A Voice Unheard: Author Interview with Chronic Pain advocate, Jane Gonzales
Posted by abodyofhope
I am so happy to welcome, author, poet, blogger, and advocate for the chronic pain community, Mary Jane Gonzales!
I was given the great honor of being asked to contribute a piece for her book, A Voice Unheard. After reading it in its entirety, I immediately asked Ms. Gonzales for an interview! I know it will impact every reader, disabled and abled alike.
Congratulations on publishing your 10th book, A Voice Unheard.
You have very generously allowed your powerful poetry to be shared here on a Body of Hope in the past, but this is your first interview here. 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, tablet, or download as PDF ebook at Smashwords.
Interview was first published April, 2016
Posted in advocacy, Chronic Pain, Disability, Guest Bloggers, Interviews, Jane Gonzales, RSD/CRPS, Uncategorized, Writing
Tags: #chronicpain, A Voice Unheard, advocacy, advocate, Author, Author Interview, author quote, awareness, Bed bound, Bedbound, Book, Book release, books for advocacy, books for chronic pain, books for disabled, Chronic Illness, chronic illness author, chronic illness book, Chronic Illness Faith, chronic life, Chronic pain, Chronic pain author, Chronic pain awareness, Chronic Pain book, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, crps, In the Blink of an Eye, Interview, Jane Gonzales, Poetic Devotions for those in Pain, rsd
Author Interview & Book Giveaway! But God, wouldn’t I be more useful to You if I were Healthy?
Posted by abodyofhope
1. Did you do anything special to celebrate the release of your first book? ~or~ How did you reward yourself when you completed writing “But God, wouldn’t I be more useful to you if I were healthy?”
2. Aside from writing, how do you enjoy spending your free time? (hobbies/activities)
3. How would you describe your personal writing process? (Are you research-driven, methodical, intuitive, spiritually motivated, etc. Please explain).
4. Thus far, what is your favorite aspect of becoming a published author? (designing the cover of your book, the writing process itself, doing interviews like these, etc.)
What is your least favorite aspect of becoming a published author? (the editing process, marketing, doing interviews like these, etc.)
I greatly dislike wearing all of the hats in the publishing process. I was not able to pay for help for any part of my book, so I edited it myself, though I am far from an editor. I also designed the book cover, though design is not my strong point. I would much prefer to focus on my strengths and get help with the rest.
5. “Resting as an act of faith” is one part of your book I felt was particularly inspired, and is wisdom that both well and chronically ill individuals can benefit from. Can you explain what in your own life lead you to write about resting by faith?
For so long I tried to maintain the same life I had always lived even though chronic pain made this difficult. I became burned out, and my health started to regress because I was doing more than my body could handle. I maintained all my responsibilities because I felt guilty about giving them up. But I finally realized that letting go of what was physically harmful to my body was not something to feel guilty about. I realized that I was not stewarding my body well, and that being faithful with the body I had been given meant letting go of things that were good but harmful to me. It was a freeing realization and allowed me to better serve in the areas that I didn’t give up.
6. One of your readers, Ginny asks: Did you have any hesitation in sharing the personal thoughts expressed in your book? (she adds that she can’t wait for your next book!)
Yes! My book was more personal than much of my blog. I poured out some of my deepest fears and failures. Releasing the book left me feeling so vulnerable. But hearing readers say that they could relate helped a lot. It all felt worth it in the end.
7. Blog follower, Max asks: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
8. Because I follow your blog LifeinSlowMotionblog.com, I know that you live with chronic pain. How has Chronic Pain influenced you or inspired you to write more often, or has it?
Before chronic pain, I would not have called myself a writer. It was chronic pain that gave me something important to write about. As I looked for answers to my own questions, I found limited resources on chronic pain from a Christian perspective. Many of the resources I did find were either lacking in depth or didn’t seem to understand the actual experience of chronic pain. As both a Christian counselor and an individual with chronic pain, I felt able to address the topic with both depth and insight. If not me, who else would do it? That is what led me to writing.
9. “Giving out of a poverty of health” was one of my favorite pieces of wisdom you shared in your book. Can you give a brief example (or explanation) of giving from a poverty of health?
10. Can you give us a hint of the focus of your next book?
How to win a free signed copy or e-book?
To participate in the random book give-away drawing, in the comments section below, let us know:
1. Where you found the link to this interview
2. Tell us where on social media you are sharing this link
I will contact the winner Friday, Aug. 5th! Good luck, and thank you for reading!
But God, Wouldn’t I be More Useful to You if I Were Healthy? is Available to purchase on Amazon in paperback or ebook.
Posted in Christian, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Interviews, Purpose, Uncategorized
Tags: Amazon books, Author Interview, Book give away, But God wouldn't I be more useful to you if I were healthy?, Christian Book, Chronic Illness, chronic illness author, chronic illness book, chronic life, Chronic pain, Chronic pain author, Chronic Pain book, disabled, Esther Smith, finding purpose, Inspiration, Interview, invisible illness, lifeinslowmotion, new ebooks, purpose in chronic pain, purpose in pain, Rare Disease, Spoonie