Jane Carroll, Author of "Bertha Size Your Life" fame... Her inspiration is 'Life ... most definitely!'
GMB: Hi Jane Carroll ... Author of "Bertha Size Your Life" fame... Thanks for peddling on over here to the 'Anything But a Tired Barn' to chat. I hope our Blog Fans to get to know you, and your work a little better...
I have come to know you through the wonderful world of the Master Koda Family and welcome you here, to the Barn today
JC: And it was a glorious ride over here to meet with you in the Barn today Mitch ... Thanks for having me...
GMB: Now that I've shown you around the Barn a little, how about we go over to the Route 66 Diner...?
JC: Sure Mitch ... quite the unexpected tour...
GMB: You are very welcome ... And we now have our coffees in our hot little hands... Settling now ... Please ... Jane share with us a little about yourself.
JC: Well…first of all…I’m very comfortable here…since…I was raised in a barn. Well…maybe not…but it’s a question I heard a lot growing up when I failed to act in a civilized manner…which was quite frequently. Actually…I did grow up in the rural South…and we always had a barn. My first career…and the one that still mostly pays the bills…is nursing. I currently work as a school nurse at a K-12 school when I’m not writing or working with clients as a life coach. I have two grown daughters, two grand-daughters, and most days I’m happily single.
GMB: And on most days when you are 'happily single' ... Hey guys out there in Blog Land ... pay close attention now ... *grinning cheeky* Uh ... oh yes ... Now Jane, where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration for your writing?
JC: Life…most definitely! I generally incorporate humor with insights from my every day experiences into my writing.
GMB: Wonderful! And 'Bertha Size Your Life' is a humorous self-help book ... It focuses on self-help, motivation, personal transformation and the law of attraction ... Why chose to write self-help book that includes the law of attraction in particular?
JC: I gravitate to self-help like a moth to a flame…so it was never really a question. Years ago I thought I was going to…fix…myself but I have since realized that it’s not about…fixing…it’s about growth. And just like Jello…there’s always room for growth.
GMB: Jello growing? If I saw jello growing I always thought it'd spent a little too long in the fridge... or on the picnic table ... I'd better get this figured out and I think I know just the book to help me along with this dilemma... Jane congratulations on such a wonderful effort ... How about sharing the Blurb for Berta ... Heh, heh ... That sounds kind of catchy ... 'Blurb for Berta'... *grinning*
JC: Sure Mitch ... Here's a Blurb for Berta... *grinning back*
'Bertha-Size Your Life!' is a book of personal transformation that reads like a series of entertaining and humorous stories. Bertha, a zany redhead, mysteriously appears in the narrator’s life during a walk in the park. Quicker than a man can hand off a baby with a dirty diaper, she has moved into the narrator’s empty nest and the fun begins.
GMB: Is there any other genre you’d like to write? And, if so, why?
JC: I have started a fiction piece but it will still be a process of transformation for the main character as she determines why she has settled for less than the life she could have been living. It may fit into Boomer Lit…not far enough along to know yet.
GMB: We've switched from coffee ... Taken a relaxing stroll to an outdoor cafe down the way ... Here's where I ask Jane, which appears first when you contemplate a new project such as the fiction piece you describe ... a character, the plot or the title?
JC: Definitely the character then the plot…the title is usually the hardest part for me.
GMB: And the hardest part of a novel for you to write besides the title ... the beginning of the story ... the middle or end? can you share with us 'Why'?
JC: Well…Bertha…isn't really a novel but a series of life lessons that read like short stories. I actually wrote them as the inspiration hit me. There really wasn't a rhyme or reason for them. The publisher had a difficult time putting them into a sequence. I was more deliberate with the sequel and it has definite stages that it goes through. I found the ending to be the most challenging.
GMB: Has your own life influenced your writing? If so, how?
JC: Absolutely! I write life lessons…so everything that I write about is triggered by something that I've learned or experienced either personally or through a coaching client or friend.
GMB: Who of your creations is your favorite character?
JC: Of course I have to say…Bertha…although sometimes I say…the cat…just to rile Bertha up.
GMB: Why Bertha and not the cat?
JC: I love Bertha because she lives life out loud…in a way that I aspire to do. I love that she is flamboyant and gaudy but she’s always true to who she is. I also appreciate that even she loses her self-confidence from time to time…which makes her real. She’s just like the best friend you could ever want to have and she’s always up to something. The cat…I love just because it has such a bat catittude. I based it very closely to my cat at the time.
GMB: Can you share anything about an upcoming release?
JC: It’s Bertha’s sequel ... it starts where Bertha-Size ends and takes the narrator further into her transformation and has a few fun twists along the way. I have submitted it to the publisher and am waiting for the editing process to begin. I’m really excited about the direction the book took and hope that it will be released by the end of the summer.
GMB: Speaking of 'publishers' ... If I was a publisher, I believe my first question would be, “Why were you chosen to write this story?” How would you respond to the inquisitive publisher?
JC: I think I was just in the right place at the right time. My daughters were both out of college and married…so my nest was empty. I had just completed my training as a life coach and I’d always wanted to write a book. Besides that…I was probably the only person who was just goofy enough to listen to Bertha and put her words on paper.
GMB: Sounds like Bertha is a pretty lucky character ... Jane, which do you prefer, a great hero or a great villain? Why don’t you name one of each…
JC: Oh…I always go for the hero. Of course, without the villain he wouldn't be a hero…would he? (Even Bertha has a nemesis.) I’ll stick with my favorite movie and choose George Bailey as my hero and Mr. Potter as the villain.
GMB: What is your favorite movie? And why? What is NOT your favorite movie?
JC: My all-time favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life. I love the message of the importance of each individual and how each person impacts so many others. There is a lot of wisdom in that movie. My least favorite movie would be anything with a lot of violence and suspense.
GMB: Yes, yes ... and I noticed,m when preparing for this Interview that there are a lot of Christmas photos ... I dare to guess Christmas is a nice time of year for you and your Family. If you could be anyone in the world, space, and designated realm, Christmas or not ... Who would it be? And why?
JC: I have to say I’d still be me but I would love to be impacting the world with my writing, speaking and coaching on a larger scale than I am now.
GMB: KEWL ... very cool ... Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
JC: Hmmm…by then I should be retired from nursing so I’ll be writing full-time. I would love to be spend more time as an inspirational speaker and life coach as well. I’m sure there will be a whole troop of 'Berthas' running around by then.
GMB: And here is one of those Christmas photos from your Facebook page ... I behold ... and e-Reader ... *smiles* Jane, let share with our Blog Fans that information so they can find you, and your books...
JC: Great Mitch ... the link to my website is: http://www.janecarrollauthor.com
GMB: And if we grab up our e-Readers, what would be your Favorite Amazon Review that we can take a peek at?
JC: I kind of like the following Amazon Consumer review. "
Not Just for Empty-Nesters
GMB: And while we're on our e-Readers and Pads and PCs how can we purchase Berta Size Your Life?
JC: You can find us to buy us at: http://amzn.com/B008873ZRM. You can also find Berta and I using the following links:
*Facebook page: https://facebook.com/janecarrollauthor
*Her website is: http://www.janecarrollauthor.com
GMB: Well Jane Carroll, Author of 'Bertha-Size Your Life' its been great to meet you and get to know you and your book a little better. Thank You for joining us here in the 'Anything But a Tired Barn' ... Be well, Taker Care and have a Great Day ... Oh and please be careful peddling around out there... You never know when a steer may jump out and scare the handlebars off your bike... :-) Bye for now... *Smiles*
6/3/2013 04:50:25 am
This was a great interview. I read personal empowerment or self-help a lot in my 30s.Many, Many Moons ago.
6/3/2013 05:57:08 am
Thank you for the well wishes, Maria and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview...it was so much fun to do!
6/3/2013 05:59:06 am
Thanks for having me on your blog Mitch...although...you promised not to show the picture of us having adult beverages...shame on you! ;)
G Mitchell Baker
6/3/2013 06:13:17 am
I though it was a Fresca ... honest... ;-)
6/3/2013 08:56:07 am
Oh...it was a Fresca...that's right...I remember now. ;)
DeEtte Beckstead Anderton
6/3/2013 07:05:44 am
Love this interview! Mitch is always such an awesome host, and Jane, well, with you and Bertha, it had to be a great interview!
6/5/2013 01:42:09 am
Thanks so much DeEtte...glad you could chaperone...I mean...visit with us!
6/6/2013 07:53:32 am
Great pics Jane! This was a wonderful interview. I really enjoyed getting to know better. Go Bertha too!!
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Amazon Author Page for G. Mitchell Baker
G. Mitchell Baker, Author