September Author Interview Answer #1: What is the goal in your writing career?

A warm welcome to the two ladies who have participated in the September Author Interview under the memoir/biography genre. They are Author Debby G. Kaye and Linda Sexton.

I must say that it was pretty difficult to find writers from this genre. As a fan of biography, autobiography, memoir and non-fiction books in general, I think these ladies have some very interesting viewpoints to the questions I had asked them for this interview ! Let’s check out the question #1 and the answers from them.

“As a Memoir author, have you ever felt restricted when you are writing? Have you ever changed some of the details of people, places or incidents in your book before? How does it feel to do so when you feel restricted when you actually wanted to write everything out as it is?”

Author #1 D. G. Kaye

When I first began writing my memoir, Conflicted Hearts, I was very apprehensive about publishing it. I did feel as though I found myself holding back with certain parts because I couldn’t stop envisioning personal family reading it. I especially felt guilty for exposing my mother’s shortcomings. But I kept writing with the mantra in my head ‘write what you know, edit later,’ to keep the words flowing. I was nervous about the fact that my mother may read my book, but as it turns out, she had no interest.

I wrote the book with the best of my recollection of the events that occurred. I did change the names of people in my life because I felt it was an invasion on their privacy to use their proper names. I don’t believe by altering the names and keeping the story in truth, makes it any less nonfiction.

I wanted to demonstrate what I had put up with my mother’s rule, and as my brother pointed out to me after he read it, he felt that I held back on some details about my mother. He was right. I didn’t write the book to exploit my mother. Unfortunately, because of her actions, I acquired all of my emotional baggage. But as much as I wanted to tell my story, I just didn’t have the heart to slam her by exposing many more unflattering things about her. I promised my brother that in my sequel to Conflicted Hearts, I would go into more detail and go deeper into my mother’s motives for her actions.

Author #2 Linda Sexton
When you write memoir, dealing with the truth, however subjectively, and with the privacy and feelings of people who are also portrayed, is always a problem.  My mother, the poet Anne Sexton, always counseled me to “tell it true” whenever I was writing and this is advice to which I have always tried to adhere.  I take into account others’ feelings and try to write my truth in a gentle way, choosing my words carefully, but I have never knowingly altered an event or a situation.  I have never changed the details, or places, or incidents in Searching for Mercy Street, or Half in Love, or Bespotted, even when I knew it might cause consternation or pain.  However, I have offered people anonymity as far as their names go and  a very few took me up on the it.  I think the best you can do with memoir is to tell the truth the way you see it, be as kind as is possible without distorting your truth, and also allow those involved to see either manuscript or galleys before the book is published so that they are prepared.  Never promise to change anything according to their reading or outlook or opinions, or you will be compromised—but offer them the chance to see what is coming.
I think it has always been a personal battle to write what you truly feel because you know people will read it unless you are writing a diary. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! 
I’ll be posting the answers to the second question next: “Why do you choose to write this genre and not anything else? What’s the reason or motivation behind it?”
Share your thoughts and views below.

September Author Interview: Author #2: Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1953.   She is the daughter of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Anne Sexton.  Linda graduated from Harvard in 1975 with a degree in literature.  After the death of her mother, she became the literary executor of the estate at twenty-one years old and edited several posthumous books of her mother’s poetry, as well as publishing Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters and Between Two Worlds: Young Women in Crisis.  She has written four novels, Rituals, Mirror ImagesPoints of Light and Private Acts. Points of Light was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame Special for CBS television and was translated into thirteen languages.   Her first memoir, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was optioned by Miramax Films.

Sexton’s second memoir, Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide was published in 2011 and takes a hard look at her struggle with her own mental illness and the legacy of suicide left to her by her mother and her mother’s family.

After the serious subjects about which she wrote so candidly in Half in Lovetime for a change had come—and with it, a different perspective  Linda began to delve into the joyful aspects of her childhood, specifically the time spent with the family Dalmatians.  Her family’s love affair with Dalmatians perhaps took root in the fact that these animals always buoyed her mother’s mood and alleviated her depression.  Thus they were cherished for their ability to act as something akin to today’s “therapy dogs,” as well as being beloved companions.

Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians  is a breakthrough book for Linda—a new piece of her literary family’s history, as well as a new look into her own life as an adult.  This memoir also looks into the ways dogs influence our lives, and how they infuse every day with companionship, loyalty and love.  It speaks to the growth of its author into a different phase of her life—one dominated by joy—and uniquely examines how one family, and one breed, found their way through life together.

Linda is now at work on a fifth novel, and continues to live in California with her husband and their three Dalmatians: Breeze and her two sons Cody and Mac, whom Linda and her husband bred in 2011 and 2012.  Mac, now her forty-second Dal, is the model for the jacket photo of Bespotted.

Check out : http://www.amazon.com/Bespotted-Familys-Affair-Thirty-Eight-Dalmatians/dp/1619023458  and http://lindagraysexton.com/

September Author Interview: Author #1: D. G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She loves to read, shop, travel, and play poker when she gets the chance.

Kaye has been writing about her thoughts on life since she was a young girl, as pen and paper became her emotional outlet. Through the years of compiling her thoughts and memories in a journal, she wrote this book as a cathartic release. Kaye wanted to share her story in recognition of the many people who struggle with their past, shedding light on how powerfully a mother can impact a child throughout her life.

This is Kaye’s debut book. Her newest book, Meno-What? A Memoir, a humorous satire on menopause, was released in June of 2014.

Check out: www.amazon.com/dp/b00hdtppuq  www.smarturl.it/bookconflictedhearts