Monday, February 13, 2012
FEATURED AUTHOR: Althea Baldwin
The Day I No Longer “Heard” the Sun Shine is an informative, but emotionally connected book, speaking from experiences from the heart about enduring and overcoming the diagnosis of Cancer. Whether you are a cancer patient, caregiver to someone battling cancer, or medical professional, the pages within this book will encourage and touch in ways that will heal your mind and spirit as well as inform you to help you endure this time. There is hope in the midst of tragedy, and you will “hear” the sun shine again!
How did you start out your writing career?
I've been writing since I was young, probably about 8 years old. I've always loved the art of writing and its expression. I started writing poetry, inspirational, and motivational messages. It became a career for me once I developed my very first book.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned how simple documentation of facts are very vital in capturing vivid details of one's experience. I also learned how much I loved writing and how easy it was for me. I also learned about the importance of research.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I hope to reach millions of women suffering with breast cancer to encourage them with an awareness of the disease and inform them of what to expect with their experience...every step of the way. I also hope to help comfort breast cancer patients as well as the caretakers that care for them.
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
The plot of my story came first. I write for a cause...the fight against breast cancer. So I guess you can say that the plot of my story was my own experience to share with the world.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
As a new author, I've been most surprised by the time involved in developing a book. There's much involved in formatting, structuring events in readable order, then placing all contents in a form that would be an interesting read to my audience. I was also surprised with the vast integral aspects of writing of publishing, marketing, promoting, and publicizing your work. Writing the book is only the beginning of your work...the hard work comes after it's published.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
The aspect of writing that I love the most is expressing my thoughts on paper. I love writing as opposed to speaking. I feel that I express myself so much better on paper. However, I communicate well verbally, but prefer writing. I love writing when my creative juices are flowing uninterrupted. What I struggle with the most in writing, and I guess I can say I hate, is grammatically constructing proper sentences.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1.) That my publisher does not provide marketing/promotional services; 2.) I would have to do my own marketing of my book and contacting media/advertising agents 3.) My book is not automatically placed in every bookstore and retail outlet nationwide.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do=Be inspired and write your heart...and allow it to be expressed in your own words. Don't=Reluctantly not research your audience and you cause. If writing fiction/non-fiction..know your audience.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Allow oneself to imagine and put yourself in the shoes of the writer; explore their writing; and try to read their books through the eyes of the writer. I finally desire that the non-writer uses their creative minds.
Tell us something few know about you?
I'm a loner. I love being alone. While I can be a "social bee"...I really am not. However, I can mix and mingle with the best of them!
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm an organizer. I love organizing and arranging things in my home, or office. I'm an advocate that an organized person can more easily achieve goals.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I love to go to speaking engagements, present my testimony and book, then answer questions from women who are either battling breast cancer or have loved ones that want to know how to better care for them. As someone who's gone through the whole process of diagnosis, treatment, surgeries, and recovery, I can offer assistance from a real point of view. I love discussion, and also hearing other women's plight with this disease. It sheds new light from various experiences and helps me to help and comfort more women. Finally, I go to doctors offices, health facilities, and even surgical procedures with women in support of them. This also helps give them a sense of peace and comfort.
Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for staying motivated to complete the book?
I believe when you have a burning story, cause, or message to write in a book, it should be the most important thing in your life at that time. I'm a witness that one must write immediately when inspired, in order to capture that pure and authentic thought. There should be nothing more imperative than getting that story out. When a thought pattern grows cold, or the creative juices refuses to flow, it will stifle any goal of completion of any story. You have to see that story to its end. But most importantly, see the thousands, and even millions of readers waiting out there to read your words. Finally, you must be willing to put in the time and hours of reading, re-reading, editing, and making the necessary corrections to make your work presentable to a Publisher.
Do you do anything to promote Black History Month?
I have not done anything personally to promote Black History socially. However, I play a primary role in the lives of my grandchildren to take them on tours of the King Center, Museums, and Historical sites to educate them on Black History. We also do projects to give them hands on understanding about what the movement meant, means, and how it will ultimately affect their lives.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
I know for sure that I have a specific mission in life. I want to be a servant to others (as my Lord and Savior commissions us), and help to make someone else's life more meaningful. Once this is done, our life has true relevance.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
I have prayed and seeked the Lord occasionally on a next book, if there be one. I have no idea at this time what that would be, but know that it will be inspirational.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I can be reached at Althea Baldwin at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org ; my home address: Mrs. Althea Baldwin 3770 Clearwater Drive College Park, Ga. 30349 ; or my website at http://www.altheabaldwin.moonfruit.com/
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