By The Wayside is a semi-biographical work detailing the struggles of one woman to find her place in her own heart, her own life, after being molested at the tender age of six by her mother’s boyfriend. A poor child, she was not believed by her mother but was instead branded and neglected as a troublemaker. It is the real-life compilation story of two women I know, both of whom yet struggle to come to terms with the notion that what they grew up as, (the troublemaker, the curse) is not necessarily whom they must now live as.
The women I know are two of the most inwardly beautiful people you could ever meet, though they would not admit nor could see it for themselves. They are not, at first or even second glance, what society might deem a woman of worth. Their inner spirits would attest otherwise. Therefore, By the Wayside is an offhand story about the true meaning of beauty, and is a follow-up to my first work, Willing to Believe, a novella showcasing the power and depth of true love and what it takes to keep that love alive once it is found.
Tell us something about yourself.
Currently, I reside in Southwestern IL, the same area where I spent my childhood, after a short time living on both coasts. Technically, I have been writing since the age of 12, where at my wishes, I received a typewriter (omg, what is that!) for Christmas. I would write, . . . er pound away at that dinosaur until the wee hours of the morning. In high school, I sold some few works to other students to supplement their scholastic efforts, to put it politely, and from there the bug took hold like a tic, writing was in my blood. A few years after graduation, a spattering of small pieces published, I began work in the editorial and/or graphics departments for magazines which are now defunct. Afterward, I let the desire to write dwindle until an acquaintance stumbled across a copy of Willing to Believe, and fell head over heels for it. Imagine that, a GUY, who has appeared on Oprah, enthralled by a love story. If only he had named it on the show. Ah, well. From there it has been a day by day ordeal, curse, or blessing, depending upon the day.
How did you choose the title?
Willing to Believe is just that, the story of a man Willing to Believe in a hereafter where he will be reunited with his long deceased wife. By the wayside, comes from the lyrics of an Elton John/Disney song “Circle of Life,” and the notion of how easily these two women could fall By the Wayside into the dregs of human contempt if they allowed a moment to see themselves as others have labeled them.
Do you have any writing rituals?
One commandment only: Don’t let a day go by without writing something. A grocery list does NOT count!
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
In every case, I try to take into account the background of the story. A name is a label, it has to fit the character in question.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
It is said that your novel, your poem, your article, is like your baby. That is true. From concept to finalization, it is a living breathing thing which can take on a life of its own. In other words, writing is like tending children; it is amazing how often you want to kill them the very same day you feel as if you can’t get enough of being with them!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
With the vast array of possible markets, of means of publishing in this age, I would have started much sooner!
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I read anything and everything, from medical journals to children’s books, from romance to court opinions. Read! Devour the printed word!
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Write! Read! Write, write, write!
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Everyone . . . and anyone wanting something to read beyond mainstream fiction, the reader willing to walk away from a script engrossed in emotional turmoil over the story he or she has just finished.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Please visit my small website, at www.clintonfoster.com, where a small preview of both works are available, as well as links to purchase the books or to contact me. Also, they are available through Amazon.com as well as a number of online booksellers.