Name: Jane Carroll
Where are you from: Moulton, AL it’s a small town in North Alabama near Huntsville.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life ect
Wow how much time to we have? Of course, I’m the author of Bertha-Size Your Life!. I am also a Blogger, Life Coach, Registered Nurse, Reiki Master, Mother, Grandmother, and long-time student of life.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Oh, that’s easy. Bertha-Size Your Life! is about to be rereleased by Saga Books. That should happen within the next month and then all kinds of exciting things will happen.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I begin writing in Junior High as a way of dealing with my adolescent emotions. I call it my Goth period…it was pretty dark.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Interestingly, I was literally driving through a tunnel one day and the thought hit me…I’m a writer…and then I saw the light.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My youngest daughter got married and my nest was empty. I was pretty okay with that but I knew there were a lot of women who are somewhat lost at that time in their lives. So I started writing a book of exercises about self-discovery. The only problem was…it was boring. I didn’t even like it. As a fluke I created this character Bertha and before I knew it she’d taken over the book and my life.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing is what I call humorous inspiration or inspirational humor. I generally write in first person. Of course my Southern roots run deep…my writing voice even has a drawl.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Bertha-Size Your Life! is actually the concept of one of the vignettes. Bertha is teaching me how to super-size my life…only she called it Bertha-Size. It just kind of stuck.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Bertha isn’t exactly a novel but there is a very clear message. Basically it is that we can create our lives the way we want them to be. We get to determine our thoughts and what we give our attention to. Bertha says…I get to choose and I choose the good stuff.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Bertha is actually bigger than life in many ways. She is a little…okay…a lot…zany. I can’t imagine actually living with her…but…in reality…I guess I do.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the book is based on lessons that I learned…the hard way. Some of it is based on lessons I learned from reading inspirational books. And some of it is based on lessons that my friends were learning. Sorry…I’m not telling which story is which.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
There are so many. The Greatest Miracle in the World will always be one of the most influential.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I love the works of Og Mandino. His style was to teach a huge lesson by telling a captivating story.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
That changes every few days. Today I’m reading Cedar Woman by Debra Sively Welch. I generally read a combination of fiction and non-fiction, especially inspirational non-fiction.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I adore Sarah Addison Allen. Her books have such a delightful sparkle of magic about them.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Bertha-Size Your Life!. The working title is Becoming Bertha. It will continue the thread of humorous, inspirational, self-discovery.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Currently, I belong to an online group via Facebook, MasterKoda.com. This group is so supportive in encouraging me and promoting my work to their following. I can’t say enough about them. They are an awesome group.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
You know, it’s more than a career. It’s a lifestyle.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Funny, you should ask that. Saga Books is in the process of rereleasing Bertha-Size Your Life! and we really only made a few grammar changes, nothing too major. I think there are always changes that can be made but there comes a point that you just have to let the book stand on its own. Besides, there’s always the sequel to cover those changes.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I really don’t recall a specific incident. I also can’t remember when I didn’t love to write.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Bertha-Size Your Life! started with an empty nest and a quirky character named Bertha moving in. At the end of the book the narrator and Bertha are moving. Becoming Bertha begins as the move takes place. At first it seems that all the growth the narrator has made during her time with Bertha has been lost but she soon discovers, with the help of Bertha’s outlandish antics that she hasn’t lost a thing — growth is ongoing.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Like all writers I think it’s matching time with inspiration. I just can’t seem to get them in sync.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I did in the past but haven’t in a while. Who knows what the future will bring.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My sister, Cynthia Dendy, did the art work and the publisher did the cover.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Without a doubt going through the editing process is the hardest part.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I am a good writer. I learned that dreams can and do come true.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write, write and keep writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Bertha wants to come home with you! She loves to play in your closet and try on your shoes. She’ll make you laugh. She’ll make you think. She’ll keep you guessing as to what she’s gonna be up to next. She’ll make you want to read the sequel. She might even make you want to get a cat to argue with. What are you waiting for…get your Bertha on!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
Well, that’s easy. I’m also a registered nurse and I’m currently working fulltime as a school nurse.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
Yes I have a brand new site and my blog is incorporated into the site.
I also have a Jane Carroll Facebook page and would love everyone to visit and ‘like’ it.
To gt Jane`s news book