What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
My most recent publication, It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: A Life Book That Helps You to Dry Your Tears and to Cope with a Medical Challenge, has been praised by medical and mental health professionals around the world. Some of them use it or the previous print edition in their practices. The book teaches you how to calm down over a devastating diagnosis and how to take charge of your life. You end up laughing, organized, and knowledgeable of cost-cutting solutions to many medical problems.
Tell us something about yourself.
A native of Michigan, I’ve been writing since I learned how to read! I used to write songs, poems and plays with friends until college. My first two books were fiction, a 3-part series of espionage stories with a plot that ended up scaring my publishers. It was based on Bible Codes and prophecies, research into avionics and warfare, plus some romance to keep it fun. Real-world headlines eventually echoed my story’s apocalypse-like progression. I never published the last of the trilogy because I don’t want to scare the willies out of people or to give ideas to the bad guys. People keep asking me how the story ends, though. I just smile and point to the heavens.
What inspired you to write this book?
Personal experience. I almost died of a benign form of brain tumor positioned in a very bad place. A Petroclival Tentorial Meningioma sitting at the base of my skull, it was crushing all the nerves between my head and spine. If it grew too big, it would block the signals enabling my heartbeats to happen, plus it would make me deaf, mute and paralyzed before that day. I had been blinded by the tumor before the life-saving surgery. How I recovered my vision is a miracle. You’ll learn what I did to see again when you read the book. Medical professionals now consult with me to learn how to help other people to overcome their neurological problems.
I shocked many medical professionals by surviving for months until we found THE surgeon able to remove the large tumor without killing me in the process. My survival depended on my attitude and blessings from Above. I reengineered my thinking patterns so I could remain upbeat and as healthy as possible for the long term. I teach how to do that in It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.
A former Health Information Management professional – a person who works with medical records, lawyers, doctors and insurance companies in hospitals and other medical facilities – I knew a lot about how to get the medical and other services I needed to stay alive and out of debt. I needed massive amounts of health care and helped myself with that time- and money-saving knowledge base. Most people don’t have that information or know how to get it, so I wrote a book to clue you in. My book is a MAJOR money-saver and a life-saver, too. You learn how to get free medical air flights, free home care, free or low-cost medical appliances and medication, how to join medical trials, and lots more.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
Traditional publishers present too many problems and complicated contracts. Some agents are like that, too. I went with Booklocker publishing. Co-owner Angela Hoy had used my freelance reporting services when she was still in Texas, before marrying Richard Hoy and launching Booklocker.com Publishing in Maine. I knew Angie as honest, an editor whose on-time checks would always clear, and a woman with a huge sense of humor. I like those traits!
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Communication is my thing. I’ve always had a knack for getting complicated ideas across to puzzled people. I simplify things so you “get the idea” the first time and benefit from the information right away.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Reducing the text! There’s an old joke about “How many editors does it take to convince a reporter to use fewer words?” The answer is: “WHAT? Every word here is perfect!” We writers have to fight the tendecy to love everything we’ve written. Digital life keeps me in line better than anything else ever did. Brief. Bold. To the point. That’s how online reporting is. But I regret that. People are losing their ability to be patient, to learn more than bullet points. We’ve lost the graceful art of paying attention, of amusing conversation, and of spending time on worthwhile pursuits.
How do you do research for your books?
I read a lot and rely on the fascinating people I’ve met throughout my HIM and reporting careers. I know physicists, politicians, medical practitioners who’ve invented procedures or instruments, charity creators, the folks who discovered the Bible Codes, and more. I’ve asked them for information I need and knew much of it on my own. My blog attracts attention and so does my first book. Readers of the previous print edition sent me information to add to the updated E-book It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.
Did you learn anything from writing this book?
I learned more than I cared to know about politicians. Some of them have little idea of the emotional strain that health problems cause OR they have no compassion for the financial and emotional toll that illness takes on people. They look down on ill people. Snobbery, ignorance, poor values, I don’t know what the core problems might be, but WOW they exist. I also found out that many, many medical professionals are struggling to deliver quality health care despite legal, sometimes immoral limitations. Lots of doctors have created charitable foundations or affordable health care plans to help society at large. They’re Super Heroes! And their contact information is mentioned in my books ;^ )
What are you reading now?
I’m a wellness coach who deals with people suffering serious mental health and physical problems. I’m reading Dr. Brian Weiss’ newest books about intuition and reincarnation and how his techniques help people to heal by recalling the incidents leading to their emotional or physical problems.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy philosophy, art and good novels. Some medically-oriented books appeal to me. Ayn Rand is exciting, to a self-limiting point. I still adore the Anne of Green Gables stories and author L. M. Montgomery. I like Dr. Neal Barnard’s self-empowering materials. Dr. Judith Orloff is by far my fave author.
An intuitive psychiatrist, she brings sunshine, fresh air, humor, cures and optimism to the otherwise dreary world of psychological upsets.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m working on two books simultaneously. One’s a humorous take on medical problems so people will feel free to laugh despite the serious problems they’re facing. I’ll ilustrate what I mean with an outtake from my life: I once fell and broke an arm. A couple years ago, I was frustrated, along with my arm surgeon, that the medical records for that surgically repaired arm had been lost. Each time I arrived for check-ups, he’d have to write on individual pieces of paper in a make-shift folder locked in his desk. The day came that he blew a fuse because no staff members had yet found my long-lost folder. I promised him that he’d be looking at my original medical records within the hour. He doubted I could deliver, but I went into my former Health Information Management mode, asking questions until I knew exactly why those records had disappeared and how to locate them.
I stormed into the basement medical records archive office of the hospital, loudly announcing that I was here on behalf of that surgeon, and that he was NOT a happy man. A patient in his office needed his complete devoted attention and her medical records had been missing for months. I promised the archive staff that they’d keep their jobs and their blood pressure down by informing me of the storage methods used here. Social security number? Alphabetical arrangement? Something else? One coffee-drinking clerk whose window looked out on a sun-drenched brick wall a few feet away told me that they used the alphabetical system, starting with last names. So, I jumped into the aisle with the relevant “G” and picked up my medical records, lying in a messy heap, at the far corner of the shelf. HIMers call that “loose filings” and it’s only for newly arrived documentation that should be inserted into the correct area of an established medical chart. Somebody had goofed up BIGTIME. But I grabbed, then brought my once-lost medical chart to the astonished doctor and we shared a good laugh. I’d beat my predicted time by half an hour! The friend accompanying me on that errand kept telling the whole wide world about it between gales of laughter at how I’d IMMEDIATELY commanded attention and respect from those jerked-to-attention medical chart archive clerks. They had mistaken me for a hospital administration staff member because of my authoritative behavior!
I’m a certified medical intuitive, doing the same work as Dr. Orloff on a smaller scale. The second book is about how I used my intuitive abilities to help someone to recover from a misdiagnosed mental health issue. She had actually had a physical problem. I alerted her medical team to discover the diagnosis I had made months earlier. It’s quite a story.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Brace yourself. Practice accepting the word and concept of “No.” Not everybody wants what you’re offering. Be tenacious and use your imagination. Do more research. Consider going E-book, self-published, or something else. Maybe serialize your work in a magazine until publishers pick up on it. Learn how to improve your writing by joining writing/critique groups. Take college writing classes. Study the authors you like and figure out why they’re so good. Learn from them. And PUBLICIZE PUBLICIZE PUBLICIZE your finished product. You must market your book. Even brick & mortar traditional publishing houses force rich, famous authors to do their own publicity work.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I have a blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and I do speaking engagements on air or in live appearances. I also do guest blogging.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?