5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Indie Author Interview: Addie Greene

Indie Author Interview with Addie Greene - Author of the Adventure Memoir How the Winds Laughed.

After growing up close to the land on a California ranch, Addie Greene met a man who taught her the glories of the sea. In 1971, the pair left on their trip around the world. She went on to raise two children and pursue a writing career. She lives in Ashland, Oregon, and though 150 miles inland, she still can hear the winds laugh.

Interview with Addie Greene

Author Addie Greene
Author Addie Greene
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Addie Greene: I’ve been a writer all my life, starting with printing a neighborhood newspaper using a gel to make copies when I was in grade school. In high school and college I wrote poetry. Then I became a professional journalist and later a technical writer. When I retired I devoted myself to what I always had wanted to do—write fiction.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
Barbara Kingsolver and Alice Walker are my heroes. Recently, Lisa See’s Dreams of Joy blew me away. I would hope War and Peace and the novels of Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Melville, and Twain have seeped into my writing.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was six I wrote an illustrated story (with my mother’s help with spelling) called “The Three Little Bugs.” The thrill of completing the story was such a high that I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
After walking my dogs every morning, I sit at the computer and work. I take a lunch break and work again until early evening.

Please describe your desk/workplace.
My house came with a built-in desk five feet long and three feet deep, so there’s plenty of room for the computer and printer. Above are built-in bookshelves with all my reference books, plays, and poetry. The fiction and non-fiction books are in five stand-alone bookshelves in my office and bedroom. Work projects are not so tidy—they’re scattered about on a nearby table and in stacks on the end of the desk.

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
Writing comes easily to me, especially if I’ve written it in my head beforehand. Rewriting, combining left and right brains, is much harder.

"Crafting a perfect sentence, and giving wonder to my readers."

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

Two things: Crafting a perfect sentence, and giving wonder to my readers.

Addie, please tell us a little about your adventure memoir How the Winds Laughed.
The book began as 90 newspaper articles written for the Santa Barbara News-Press, where I was a copy editor before Pete and I set sail. These gave immediacy and freshness to an experience long past but had to be turned from reporting to creative nonfiction. For example, the scene when Pete and I were coming up on the atoll Tongareva at night with no chart and with Wa’s mast crippled, I was able to relive by reading my stories and Wa’s log and therefore able to give vividness to something that happened long ago.

How the Winds Laughed (Addie Greene)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
When we were sitting out the cyclone season in Rabaul, New Guinea, Sea Magazine wrote asking me for a full-length book. By the time the manuscript was ready, CBS had bought Sea and wasn’t interested.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
My natural audience is sailors, although I’ve found that many 21st century sailors aren’t interested in the story of people who had no GPS and no radio contact with the outside world. People who read Jon Krakauer and Paul Theroux also would like my book.

"[...] truly creative nonfiction."

What makes your book special?
Many people, beginning with Joshua Slocum, have written books about sailing around the world, but mine may be the only one that is truly creative nonfiction.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
I’m pleased with how I’ve done so far but haven’t reached nearly as many people as I’d like.

How long did it take to write the book?
The first draft took a year. After Pete and I returned to the States, I had two children in rapid succession and then got divorced, so I set the book aside. When I took it up again, my editor, Molly Tinsley, and I worked for 14 months molding it into shape.

"Write, even if it’s nonsense."

Can you give some advice for other authors regarding the writing process?
Write, even if it’s nonsense. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, or spelling, similes or metaphors, or even character arc, until you’ve got something on paper. Just write.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m working with book designer Ray Rhamey, who’s doing the cover for The Eagle Rises, a novel set mostly in Mexico in 1905-1911. The protagonist is an American woman whose husband drags her to Mexico because the pay is good, but she knows no one and speaks no Spanish, so her struggle is to become competent in an alien world. With my critique group I’m working on Saving Ben, the story of a middle-aged woman with multiple sclerosis and a full-time job who suddenly must take custody of her toddler grandson.

"If I want to use a book for reference, I would never choose an eBook."

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
Bear in mind that the written word had been around for thousands of years, and records only existed for a century. That said, libraries are not going to go away, nor will paper books. If I want to use a book for reference, I would never choose an eBook.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
As I said, I walk my dogs every morning, usually for 40 minutes. I do yoga once a week and play duplicate bridge three times a week. I also love to cook.

How can readers connect with you?
My email is addie3@q.com. I’m on Facebook and Twitter and on the Web site of my publisher, Fuze Publishing. My own Web site is AddieSGreene.com.

Thank you very much for the Interview, Addie.

About the Book How the Winds Laughed

How the Winds Laughed (Addie Greene)
Click to Read an Excerpt
In the beginning, Addie is afraid to climb the mast and change sails on a bucking foredeck washed with breaking waves.

Yet as she and her husband take on the great adventure of circumnavigating, a succession of catastrophes demands that she become the driving force in carrying them forward and eventually safely home.

- "The things this young couple experienced while circumnavigating the globe on a 28-foot wooden sailboat raise the hairs on the back of my neck. Were they crazy or incredibly brave? For nearly three years, they lived with and survived unimaginable (to me) danger, and formed true attachments to people and cultures unfamiliar to most Americans. Ms. Greene's "true grit" comes thru on every page. It's a great read." - Ellen Gardner

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback How the Winds Laughed with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook How the Winds Laughed with Excerpt on Amazon

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