Describe your book in one sentence.
The saga of a young widow devoted to the health and happiness of her polio-disabled boy, who finds life comes full circle.
What made you want to share your story and write this book?
The story of a simple, inspiring family is timeless and universal.
Did your research for this book lead you into any other interesting discoveries?
Yes, I learned more of polio and cancer and radium sickness.
What steps did you take to prepare for writing this book?
Research on the times and events surrounding WWII
What resources or tools did you find useful in writing this book?
I would have been lost without Google.
How long did it take you, beginning of research to final product, to complete this book?
I thought the book was done three years ago, but as it never left my mind, it was still being created.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
The endurance of kids who had polio as well as the remarkable strength of the world’s young mothers helping their kids, because this was not a job they signed up for.
How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
It is memoir-based since I had polio at the age of 2, and my mother was widowed soon after, so the burden fell on her.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I was always a fact-based journalist so the freedom of fiction freed me, and I think women-oriented books sell best.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
Narration and intimacy.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Thinking as a woman, thinking as a little boy, thinking as anyone besides myself.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved each character for all their strengths and weakness and foibles.
For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
Perhaps seeing movies such as “The Sessions,” or any documentary on FDR to see what a catastrophe and fear polio was.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Adapting this to the screen.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I would like to write a thriller called “The Kellers,” a family ripped off by Wall Street and who go hunting the predators as they become predators, inspiring other predators across the US to take revenge.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
- Why is the hero named Gray?
- Aside from being a family name, “polio” is the Latin word for Gray. And the character is never in black and white..he is neither abled nor disabled, happy nor sad, extroverted nor introverted.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
If writing for the market: Be Unique. For Yourself, go with the flow.
What is the most useful writing advice you ever received?
Write what you know.
FROM THE INTERNATIONALLY PUBLISHED MEMOIR:
Too ambitious for her small Illinois town, Iris is determined to see the world with Washington, DC as the first stop. Her plans are curtailed when she marries a handsome young soldier and though apart for long stretches by WWII, they have two boys. Tragically widowed and back home, her younger, Gray, in braces from polio, Iris prepares herself for the challenges ahead.
Through their exhausting nightly exercises, Iris teaches Gray of the power of faith, and of words. She tantalizes him of the world outside waiting, the world she was unable to see.
After graduation in journalism, Gray accepts a reporting job in Sydney, Australia.
Both their adventures begin, and life eventually comes full circle for Iris.
My writing background began in Sydney, Australia when I worked as a reporter for Rupert Murdoch’s Daily Mirror group. Since then, my pieces have appeared worldwide, including The Desert Sun, Palm Springs Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, and many others. I also founded and published San Francisco Gentry magazine,