Name Dr. Linda Sonna

Age 66

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I graduated from the U. of Illinois, worked as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Dallas, Texas for two decades, and began writing full time in 1990, supplementing my income by teaching psychology at the U. of New Mexico in Taos, serving as professor of counseling psychology at Yorkville University in Canada, and teaching pastoral counseling for Interfaith Academy.

In my clinical practice, I specialized in counseling children for a decade, then in treating patients with borderline personality disorder. I authored ten parenting books and wrote a nationally syndicated column for a decade. My poems and essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals, and I have won awards for my short stories.

I have lived in Mexico since 2005.  See my full vita for more information

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My latest book, Torillas & Peanut Butter: True Confessions of an American Mom Turned Mexican Smuggler, is an Amazon top-10 bestseller in humor, biography/memoir, and solo travel.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

At age 5.  Here is my first poem:

When my little kittens were born,

I was so excited, I blew a horn.

Then the mother cat came around,

She scratched me and I made another sound.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

As feature editor for my high school newspaper. At age 16 I snagged a job as a columnist for the local newspaper.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I had always wanted to be a writer.  I had been practicing psychology full-time and writing part-time but hadn’t made much progress.  I decided to scale back my private practice to free up time for writing. Because of my credentials, I expected to earn enough money writing self-help books to support my creative writing projects. My self-help books did well but the publishers made all the money while I got poorer and poorer. Since social security kicked in, my dependable income base has freed me to write what I truly want to.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I prefer a talky, humorous style.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I wanted the title to convey that “this is a humor book,” and “true confessions” to convey that it is a memoir.


Fiona: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

My goal was to enhance appreciation for Mexico and Latino culture without preaching, and to use humor to engage readers. As the zany protagonist – my smuggler mother – comes to understand and love Mexico, readers do the same.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The book is non-fiction. My mother is such a wild and crazy character, it’s hard to believe that her Mexican adventures are for real, but they are. (I’m the straight-as-an-arrow daughter who kept trying to tame and contain her.)


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I have studied classic and modern humor books.

 

My Dallas (DFWWW), Taos, La Manzanilla, and Ajijic writing groups have been major sources of inspiration and concrete help.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who  is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I love everything by Erma Bombeck – my heroine.

I recently discovered The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 ¾. 

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson is also good for a few chuckles and many smiles.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Multiple writer’s groups!


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, it is my career.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I’m a perfectionist.  I can’t bear to read anything I’ve written – I could re-write forever!


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother worked from home as a journalist.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Little Horse: A Fable for You, Your Child, & The Child Within


Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Everything!


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I currently have author chats scheduled in Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, and Ajijic.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Myself and graphic artist Jacques LeBlanque.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Worrying that my mother and brothers wouldn’t like how I described them in the book.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I finally mastered the formula for writing humor.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead

A MUCH younger Meryl Streep to play my mother.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

GOOD WRITERS FOLLOW THE RULES, GREAT WRITERS BREAK THEM!

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Study the craft and master the techniques.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Sense of an Ending.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Teddy Bear of Bumpkin Hollow

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I watch a youtube stand-up comedy each day to keep up my laughter quotient.

Any intense emotion – sadness as well as anger and ecstasy – makes me cry.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

Carl Rogers, the psychologist who has informed my lifelong practice of helping patients heal.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

Her life was terribly hard, but she made it to the end!

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Playing the ukulele; attending philosophy discussion groups.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Indie & foreign films.  And I binge-watch TV dramas.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Flautas / Blue / Classical

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Be an artist.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

www.DrSonna.org  

~
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Sonna/e/B001H6INXC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1486983138&sr=1-2-ent

 UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Sonna/e/B001H6INXC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1486983104&sr=1-2-ent

 

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