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Monday, November 21, 2011

Lucy Adams: Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run

As promised last week, today I am presenting guest blogger Lucy Adams. While the subjects Lucy and I typically write about appear to be very distant one from the other, I felt that her particular brand of humour, so important in these times of worries, stress, and negativity, was especially germane to keeping ourselves on track in the positive sense of the word.

Lucy is the author of recently released book, Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run (Palm Tree Press, 2011), in which she showcases her knack for unraveling a snippet of time, already frayed at the edges, and exposing the whole story, with all of its nuances. Using her same wit and self-deprecating humor as in her first book, If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny (Palm Tree Press 2007), Adams surrenders to her reader true tales of massacred magnolias, communist pig roasts and 40 year-old bridesmaids, as well as an assemblage of many other mishaps, misjudgments and miscalculations.

A Q&A with author Lucy Adams:

What makes you passionate about writing?

I love words. I love the flow of words. I like the challenge of saying something ordinary in an unexpected way. I enjoy enabling readers to “see” the scenes as opposed to simply telling them about a character or an event. When I am writing I can actually feel my brain shift and I move into another zone. I become completely disconnected from the here and now and transported to a place where I’m not even myself anymore. It’s a crazy feeling, probably akin to the freefall craved by adrenalin junkies.

I want to take my reader with me on that surreal journey. I want her to touch, taste, hear, smell, see what I do. If I achieve eliciting a giggle, a tear, an Ah-ha, a deeper thought, a nod of the head from someone, then I’ve achieved something.

And I won’t even go into the thrill of a deadline, here, but, my gosh, I can’t live without one.

Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Now I feel like I’m on the stage at the Academy Awards trying to think of all the people I need to thank and fearing I’ve left out someone very important. So, I’m going to say, my 11th grade English teacher, Naomi Williams, who never encouraged me to go into a career in writing. When I showed her some of my material, she did not critique content. She picked apart the grammar and punctuation and would not accept my explanation for why I had used the punctuation and grammar the way I had.

Why her? Because she taught me that I had to know how to write correctly. I had to become an expert at that first. A person can write fabulous content that reads absolutely nonsensical if the grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and word usage lead the reader down the wrong path.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

On a home tour last Christmas, a homeowner actually walked me into his bathroom to point out my book, which he keeps on the back of his commode. That’s an unforgettable moment.

I love making people laugh; making an emotional connection.

I also like the idea that something of my creation with my name on it is recorded in perpetuity in the Library of Congress. I'm a permanent, though tiny, piece of the fabric of America. It's a record of my existence and my contribution. That sounds silly and neurotic when I say it, but it’s true.

How did you get started writing?

My original plan, when I was 5, was to be an artist and live in my parents’ garage and take care of them in their old age. Despite my father nursing that ambition, I ended up being a writer and living down the road from my parents. An arrangement that pleases my mother very much, since she and my dad haven’t decided to get old yet.

My high school friends would tell you that they always knew I would be a writer. My college friends would tell you they were all surprised. My husband says I’m not the same woman he married; that it’s like my alien inside took over.

I always wanted to write. I sort of gave up on it, though, after high school, seeking to do more practical things with my education and my life. It wasn’t until I was 34, with four children ages 6 and under, and a husband who said we needed extra income, that I got up the courage to act on it.

I typed up sample columns and went to my local newspaper and asked if I could write for them. Then I called back the editor again, and again, and again, until he said, “Yes, if you’ll quit bothering me. I’ve got work to do.”

Now, in my 40’s, going a day without writing is like going a day without oxygen.

Who are your books geared towards?

Although plenty of men tell me they appreciate my humor and that they love my books, my primary audience is women. For one thing, women are busy people and often have to beg, borrow and steal snatches of time in which to read. Each story is about two pages long and a quick escape. These are the kind of books that can be read all in one sitting or put down and picked up over the course of several weeks. Women get the humor and the nuances because they’ve been in the same trenches as me.

Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

All major on-line bookstores, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, carry both Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run and If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny. Local brick and mortar bookstores will order them upon customer request. And signed copies are available from my website: http://ifmama.com/

Strategic Errors, a podcast excerpt from Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, is a true story in which the names and places have been changed to protect identities. Though it sounds like a fairytale, you, too, can live happily ever after in the Kingdom of Mindovermatter.

1 comment:

  1. Gabriella,
    Thank you for hostessing me today at Rewiring the Soul. I appreciate your kind words about my humor.