Discipline to make time to write, edit, and rewrite is a lot harder than having a creative notion. Join a local creative writing group, get like-minded friends together to discuss topics, and read a lot - about everything. And if you want to be an author, align your choices to that goal. Go to signings, speak with other authors, watch webinars about writing, and make time to hone your talent. #PullTheCrumbsTogether and make it happen.
Jen Hegge is a senior Journalism student at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. She writes the occasional blog for Midwest Meetings, as well as assists in the Chamber of Commerce's publication, The LINK. You can find her on LinkedIn & Twitter.
Charmaine N. Houck
Advocate of Adventure