Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Jo Ann Maxwell

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jo Ann Maxwell. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What would your perfect writing/reading room look like?

It would have lots of windows and be situated in a forest area.  Somewhere in the mountains would be perfect. And a beautiful lake or river outside as well.  It would stay at a perfect 68° no matter the weather. The walls would be a pale robin’s egg blue. I would have a sound system that would play my favorite Christian music. I would have a sturdy couch with an ottoman when I want to put up my feet. It would have a small refrigerator with bottled spring water, and fruits and nuts.  It would also have an attached bathroom.  There would definitely be no TV or phone!

No TV or phone, I hear ya. What skill would you like to master? 

I would like to learn how to fly a plane. Just a small plane. I don’t need to go fast. Just want to get up close to the clouds and look at the earth from that perspective. It would be a little like God looking down from heaven and seeing us.  Our perspective is so narrow and immediate focused. He sees the big picture.

In your own words, what is humility? 

Humility is choosing someone else over yourself. Humility is being willing to be wrong. Humility is making sure those around you are successful. Humility is the opposite of self-righteousness. Humility is not being submissive and allowing abuse to continue. Humility is grounded in love for yourself. When we love ourselves, we can love others! And as we love others, humility is a byproduct of that love. There is no competition, needing to be right, nor a desire to control others.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on? 

I would like to travel around Italy and sample the wines and cheeses throughout the country.

Fearless, is available now at WestBow Press, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

That sounds lovely. Jo, tell us about when published your first book? What was it like?

My book was published in the fall of 2016. It is called Fearless. It chronicles my journey through grief and depression to rely on my faith to gain victory in spite of living with a chronic disease; multiple sclerosis.

Can you talk a little bit about what Multiple Sclerosis is for those who may not know?

After my diagnosis, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) was my first and continues to be my go-to source for information. According to NMSS, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The exact antigen—or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack—remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be “immune-mediated” rather than “autoimmune.”

  • Within the CNS, the immune system attacks myelin—the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers—as well as the nerve fibers themselves.
  • The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name.
  • When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms.
  • The disease is thought to be triggered in a genetically susceptible individual by a combination of one or more environmental factors.
  • People with MS typically experience one of four disease courses, which can be mild, moderate or severe

What small things makes your life easier? What makes it difficult? 

I have been living with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis for a little over four years. What makes it easier for me is to have several rest periods throughout the day.   I swim three days a week and do my physical and occupational therapy. This doesn’t necessarily make my life easier, but it doesn’t make it more difficult. I need to exercise and be strong in all the ways I can while I still can.  Stress and busyness make it difficult for me. Before I was diagnosed, I was a teacher for 17 years and then a nonprofit manager for 19 years.  So I’m used to a very high activity job that requires multitasking. Now looking at all the emails that come in to my two email accounts I get overwhelmed. I have to take a while to digest the information, regroup, and then tackle it.  I was used to be able to go to three or four stores in the morning and still have lots of energy left over. Now I  can only do two or three errands, especially if one is a drive-through. I think it is the fatigue that is the most annoying symptom that I have. The fatigue has caused me to radically change my lifestyle.

What is your favorite historical figure? 

That would have to be Jesus, hands down. He has influenced my life in ways that I can only repay him by walking as closely to his word as I can.  It is the amazing love of the father who sacrificed his son so we could have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.  Almost too amazing to even think about.

I take it you’re religious?

No I am not religious. Religion is a set of rules you have to live by. I have a relationship with Jesus my Savior. I love spending time with him, and he wants to spend time with me. Just like any relationship, it takes effort on my part to make it rich and meaningful. 

What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?

It has to be Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz.  She goes through the life of Abraham and paints beautiful pictures of how we too can be sold out to God and his plans and guidance for our lives.

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

It would be a research scientist with the power to find the cure for all of the currently incurable diseases in the world. That would include cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, dementia, polio, Parkinson’s, Lupus, influenza, diabetes, asthma, and mental illness.  And I would also coordinate the research projects so that all scientists can work together rather than separate in their own little silos.

Thank you Jo for spending this time with us! Because of you we know more about Multiple Sclerosis!


Jo Ann Maxwell, used with permission.
Bio
I was suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 60. Many of the symptoms I had throughout my life suddenly became clear. My faith, independence, and fearlessness were threatened. In my book I talk about my struggles to find hope again.  I had a successful career as a teacher and a senior-level nonprofit executive. Since retiring I have been assisting my aging parents in North Carolina. I try to stay active as a volunteer at the Billy Graham training center in Asheville North Carolina, read, play mah-jongg,  do puzzles, and exercise as much as I can. Right now my walking is very limited, but I get in the pool and swim three days a week, and I can work on a recumbent cross trainer.  As a physical educator, I know the great advantages of exercise. It’s also important to stay as strong as I can and not let the MS get the better of me!  My book chronicles how my faith was stretched and strengthened and how I find victory in spite of living with a chronic disease. 

Are you a new (or not so new) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Jessica Bakkers

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jessica Bakkers. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Jessica Bakkers but my friends call me Jess. I’m from Down Under else-wise known as Australia. Victoria specifically.

You like the cold huh?

No but I’m well insulated *double chins shake with laughter*

Loll. What is the most annoying habit you have?

Either road rage or grammar nit-picking. Or snoring my husband might say.

What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Er, writer *smiles*

Yea, I guess that was pretty obvious lol. Jess, what was your childhood dream?

Er, writer… *bigger smile*

Lolll. In your own words, what is love?

Love is feeling thirsty so going to the fridge and getting 2 cans of Pepsi because I know he’ll be thirsty too. Love is sending a text message to him that simply uses the poop emoji and he answers with, “bad day at work, spaghetti for tea”. Love is him letting me warm my ice-cold feet on his back when we get into bed at night.

Oohhh. Nice! What’s your favorite drink?

Pepsi Max for the win!

What songs have you completely memorized?

Most of the entire works of Alan Jackson, George Strait, Diamond Rio and Little Big Town. Everything Pink Floyd. Most Leonard Cohen and Nice Cave. The entire Rocky Horror Picture Show album and Carry on Wayward Son.

OK, OK. What’s your favorite food?

Savory: spaghetti. Sweet: everything.

I love spaghetti. Actually, I love pasta in general. *Weakness*. I think we’re going to be friends. Who is your favorite writer?

Whoa. Why not ask me which is my favorite child!

Lol. Answer the question Jess! Spit it out. Inquiring minds wanna know ; )

I’m very partial to the King that’s Stephen), and I adore Steven Brust – he as such great dark humor in his novels. Maybe it’s a Stephen think…

If you could live in a movie, which would it be and why?

I’d go Rocky Horror again because fishnets! And singing!

Who is your best friend?

My husband.

Awwue. How long have you been married?

16 years in November.

Happy early anniversary! Children?

Yes. By children I’m assuming we’re talking dogs, right? Two. Holly and Shilo.

No, Jess. We are not talking about dogs but I’ll let you slide. What takes up too much of your time?

My day job.

What is it that you do?

I am the writer formerly known as social worker. April 21st, I gave that away to focus on freelance writing because, as I mentioned, day job was taking up too much of my writing time. This is the one time I’ll be serious; nothing should come between a writer and her writing…except chocolate.

I heard that! And chocolate definitely gets a pass. Jess, what do you wish you knew more about?

What happens next, after death.

Interesting. What small things make your life easier? What makes it more difficult?

Easier: chocolate, texting, supernatural, fitted sheets, automatic windshield wipers.

More difficult: bad drivers, phone calls, my day job, headaches, rap music.

Rap music loll. The music today is out there. WAY out there. What are your thoughts on race?

Even if we (humanity) were all ‘skinned’ some skeletons would still ostracize others based on the shape of their bones or size of their skulls. Humans will always find a way to make difference a bone of contention (pun fully intended).

True. What’s your favorite TV show / movie?

SupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernaturalSupernatural

*Slap*

That’s it. Snap out of it. Supernatural is pretty good though. Speaking of supernatural, religious?

I believe in science and evidence.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

Difficult: explaining to someone that I’m a writer and watching the skepticism and judgment come to their eyes.

Exciting: explaining to someone that I’m a writer and watching the wonder come to their eyes.

What do you love about yourself?

My eyes. Pretty and the only bit of me not fat.

Jessica Bakkers you stop it right now! Lol. I can guess what you don’t like about yourself then huh?

Yeah pretty much every other physical attribute.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write in all sorts but I LOVE gritty, dark fantasy fiction. I can write a really good antihero as my protagonist in this genre and as these guys (anti-heroes) are my very favorite characters to write, I get to play with them every book!

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Jess, it was a pleasure. Thank you for spending this time with us!


Bio

I am a creative and freelance writer, I have been writing for over 25 years. I am a published ghostwriter (nah sorry, can’t say which books!) and am preparing my own novel, Guns of Perdition, for publication soon.

My style is generally dark fantasy with a smattering of romance, and usually filled with brooding anti-heroes.

My major love affair is with the written word; specifically creative writing. I allow myself to indulge and rendezvous with this secret lover whenever time allows… and then we make beautiful poetry together!

Jessica is in the early stages of her first book, “Guns of Perdition”, a fantasy western.

You can follow Jess online at:

Social media handles

Twitter: @jessicabakkers

WordPress: jessicabakkers.com

Tumblr: heroicjdog

Linked In: http://linkedin.com/in/jessica-bakkers-b4aaa786

Wattpad: @jessicabakkers

Facebook page: The Written Word @jbakkersTheWrittenWord


Are you a new (or established) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

(Psst. This is a scheduled post and I am not at home. Please forgive any delays in responding to commentary.)

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Stevie Turner

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Stevie Turner. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

Go ahead and Introduce yourself. Tell us your name and where you’re from.

I’m Stevie Turner, born and bred in London, but now live in the East Anglia region of England.

How many siblings do you have?

None, unfortunately.  I am an only child.

What songs have you completely memorized?

I’m very musical, and find it easy to memorize the lyrics to songs.  Therefore, there must be hundreds that I can sing from start to finish, but probably only if they were a hit before 1990!

Lol. What’s your favorite color?

Yellow.

Yellow is beautiful. What was your childhood dream?

To become a doctor, but as I’m virtually number illiterate, that was never going to happen.

A House Without Windows is Available Now on Amazon

As you know, we be in here jamming it out on Throwback Thursday so I have to ask, what kind of music do you like?

Rock, reggae and blues, probably in that order.  Also like some classical, but not opera or jazz.

Not Jazz!? What is wrong with you Stevie! Lol. Let’s get a little serious, what do you think of this world we live in?

Technology has advanced so much since I was a child in the 1960’s.  It has now given us people addicted to social media who are looking down at their phones all day. What with online bullying of schoolchildren these days who are afraid to play out in the street, global warming, and terrible ‘music’ that just sounds like people shouting, I’m glad I was born in the late 1950’s, that’s all I can say.

Man, you are so right. I love hearing stories from that time. It is also why I loved your memoir. Can you tell us about some of the major differences you see between let’s say 1960 and 2017 that you haven’t already mentioned?

There were no mobile phones and microwave ovens in 1960, and not all homes even had washing machines or a landline phone (I was 18 before my parents got a landline phone and a washing machine).  Our TV in 1960 had 3 channels, and the last program finished at 10pm, when the National Anthem played.  However, children like myself didn’t watch a lot of TV.  I played outside for hours in the streets with friends, roamed around my local area unsupervised, walked to school on my own, and stayed at home by myself from the age of 9 during school holidays while my parents worked, making my own decisions, right or wrong.  Children were free.  My granddaughters are guarded 24/7, and if the 11-year-old even goes across the road to call for a friend, her mother is constantly ringing her phone to make sure she is okay.  My granddaughter complains to me that she is given no freedom.  I feel so lucky that I was a child in the 1960’s!

Wow. I asked my in-laws this same question and my mom-in-law gave the same answer. She said that when she was little it was safer for her to go out and play. My dad-in-law said people treated each other better. I love hearing stories about the 50s and 60s. I will sit and ask you questions all day lol. What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?

MTV.

In your own words, what is truth?

Truth is how we are meant to live, to live true to ourselves.  If we are living a lie it will make us unhappy.  Truth is being able to sleep with a clear conscience.  Truth is the way forward.

Repent at Leisure is Available Now on Amazon

“Truth is the way forward.” I like that. What do you hate most about writing advice?  What do you love?

I hate reading blogs about writing where the blogger has stated advice that is common sense and doesn’t really need to be stated, obviously because he / she cannot think of anything else to write about.  Stop it! However, I love it when I actually read some great advice and learn something from it.

But common sense is anything but common, right? What if what is common sense to you is confusing and unclear to someone else?

Yes, you have a good point Yecheilyah. What is common sense to me might not be to somebody else.  As with all the other answers, I have given my own opinion.  However, there are some blogs which I read and I think to myself…does this really need to be said?

True, true. You’re right. Speaking of blogging, does it help you to write?

No, it distracts me from writing. Time has to be taken ‘building up a platform’ and that includes publishing a blog every day to gain a wider audience. It has to be done, but I’d rather be writing a novel.

Interesting. What skill would you like to master?

To play the piano.  I could only master up to Grade 4.

I would LOVE to play the piano. What would your favorite writing / reading room look like?

A view out to open fields, air conditioning, and total silence.  Hey, it seems I already have that in my front room!

What takes up too much of your time?

Marketing and promoting my books.  A necessary evil I’m afraid.

I feel you. If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house look like?

At least 6 bedrooms for the children and grandchildren to stay in when they like, three or four bathrooms, a swimming pool, a gym, and a huge room for parties.  My house would be in the arse end of nowhere in the countryside, all on its own.  I’d have my own writing room as well!

What’s your favorite drink?

Water, closely followed by green tea.

Yea, I have to admit, green tea is the bomb.

Stevie, we learned a lot! Thank you for spending time with us!


Stevie Turner retired early from her post as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital to concentrate on writing suspense, women’s fiction, and humorous novels. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third prize in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest, and her thriller screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and it will now be read, along with the other winners, by a major independent film production company in Los Angeles.

Stevie lives in the East of England with her husband Sam, and she signed a contract with Creativia Publishers in 2016. She has also branched out into the world of audio books. ‘The Daughter-in-law Syndrome’, ‘A House Without Windows’, ‘No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal!’, ‘The Noise Effect’, Lily: A Short Story, ‘A Rather Unusual Romance’, and ‘Waiting in the Wings’ are all available as audio books. Some of her books have also been translated into German, Spanish and Italian.

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Amazon page http://bookShow.me/B00AV7YOTU

Blog    https://steviet3.wordpress.com/


Are you a new (or established) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

Self-Publishing – Is it worth it?

Authors! Don would like your feedback! Check out this post.

“This post calls out to those of you that are authors. I’m trying to open a dialogue and share my experiences in an effort to see if we have a commonality in our goals and how we get there.”

Don Massenzio's Blog

authorThis post calls out to those of you that are authors. I’m trying to open a dialogue and share my experiences in an effort to see if we have a commonality in our goals and how we get there. I am always torn on  this blog to identify as an author who is selling books. That’s why I started it, but it has evolved into something much more.

horn

I am someone that is extremely reluctant to blow my own horn. Building myself up is not one of my strong points. In fact, people who know me will tell you that I am the first to put myself down in order to diffuse others’ attempts to do so.

3

This past April marks three years since I jumped feet first into the self-publishing arena. Has it been all rainbows and unicorns? Not exactly. Have there been times when I’ve given up hope…

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Inciting Moment: What It Is and Why You Should Care

What is an inciting moment? Andrea breaks it down.

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

Recently, I was explaining the concept of an inciting moment to my five-year-old (he’s a bit young, but one might as well start early, right?), and it got me thinking about how critical the concept is.

Some writers may call it an inciting incident, and others have probably never heard of it, including the idea without any formal title or understanding of how it works, but the inciting moment is what happens to make the world of the story change. One of the many rocks dropped in the story-pond that set off a series of ripples. It’s the spark that jolts the story to life.

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5 Things I Learned About Marketing my First Book

Good info for new and experienced writers on marketing our books.

Nicholas C. Rossis

HomeWorking Club | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is a guest post from Ben Taylor, a British freelance writer who spent several years living in Portugal and wrote a book about the experience. He now lives back in the UK, where he founded Home Working Club, a site dedicated to helping people explore freelance opportunities – in writing and various other fields.

5 Things I Learned About Marketing my First Book

Moving To Portugal | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Read on Amazon

I never intended to write a book.

It came about by accident, after I started a blog about moving to Portugal from the UK. While I won’t pretend that I didn’t hope people would read and enjoy the blog, I never had particularly big plans for it. I figured that, if nothing else, it was a good way to keep a journal of the experience.

However, after I’d been going for a year or so, the site got rather popular. It…

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Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Patty Fletcher

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Patty Fletcher. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

Go ahead and Introduce yourself. Tell us your name and where you’re from.

My name is Patty L. Fletcher, and I am from a town in Northeast Tennessee in the United States called Kingsport.

Nice to meet you Patty! What would your perfect reading/writing room look like?

It’s funny you should ask. I am currently redoing the home I live in. Even though it is a rental, I feel very much as if it were my forever home, and thanks to a special grant I have recently received due to being Multiply disabled, the owner and property manager have given me a free hand. My perfect reading/writing room is going to have soft comfortable furniture for lounging, so that when I have free time or I’m working on a book review for another author, I’ll have a relaxing place to sit and read. I am also going to put in a desk for writing which will have plenty of room for my computer, Bluetooth keyboard, and other writing implements. Of course, I’ll have a big dog bed because I have a big beautiful beast of a Labrador from The Seeing Eye and he will need a place to hang out while Mommy works. There are two wonderful windows in the room, and I’m going to put in new shades so that when the sun is shining and temperatures allow, they can be open wide to let in the light, and breezes that seem to always blow through. I’ll have a big rag rug on the floor and even a bean-bag chair. I’m excited to be designing this room, and cannot wait until my dog and I can hang out in there all the time.

Wow! I think it’s so cool that you get to design your perfect room now. Congratulations on the grant too! You’re winning Patty. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

I believe the most annoying habit I have is that I obsess about things. If I get something stuck in my head like a problem that has not been resolved, I cannot let it go until it is resolved in some way. This can affect my writing because if I have a passage of a book, or blog post that I’m working on and it doesn’t feel right to me I’ll work, and work on it until it does. Thus, leaving other tasks undone.

In your own words what is love?

Love is being able to give all of yourself to another, yet still retaining your individuality. It is knowing all there is to know about another and still being able to be with them no matter what. It is being able to dislike something they do, say, or are, and still being able to find room in your heart for them, and it should always be unconditional.

That’s beautiful Patty. I LOVE it. Favorite line: “Love is being able to give all of yourself to another, yet still retaining your individuality. You mentioned blogging, does blogging help you to write?

Yes, Blogging Helps me to write. When I discovered blogging I realized I had a way to connect with those who had read my first published book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, in a whole new way. Recently I was interviewed for a podcast, and they asked me about my blogging. I told them I called it “Reality Blogging” because I didn’t necessarily plan my writing. I just wrote what happened as it happened.” I write what I see and do. I write what I feel. I write what others do to me, for me, and with me, and how that works or doesn’t work in my life. I use it to publish excerpts of things I’m working on. Someone asked me why I do that, and I said, “Because I can get feedback from the ones who are going to buy my books, and find out what they like, or dislike about it. It is my way of sharing who and what I am. It has helped me to grow in all ways as a person, thus it has helped me grow as an author as well.

Indeed. So, Patty, what’s your favorite food?

Well, that’s hard. I suppose there are many reasons that I was matched with a Labrador for a guide, because just like a Lab I’ll just about eat anything that won’t eat me. I suppose if I had to name a food I really love it would be fried shrimp. I could eat my weight’s worth of the stuff. Just give me a big mountain of Fried shrimp and a large cup of dipping sauce, along with a large jug of Micro-Brew and watch me go!

Nooo. Not Shrimp! Lol. Who is your favorite writer?

My favorite writer of all time is Stephen King. Not only do I love to be scared silly, but I find his books, such as, The Dark Tower Series, 11/22/63, The Bill Hodges Trilogy, The Talisman, Black House, and Joy land, have helped me learn things about myself in ways that nothing I have ever read before has done. I love how he writes notes to his, “Constant Reader” and although his books aren’t Nonfiction, they touch on reality in a unique way.

I loved King’s On Writing. If you could shadow your favorite artist who would it be?

This answer is the same as above. ‘Laughing’ 😊 Stephen King. It is my Dream to meet him. Sit and talk with him, and have him read my book.

Lol Hee hee. OK. Now, as you may know The PBS Blog loves music. What kind of music do you like?

I love Classic Rock! From the 50’s 70’s and 80’s as well as heavy metal. I was a teenager in the 80’s and got really into the Big Hair Bands.

OK, I see you. Heavy Metal. Lil wild there huh Patty? Lol. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I Self-Published my first book in 2014. It was a thrill like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and probably will never experience again. It had always been a dream of mine to do so, and when I was finally able to accomplish it I was never so happy or proud. Oh! Yeah! I was terrified, because I wrote about my life, and the people in it, but I had to. The story was just too good to keep to myself.

Nice. I love it that I’m meeting all these memoir writers! Ya’ll are gonna have to give me a lesson or two. Patty, I sense you have a good heart. Who is your best friend?

My very best friend in the whole wide world is King Campbell Lee Fletcher Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba. He goes everywhere with me, doesn’t care that I’m thin or fat. It doesn’t bother him that I am blind, and he is ever happy. He can lift me out of the muck of depression like no other. He keeps all my secrets, and listens no matter what I have to say, and he answers all my questions and never cares how many I ask. He is always there for me, and you remember how I said love should always be unconditional? Well, he’s got that down pat! There won’t ever be a friend like him in my world again after he’s gone. Even though I’m sure I’ll have more guides, he’s absolutely the best friend ever ever ever in my life.

Patty, I understand that you’re blind. Can you share with us some insight into how that impacts your writing? What is it like being a blind writer? What makes it special?

I guess I don’t think of it much. The most challenging thing I think for me as a Blind Writer are the different methods of Technology, and how compatible they’re going to be with my Operating System, and Screen Reader, or Iphone Voice-Over.

What makes it Special? Well, the telling a story in such a way so that the Sighted Reader gets a glimpse into the World of a Blind Person. I have been Complimented many times in Topic Specific Social Media Groups that unless a Specific Topic came up, most did not know, or if they did, had forgotten that I was Blind. This means I’m functioning as “Anyone else would.”

I simply love to write. I want everyone to feel as I feel, Hear as I hear, and experience with all my senses, and how they work.

A Reader came to me one day and taking my hand said, “I read your book! I loved it! I cried, laughed, got angry, and scared, all in the same moment.” I laughed, squeezing her hand and said, “Of course! A Bipolar wrote it” Turns out for her, my Blindness wasn’t the Amazing part, and if that is so, I really did my job! 😊

Ms. Fletcher paints a vivid picture of her experience in training for a guide dog under difficult personal circumstances. A must read for those contemplating the move from a cane to a guide dog, as well as those interested in the physical and mental obstacles faced by the blind. – Amazon Customer Review

That’s amazing. I hope you’re listening writers! Patty is blind and still writes books. You, my writer friends, have no excuse. 🙂 ….Patty, what do you think of the world we live in?

Right now, the world we live in, in my opinion needs a big kick in the ass. There is too much hate. Too much negativity, and entirely too much judgmental behavior going on. We need more love. More peace, and more acceptance, but as a whole, I know there are still lots of great people places, and things left and I want to find each and every one of them. Draw all them out, and help make the rest of the world a better, and brighter place to live.

Lol! I know that’s right *pumps fist* What is the most thought provoking book you ever read?

The most thought provoking book I’ve ever read has thus far been Wolves of the Calla Book Five of The Dark Tower Series. It helped me to define allot of fears I have wrestled with for many years in my life, and I was able to begin to address them, and overcome them after having read it.

Why is writing important to you?

Writing is important to me because it allows me to express my whole self. If I’m writing SF (Which I’m finally getting the nerve to do) I can allow myself to come out in my characters in ways I haven’t yet been able to do. If I’m writing about something that hurts me I can express it fully because if I’m writing about it, rather than speaking directly to another I can say all I have to say without being interrupted, scolded or made to feel small. It allows another to read my thoughts, digest them and then react. Some call this being non-confrontational. I don’t know? Maybe it is, but for me it is the best thing on earth.

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Patty, it was truly a pleasure. Thank you for spending time with us!


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Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport, TN, where she is a nonprofit consultant, the creator of The Neighborhood News, and writes full time.

Her autobiographical book is Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life (C 2014). There, she tells how she obtained her first guide dog from The Seeing Eye® in Morristown, NJ: what motivated her, the extensive training she had, and the good friends she made.

For more details about her and her book, including where to purchase the book in e-book or print format go to: www.dvorkin.com/pattyfletcher/

To see her blog and newly updated website go to http://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/


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