Welcome back, dreamers. I have Georgette Symonds in the spotlight today, and I was truly touched by what she shared about how 9/11 impacted her writing. It’s hard to witness something like that and not be affected. Enjoy the interview.
P.S. If you check out my twitter feed and retweet my pinned tweet about this post, you’ll have a chance at winning Georgette’s book Look Not Upon Our Sins. Giveaway winner will be picked at the end of the day on Monday 1/25/16.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a nun. To be exact, a Nursing Sister who would visit and take care of the sick in their homes. I spent 12 years in parochial schools, and having grown up in a Catholic neighborhood, the church was a central part of our lives.
What do you do now?
After spending years as a Critical Care Nurse, I am now completely following my dream of being an author. This allows me time for my favorite part of writing — research. For my latest Psychological/Suspense novel Bless Me Father I volunteered at a local police department to be sure to have the police procedure perfectly written.
I’m giving you a super power that will make your biggest dream come true — guaranteed. What’s going to happen?
With this quote in mind, I am going to ask for a magical pen. One made from pure gold that writes with clear illuminating light.
This super power will allow me to put my words down on paper in such a way that every reader will clearly see the world through another’s eyes. With this golden pen the reader will understand why my characters made the choices they did. And in so understanding, this illuminating pen will help the reader question other possible reasons why people in their own lives might have made such choices.
Because of this ability, my stories will touch the reader’s life and my characters will live on forever.
Did you ever give up on your dreams?
Yes, on 9/11. That day from where I was working, I could see the smoke coming from the Twin Towers. People around me were frantically trying to reach their loved ones who worked in those falling buildings.
I could not write another word. Why would anyone care about a fictional family of women in Brooklyn? Their pain and struggles were not real. I stuffed the manuscript for my first novel Look Not Upon Our Sins away in a desk drawer.
“Stopped writing,” I’d answer for months whenever questioned by family or friends about it.
Then one day my dearest friend sat me down and said that I had to finish it. “It’s a great story! Just read what you wrote.” I did as she suggested and I knew I had to finish writing my characters story.
What advice do you have for people who are trying to decide if they should chase their dream?
One thing I learned from being a Critical Care Nurse is that on their death bed most people regret what they DIDN’T do more than what they did do.
I’m not saying quit your day job. You have to be realistic. You have to be honest with expectations of yourself. But don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
I believe in the American Dream that if you work hard enough and long enough you will be successful. You might not reach your highest goal but you will attain more than if you DIDN’T reach at all.
Also be sure to enjoy the journey. Celebrate all the little successes along the way. My first published story The Good-Night Kiss was featured in Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul. I can still picture that pink $200 check.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
Superhero? Every woman whether working in the home or out is a Superhero but to answer your question I’d be Wonder Woman. Why? First I’d want to stay female and being a heroine fighting for justice, peace and love is something I believe in. Can you imagine having The Lasso of Truth?
So many, if not all of our problems are from not telling the truth. Whether it’s that we are being lied to or that we ourselves are lying to others or even to ourselves. So if one really had the power for truth perhaps we could have justice, peace, and love in our world.
I am a GoodReads Author
Bridget Donahue’s heart stopped. And, in that moment, a torrent of guilt and regret swelled up consuming her. Before her, under a mound of fallen leaves, a piece of faded red cloth protruded. Could her search for her sister end here? Bridget, only 13, carried the burden of knowing she was somehow responsible for her missing sister. The years of searching for Meg were to continue until she married Peter. When he tragically dies, Bridget and her three daughters set sail to join here wealthy brother in America. They traveled across the Atlantic full of dreams for a new life. But they were ill prepared for the life they found in 1927 Brooklyn. It is there that her daughter, Elizabeth, becomes an alcoholic and goes into exile. It is only when Bridget’s granddaughter, Mabel, who was abandoned and betrayed grows up that the pieces of the family are put back together and they find out what happened back in Ireland to Meg.
It’s been said that the Irish experience is mute. That there is no one to write for the Irish, no one to speak for them. “Look Not Upon Our Sins” does just that. The backdrop covers everything from the Great famine and the heart wrenching crossing over the Atlantic Ocean on coffin ships as Irish ancestors died trying desperately to reach for a new life in North America, the early days of Brooklyn and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the hay day of the 1920’s to the 1950’s.
“A wonderful novel that truly captures Ireland. I was deeply moved by her descriptions. You will immediately fall in love with the passion of Bridget Donahue. I hope it becomes a New York Times Best Seller!” Andy Cooney Irish American Entertainer and Recording Artist
“Look Not Upon Our Sins” is an Irish style “Roots” meets “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” Like Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes” this is the compelling story of an Irish family. However, it is seen through the eyes of three generations of women showing the complex dynamic relationship between mother and daughter and between sister.