Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jane Carroll, author of the motivational self-help book BERTHA-SIZE YOUR LIFE!, and welcome her to my blog.
Jane Carroll, Author Photograph
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your book?
A: Marcia, first of all thank you so much for having me on your blog, it’s a delight to be here. Now to answer your question…actually everything in my life inspires my writing. I’ll see something or hear something and it just takes on a deeper meaning for life. They say that a writer never wastes an experience. I know it’s certainly true for me as I generally take the mundane and turn it into life lessons…with the help of Bertha of course. Now…all that said…every experience in Bertha did not happen to me personally. Some of it was inspired by others asking for advice and from coaching clients. I have to say that because my mother got really upset when she read some of the stories because she thought I’d been depressed and she didn’t realize it.
Q: For how long have you been writing?
A: For about ten years now although I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself in writing.
Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule which works for you?
A: I normally write better in the morning so that’s when I write my blog. Since I work fulltime as a school nurse, by the time I’ve done that I don’t have time to work on anything else so that usually comes on the weekend or holidays. I would love to be one of those regimented writers who has a word count planned for the day but it just doesn’t work for me.
Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
A: I love to read anything that is uplifting and inspirational. I gravitate to spiritual and self-help books like most people do to fiction.
Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
A: Og Mandino has definitely influenced me, especially his book The Greatest Miracle in the World. I love the way he incorporated life lessons into beautiful stories. Although my writing style is nothing like his, I strived to follow in his footsteps.
Q: BERTHA-SIZE YOUR LIFE! is an entertaining self-help book which covers various topics in a fun, and informative manner. What inspired you to write this book, and create the spirited, and indomitable Bertha?
A: Interestingly, it’s not the book that I started to write. I began writing a book of transformational exercises for women experiencing empty-nest just after my youngest daughter got married. I had completed my life coach training and had always wanted to write so it just seemed like the right time and place in my life to begin. The only problem was that the book was boring. Most of the chapters started out…take some time and get quiet. Then one day a friend left me a voicemail that her daughter had moved out and her nest was empty…what should she do? I tried to call her back and thankfully she didn’t answer so I sent her an email instead. It was flippant and off the cuff to say the least and I told her to name her nest and I named mine Bertha. I thought that was that until a few days later something was bothering me and I decided to just let…Bertha…handle it. I wrote a funny little story in my journal about it…and that as they say was that. Bertha quickly took over that book and turned all those exercises into funny stories. Of course she had the starring role. Many of Bertha’s details are the opposite of me…from the big red hair to the high-heels and spandex…I just didn’t want her to sound like me. She sort of evolved on her own into a persona that most people once they’ve read the book…consider to be a real person in her own right.
Q: Would you consider writing fiction at some point in the future? If so, are there any genres in which you would like to write?
A: I’ve actually started a fiction piece although it will also be a book of personal transformation and will mirror some aspects of my life. I can’t wait for the summer to really get into it.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, from either the past, or still on the air?
A: I used to watch a good bit of TV…loved sit-coms, Oprah, Law and Order. Now I watch very little…mostly just something on HGTV if I want to turn the TV on for company.
Q: Are there any hobbies you like to participate in when you have spare time?
A: I love biking. In fact I had a ride before we started chatting. I wasn’t able to ride for a couple of years due to health issues so I’m really looking forward to getting back on the road this spring and summer. I used to ride between 20 and 40 miles a day and I hope to build back up to that. Today I made ten and I also went to the gym for a weight session. I also love reading and piddling in my yard, although you couldn’t call me a gardener.
Q: Do you have any other writing projects which you would like to mention?
A: The sequel to Bertha-Size Your Life! is at the publisher as I type, awaiting the editing process. I hope it will be released before the end of the summer. It picks up where Bertha left off and the transformation of the narrator continues with a few fun twists and turns. I’m really pleased with the direction it took. (Hope the publisher agrees.)
I am certain you will join me in thanking Jane today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Jane, she is available on:
*Facebook page: https://facebook.com/janecarrollauthor
*Jane’s website is: http://www.janecarrollauthor.com
*Jane’s Blog: http://janecarrollauthor.com/category/life-according-to-jane-blog/
BERTHA-SIZE YOUR LIFE can be accessed by clicking on its cover below:
BERTHA SIZE YOUR LIFE by Jane Carroll