Author Interview with Gladys Simmons Carson
I’m interviewing Gladys Simmons Carson today, author of non-fiction inspirational memoir “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy”. Welcome to my blog, Gladys, and thanks for answering my questions.
1) When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I knew I wanted to be an author in childhood, but at the time it seemed impossible. I have been reading since the age of three and was introduced to my first novel at about the age a four, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There was a scene in that story where the teacher criticized Francie’s writing, wanting her to write about more pleasant things. But Francie wrote about life, and it wasn’t always pleasant. I wanted to write about my life. Finally I have.
2) Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
TRIUMPH! A BATTLE PLAN FOR JOY chronicles Gladys’ journey from birth into adulthood, which carries her geographically from Texas to New York and back. Emotionally it carries her through the sudden death of her mother and separation from family, where she and her two younger brothers are abused in various ways. By grace, her uncanny maturity and tenacious will, she discovers ways to overcome the effects of her abusive environment, so that the outer disturbances do not infiltrate the peace of her inner sanctuary. Through these brutal experiences Gladys gains both wisdom and the wherewithal to triumph over her present conditions and her future “enemies,” i.e. the demeaning nature of segregation and the destructive nature of her own unhealthy thinking. Ultimately she wins a resurgence of bountiful joy when she recognizes who the enemies really are.
3) What is your editing process like?
Before I give my work to the editor I wait a day or so, sometimes longer, and edit it myself. I read through it on my computer, on my tablet and in print. I often find errors or rough spots in one format that I did not see in another. Then I give the manuscript to the editor. After he returns it, I go through it again and again. If there is an area I consider critical for understanding, I use a technique I learned from Joy Tipping, a staff writer for the Dallas Morning News. When she spoke for our writers group, she shared a great way to proof your own work so you don’t see what is not there because you know it should be. That is to read it backward. Don’t read the sentence backward, but begin with the last sentence and work your way up. That way you don’t get caught up in the story, but clearly see each sentence on its own.
4) What was the most enjoyable part about writing your book?
Finishing it! Actually I found the writing process very therapeutic. I enjoyed when I gained a better understand of situations and myself through hindsight–what Oprah calls an “aha moment.” There were a lot of aha moments for me while writing this book. The writing exercise also helped me rid myself of every smidgen of ill will toward the abusers.
5) What are your writing goals for 2014?
2014 is a year of celebration for me. I am also an inspirational speaker, and I want to spend ample time being an ambassador for joy, advocating “Joy by Choice, Not by Chance.” I will continue to write, but I am allowing myself time to celebrate.
6) Are you working on something? If so, can you tell us more about it?
My first inclination was to go back and complete the book I was working on before “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy” took over my thoughts. But I have developed an outline for a book that I hope will encourage someone to take better care of their mind body and spirit, starting when they are young and continuing for a lifetime. It is about aging gracefully, understanding that aging doesn’t start in old age, but at birth.
Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy
Author: Gladys Simmons Carson
Genre: Inspirational Memoir
When medical malpractice takes the life of her mother and the offense is dismissed as an unfortunate mistake, it rips a hole in seven-year-old Gladys’ heart and ignites fire in her anger. This act of gross negligence strips her of the joyful delight that has characterized her existence. Before she can grasp the full meaning of her loss, fate takes her on a journey through a series of harsh realities, including devastating child abuse, demeaning segregation and destructive thinking. These unsavory enemies assault her on all fronts, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. But the child warrior uses youthful wisdom to triumph over the effects of them all. Her prize is a resurgence of bountiful joy. You may laugh or cry, but you will definitely cheer for the child warrior in TRIUMPH! A BATTLE PLAN FOR JOY.
Gladys Simmons Carson is an inspirational speaker and author of the much-talked-about memoir, “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy. For more than 45 years she has challenged and encouraged audiences with her message of assurance. Now in her debut book she gives insight into how we too can choose joy despite our circumstances.
Her passion for writing stems from an early introduction to the written word. By age three she was reading her older siblings’ school books. By age four she was introduced to her first novel, Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” This early exposure gave birth to a love affair with books and a fascination for writing. By the time she reached adult status, she had evolved into a natural encourager with a wealth of information to share, and a zeal for sharing.
Online Press Kit: www.gladyscarson.com/press
Book Trailer: www.gladyscarson.tv