Little Madhouse on the Prairie: A True-Life Story of Overcoming Abuse and Healing the Spirit is my memoir where I chronicle my abuse as a child, as well as the healing process that finally brought me peace as an adult.
What inspired you to write this book?
A little girl I met at one of the Boys and Girls Clubs when I lived in the Palm Springs area. I call her Victoria in the book, and her story is the lead-in to the book.
Why is the message of your book relevant to today’s society?
The world is in a state of upheaval, and tremendous healing is necessary. It is my personal belief that the adults on the planet have a responsibility to empower our youth and strengthen our families, so that the current generation (and future generations) can create a better world for themselves.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am a CPA and entrepreneur by training and experience. In 2005 I founded the Angel Heart Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy for children’s rights. In 2007 I sold my business interests to devote my life to this work.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I wrote poetry as a young child, and articles throughout school and my adult life. I thought I was a “good writer” (and others told me I was) yet I never really thought of myself as a “writer.” That’s weird, huh. Unlike many other authors who truly find their joy in putting words on paper, I must admit that is not my true passion. My calling is to help children. Writing is a tool to help me do that.
How did you publish this book?
I decided to form an independent book publishing company, as my goal is to publish other works of a like-minded nature. There are a “million things” you have to do to set up and run a publishing business, yet my CPA business background helped me get through the process.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
One thing – keeping your butt in the chair!
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
Since this book required me to take a painful journey back to the past, I learned a lot about how my childhood experiences continue to affect my adult behavior. I also learned a lot about the entire writing process, yet I would have to say the personal introspection seems to be the most valuable part to me.
Please share with us a few books on your reading list now?
The Culture of Excess by J.R. Slosar. I thought my next book would be on this topic, yet he beat me to the punch. His explanation of the “cultural narcissism” of the world is something that fascinates me. I have several other unread books on my bedside table – too many to list!!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have a few ideas I am working on, most of them revolving around empowering children. I want to use my illustrations in at least one, or perhaps collaborate with another illustrator.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Be patient. Set your goals high. Keep your expectations in check.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers about you and/or your book?
Hum, since I have laid out my entire life in Little Madhouse, I can’t think of anything else to say about me. As for the book, I think it has a message for almost everyone – and definitely not just adults who encountered difficult childhoods. It is a great read for current parents, the parents of the future, and anyone who cares deeply about kids!
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I am working with Teresa Morrow of Key Business Partners on a virtual book tour. She has scheduled several radio interviews and guest bloggers. I exhibited at the Los Angeles Festival of Books and will be speaking and exhibiting at the Ventura Book Festival. I am sending out Press Releases to local newspapers and have solicited reviews from various experts in the area of child advocacy and like-minded authors. We are planning a book-signing fundraiser for the educational outreach department of a regional theater, and also one for a children service group. Since the book is an excellent read for book clubs, we are marketing to those groups.