Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Author Interview - Katherine Mayfield

Why do you write? I write because nothing else gives me as much joy, or inspires as much passion for me as writing.  I write because I am wild with the desire to self-express, and because I love words and books and the power they have to inform, validate, and open people’s minds.

What writing are you most proud of? To date, I’m most proud of my memoir, The Box of Daughter:  Healing the Authentic Self, which is the story of my journey of recovery from growing up in a very dysfunctional family.  The Box of Daughter won awards in both the 2012 New England Book Festival and Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, and was nominated as a Finalist in the 2013 Maine Literary Awards.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve pretty much put my difficult past behind me and created a life that feels rich and authentic.  It only took 25 years, LOL.

Tell us about your new book. What’s it about and why did you write it? My latest book, Bullied: Why You Feel Bad Inside and What to Do About It is just coming out this week.  I’m really excited about it!  It’s a guide to recovery for teens and adults who’ve been bullied or emotionally abused, and like my memoir, it’s a book that came out of my own recovery from bullying and emotional abuse in childhood.
When I was in my thirties, I seriously contemplated suicide because I was in so much emotional pain, so I know what that feels like.  With Bullied, my motivation is singularly the fact that so many teens commit suicide in response to bullying because they think there’s no other way out.  But there are ways to recover, to move beyond the pain and actually create a much happier and more fulfilling life.

Bullied helps people to cope with sadness, fear, depression, and anger – and it’s my opinion that most of the problems in society (the violence, road rage, depression, relationship angst) stem from unexpressed feelings, because we’re taught that we’re not supposed to have feelings, but they’re truly an intrinsic part of being human.  Pain happens.  Things make us mad.  Things make us frightened.  We’re supposed to feel those things, not pretend they’re not there.  We just have to learn how to let them go and move on.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure.  Here’s an excerpt of the intro to Bullied.
“When I was in school, I was bullied not only by other kids, but by my parents as well. Bullying hurts, and sometimes it can make you scared of everything and everyone.

I coped with my feelings by hiding myself way down deep inside. I tried to put on a polite smile and be nice to everyone so no one would hurt me. But they hurt me anyway. I felt like there was no way I could stop it.
Being bullied made me feel like I was helpless, incompetent, and insignificant, because I couldn’t figure out a way to stop others from bullying me. I carried those feelings for many years, and eventually they turned into a belief that I was that way. Believing that I was helpless and incompetent made me feel miserable, as if I wasn’t as good as anyone else. I felt inferior to almost everyone.

Only recently have I begun to understand that those things I believed about myself are not true. It was the experience of being bullied that caused me to feel incompetent and insignificant. That’s not who I really am inside.

If you’re being bullied and you feel that way, too, it’s not who you really are, either. Being bullied just makes you feel like you are. And even bullies can have these same kinds of feelings.”

What book should everybody read at least once? Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child.  Ms. Miller writes to every child – she believes that all children are gifted, but that most children’s gifts get buried by the way they’re brought up.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? In spite of being dumped in a daughter box when she was small, she managed to grow up, create an authentic life, and do the work she felt she was called to do.

How did you develop your writing? I started with journal writing, which allows a writer to be totally free to put into words whatever is springing forth from inside, and over the years I took a number of workshops at a wonderful writers’ studio in Florence, Massachusetts called Writers in Progress.  I’ve also had my first drafts critiqued, which means they’re read by a professional editor, and comments come back to show the writer what needs work.  The first editor I worked with in this way taught me incredible stuff about how to write. Then I wrote and wrote and wrote, and rewrote and rewrote and rewrote.

I can’t remember who, but some famous writer once said, “You have to write a million words before you become a good writer.”  I think that’s absolutely true.

Where do you get your inspiration from? I’m not sure really…it just comes.  My muse is wild and prolific and energetic – I’m lucky that the ideas just keep coming.  I can’t seem to keep up with the ideas and words, they just pour out.  Also, dancing the tango, reading, and music by Tim Janis, Constance Demby, Peter Kater, Bach and other composers, and jazz, inspires me, too.

Do you plan to publish more books? Oh, yes, yes, yes!  I have five in the pipeline at the moment, and ideas tucked away for several more that I haven’t started yet.  Sometimes a phrase or paragraph will come into my head for one of the books I’m working on, so I jot it down.  I always seem to work on several simultaneously, until one of them suddenly stands up and says, “I’m first now.”  Then I focus on that one, get it written and published, and move on to the next.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I wrote a poem when I was six, and one of my teachers liked it.  Writing was really the only way I could express myself without getting in trouble.  The problem was, my mother insinuated that I would never be able to write, so I had to overcome that negative message and learn how to believe in myself as a writer.

How long have you been writing? If you count the poem when I was six, I’ve been writing for 49 years.  If you mean how long I’ve been pursuing it as a career, it’s been about 20.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Self Help/Abuse/Bullying
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Katherine Mayfield on Facebook & Twitter

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