Interview with author Mary Jane Gonzales and book give away!

I am so happy to welcome, author, poet, blogger, and advocate for chronic illness awareness, Mary Jane Gonzales! Congratulations on publishing your 10th book, A Voice Unheard
Because you are doing give-aways on your book event page all week, I thought we would join in on the fun here as well! The first person who comments below on this interview will receive your newly released book! (If you are the first to comment, I will message you to make arrangements).
 
(I had the great privilege of reading A Voice Unheard recently, and I immediately asked Ms. Gonzales for an exclusive interview. I know this book will impact every single reader, both the disabled, and abled alike.) 
 
You have very generously allowed your powerful poetry to be shared here on aBodyofHope in the past, but this is your first interview here (and mine as well). I’m excited! Shall we begin? 
 
 
1. Did you do anything special to celebrate your 10th book release? or Do you have a traditional book completion ritual?
Well, it’s funny you would ask, because you had asked me that previously and my answer was no (I wasn’t planning anything special). But it started me thinking that this is a special time that will never come again. So, with your inspiration, I decided to have an event on Facebook. As to a “traditional book completion ritual”, my response would be “breathe”! 
2. How long have you been living with chronic illness? Would you mind sharing a little about your diagnosis?
This summer will be thirty-one years that I’ve had RSD, but it was undiagnosed for eighteen years.
 
3. Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My pastimes would be reading, writing and crafting (especially, card making and scrap booking).
 
4. It’s clear you have a talent for soul stirring, magnetic writing, but why are you passionate to write for the chronic illness audience?
Because that’s where I live; in a community with others like me, who understand me and don’t see me as “different” or “weird”. Plus, I want them/ others to know they are not alone and they are not crazy, which is how this syndrome can make you feel.
 
5. How was compiling A Voice Unheard different from writing a book like In the Blink of an Eye?
Well In the Blink of An Eye was a personal memoir written about me, and A Voice Unheard was written about  a community/ involving members of  the community. I found that to be a bit scary, actually.
Another difference between the two is that, when I wrote In the Blink of An Eye, I had already dealt with the issues and was reconciled to the situation. But that was not the case for where I was at when I wrote A Voice Unheard. And, for that reason, I couldn’t do it justice. I had the inspiration but I couldn’t write it in a way that would honor God. Therefore, it took me a year to write it, which is ironic because it’s one of my shortest books. Compiling the stories was easy and exciting because every story fit perfectly with what I myself had written. When that happens, you know it was meant to be!
Another difference would be that every book I had written prior had the stories first; then, the chapter titles later. With A Voice Unheard, all the chapter titles were inspired first and the stories came later.
  
6. How would you describe your personal writing process?
(For example, are you research driven, logistic, intuitive, spiritually moved, or other. Please explain.)
I think I’m all of these things to a degree, but, above all, spiritually moved. I can’t just pick a topic to write about. I have to be inspired, in order to write.
7. What is your favorite part of being an author?
My favorite part of being an author is the feeling I get when the inspiration is flowing. I also enjoy editing, which is probably an understatement, since I’m drawn/gravitate to it.
What is your least favorite part of being an author? 
My least favorite part is marketing i.e. self promotion.
8. In your new book, you described the world we live in today as “a microwave society.” This is a great terminology! For those who haven’t yet read your book, can you explain your meaning, and how this current mentality effects chronic illness survivors and our loved ones?
What I meant was, in our society, we want everything quick. We don’t want to wait for anything. So if someone gets sick or injured, and it continues, there’s no patience or tolerance for a lack of healing.
9. In A Voice Unheard, you share very personal accounts from fellow chronic illness sufferers. Why did you go out of your way to bring these stories into the light?
Because they need to be told!
 
10. In your new book, you cover practical but serious topics such as the importance of quality care giving, which you are always a strong advocate for, and you discuss hot-button subjects like pain management. Why did you feel this book was important to write now?
Because I feel the issues are critical and what’s happening is wrong. It’s one thing to have a problem, it’s another thing to have no voice, no say in the situation.
I wrote it now because I couldn’t be silent anymore.
11. Other than those who live with chronic pain and chronic illness, who else do you hope reads A Voice Unheard, and why?
I hope it is read by all. The disabled, to feel supported. The abled, to be made aware. Ultimately, to make a difference.

A Voice Unheard is available for your Nook at Barnes and Noble. It is also available for ebook download for your tablet, or cellphone and on PDF for your computer: Smashwords

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About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 13 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has affected my life through so many remarkable young people, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Six years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of chronic illnesses after a procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. In the last 6 years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces, medical/holistic research, and awareness articles, this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard.

Posted on April 10, 2016, in advocacy, Inspiring Biographies, Interviews, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Thanks, Mary Jane Gonzales for raising awareness with your books, for giving chronic sufferers a voice and most of all for giving hope…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said!
      She is such a treasure for our community, and I’m so grateful she was willing to do this interview. Thank you so much for visiting and for your comment. Gentle Hugs

      Like

      • Thank you, Mary, for suggesting an interview and enhancing the book’s release. It was a special occasion and, because of you, there was a special event that I will cherish always. Thank you for this and all you do for the RSD community, from raising awareness to raising spirits. You inspire us all!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi again Arte, If you have not already purchased your book, you have won the book give away! If you have purchased A Voice Unheard, please choose any of Mary Jane’s books and let me know which book and format you prefer at abodyofhope@inbox.com. Congrats!

      Like

    • Thank you, Arte, for stopping to comment, which is so appreciated. Congrats on winning a book! I hope you found it encouraging. I pray for the journey that each of us is on, that we would have the support we need and our voice would be heard.

      Like

  2. Jackie Bradford

    Hello! I found you through Redditi’s chronic pain community. My chronic pain started at age 22 and had completely changed my life. In your interview above, you referenced the microwave society where people want things right now. That’s what I’m experiencing with my family. They think a quick injection or pill or PT session will cure me but it won’t.

    I can’t wait to read the book. Thank you for writing about this important topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jacki, I am so grateful for your comment today. My chronic pain also began at 22, and I felt like my life was just beginning when everything became all about doctors, medication, and PAIN, so my heart truly goes out to you.
      How long have you been living with chronic pain?
      I know you will enjoy the book. I’ll be looking out for your review on Barnes and Noble after you read it. I have to find some spoons to do mine 😉
      Thank you again for visiting.
      Gentle Hugs

      Like

    • Thank you, Jackie, for commenting on the interview and sharing that something resonated with you. To me, the “microwave society” is a big deal. It’s hard when others get impatient that our healing is slow / or maybe elusive. But waiting and coping yield sweet virtues over time, like trust and patience. Some people will stick by us and some won’t, but those who do stick by us are treasured dearly. Even we can get impatient at times and have to adapt. It’s an adjustment for all, the patient and their loved ones. Many readers have said that another of my books, In the Blink of An Eye, really helped their family to better understand what they go through. I have an e-gift card for that book (itboae), if you’d like to read it.

      Like

  3. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    Great interview! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful interview. Mary Jane is so talented! I’m going to be purchasing A VOICE UNHEARD this week and look forward to reading it. She is inspiring-living with RSD for over 30 years-the title is perfect-a voice needs to be out there- and her book is a great way to inform others. Thank you Mary Jane!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Mattio, my sincere apologies to you and your readers for not responding to their comments sooner. I must have forgotten to check the box for notifications. Thus, I’m just now seeing the comments. Please forgive me. ❤

    Like

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