Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?
Tell us your name:
Hello, Fiona. My name is Catherine Lyon and my pen name I use is Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon.
What is your age?
I will be 55 come this November 26th, 2017. Yes, I was born on Thanksgiving Day.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am currently living in Phoenix, Arizona, USA by way of the Great State of Oregon. My dad was a career USA Air Force military man, so I was born on the East coast of New Jersey. At 7 we moved to Southern California where I was raised until age of 25. Then I moved on my own to So. Oregon and lived there for over 26 years. It is where I met and married my loving husband, Tom. Now we live in Arizona temporary for my husband job. We hope to move back to the Oregon Coast in a year. We couldn’t have children, so our three CATS are our babies, Mr. Boots, Ms. Princess, and Mr. Simon. Lol.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I have an unusual life today. I’m an author of my first debut memoir titled; “Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a liar and a Cheat.” This happened by all (God) intervention. Lol. My life had been awesome as my husband and I worked hard to accomplish our dreams. My education had been some college, and a 1981 grad from San Gorgonio High School. I worked in a retail store part time through high school but when I graduated I was hired at a local little bank in our city. After, I spent 20+years in the banking industry. Then, after banking I worked three years as a clerical receptionist for a debt collection company. This is about the time I got tangled into gambling. That is what my book/memoir is about. What happened to me when gambling addiction and alcohol abuse took over my LIFE. It not only devastated me and my family financially and me personally, but it almost cost me my life twice by 2 failed suicide attempts. People will need to read my book for “The Rest of The Story.”
Fiona: Tell us your latest news:
Let me fast forward to today and the latest news? Since my first book, (paperback) released and then the e-book in May 2013, I have been on a wild ride! Lol. So many doors and blessings have come from the book and the hard work I put into maintaining 10 ½ years of recovery time. I am known for two things throughout social media. Advocating recovery from gambling addiction and helping others have hope.
The second? An expert on how and where authors can promote all their books on social media and press. I enjoy helping authors be successful in book promoting and teach them free how. I am also back writing again. I was asked to co-write with a former American NFL pro football player who is also in recovery. We are writing his Memoir together.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?& Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I loved writing songs and poems as a young teen as my way to break through my bouts of depression. I never dreamed of being a published author in my life time! Lol. WHY I began writing again is when I read a newspaper article about a woman that was found at a Casino hotel room dead. She was staying there and must have had a gambling problem and had shot herself and left a note to her family behind. It said something about she was sorry to her family. News never report on deaths by suicide due to gambling. As I read the newspaper, tears came down my eyes as I KNEW how hopeless and lost that woman must have felt when she pulled the trigger and killed herself. It was like I was reading about myself.
That story lit a fire in me to write down on paper andsee everything my own gambling addiction had taken from me. That is how my book came to be. I wrote and purged for a year! It was a healing process and to forgive myself as to move on in my life as my addiction and my past does NOT define the woman I am today. Many living in recovery say; “Hate the Addictions, NOT the Addicts.”We can turn our lives around to have a beautiful life in recovery.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when I began my advocacy work shortly before my book released. I was being asked to write articles about gambling addiction and recovery of a more personal experience. I feel sharing one’s story and experiences with this cunning addiction and how to recover is just as informative as learning education, tools and the “medical” side of it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I get asked this all the time! Well, the “Addicted to Dimes” part my publisher came up with from what I shared in my book about “slot machines” as I think you here in the UK call “Pokies?” “The Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat” part is what I came up with as THAT is what the poor habits and behaviors of the addiction had turned me into a Liar and Cheat. So, I confessed and was making a public “Amends” to all I had hurt when I was within my gambling addiction. Also taking accountability as well.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging:
My writing style by book reviewers and others in the publishing industry have called it, Raw, Real, In-depth, unpolished, (not meaning the editing), as one Top Amazon Book Reviewer said; “It was if we were talking over coffee as she took me on her life journey as if two friends talking and was fascinating.” My biggest challenge was writing as NOT to sound as I laid blame on others, or making excuses for the past poor choices, but give a clear in-depth insight as to the “Why & Underlying issues” to the roots of how many turn to addictions for reasons some don’t understand. I write what I feel.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Since my book is a work of nonfiction and is a memoir, all of it is real and based on my life experiences with issues that have touched my life. Some? Of course, addiction and recovery, also mental health challenges I still struggle with today, and how my past childhood trauma and abuse played a part in my turning to gambling addiction to “cope and escape” the past hurt and pain as it came back in my adult life. Many turn to addiction for many reasons. To process past pain, it need to be done and in a health way, not through any type of addiction.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Traveling was not needed. I did do much research, interviews and gathering and ordering public records and documents of my family members to make sure what I shared was true and factual.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Both my paperback and different e-book front cover was designed by a fabulous graphic designer from Southern Oregon, Sonny C. Van Kempen. She had to paint the dimes in by hand on the covers for them to look real.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh my, there are MANY. I think the most important messages are to let others know it IS possible to recover from gambling addiction or any addiction but gambling is still such a silent addiction no one knows about and we need to TALK about it. The other is why I advocate anywhere I can, so others who are stuck in the “cycle” of this addiction can have HOPE. That SUICIDE SHOULD not be an option to stop problem gambling. I try to raise more awareness, educate, and inform the public, and help shatter stigma.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
When it comes to other addiction books about recovery from gambling addiction? I would have to pick Author, Arnie Wexler who has written a couple books, his latest is titled; “All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery from Gambling Addiction.”He has helped many recover and has advocated on national TV on Oprah, 60 Minutes, and CNN. I like that he doesn’t “sugar coat” addiction in any way.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’d have to say my publisher, The Kodel Empire Group, and owner Steve Laible. He was pushing me to publish and release my manuscript in book form as to help others who are suffering from gambling addiction and knew my story would help others. Also, my many readers and friends I have met along the way including social media. They all help me be accountable and keep me in recovery with their support!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
YES. Before I started writing and my new project with Vance, former NFL pro, I was offeredand hired by “In Recovery Magazine” to write a new column called “The Author’s Café.” I did interviews with authors and wrote about their books for print. I did this for two years from home and loved it! I did however, just resign in March 2017 from the magazine to be able to co-write with Vance. And it is where Vance and I met.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope, I would change nothing. I think I would have added more, but I didn’t want to write a novel, lol, just a memoir.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Too many learned lessons to list! I learn something new each day as I am co-writing with Vance and it has been so much fun and an honor to work with my first ‘Famous Sports Pro.’ Writing many articles for recovery publications and now co-writing has helped me become a better and more seasoned writer.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My goodness NO. Lol. I am sure they could find someone more suitable and much more attractive than I! Lol.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
YES. You don’t have to be a professional writer, journalist, or a New York Times writer to begin a writing career!That is one thing I have learned. I have self-taught myself many things as a writer and book marketer. You can get yourself a good writing aid and learn on your own like an ‘Expert.’
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
PLEASE DO BOOK REVIEWS. Lol. One of the greatest challenges as an author is to get readers to leave a book review on Amazon or where your books are sold online. It can help us as writers as well. Readers need to know how much book reviews help with elevating our books rankings and tells us what changes we need to make as a writer. Good or Bad reviews are fine if they give us honest feedback.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am just starting a new mystery read by Author, Kim Carter titled; “Murder Among the Tombstones” as I just finished book one of this series titled; “Sweets Dreams, Baby Belle.” She is an incredible mystery suspense writer.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes, I do. The Holy Bible which was given to me by my Aunt Anna.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Good books, a good movie, and sometimes? My depression…Lol. (I do have a good sense of HUMOR).
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Wow. There are many. But I think most important would have to be JFK, John F. Kennedy the 35th United States President. He was assassinated in November of 1963. I was a few days shy of turning 1-years old. Why? He was the first President who fought for Civil, Racial, and Human Equality in our country. He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King to hopefully make this happen before he was and Dr. Martin were killed. We need another President like him today with all the unrest and violence happening all over the world. Not “the reality star” President America is stuck with now.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy gardening, cooking, river rafting, and writing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My Two Favorite right now are “Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” I am addicted to both!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Since I am half Italian on my mom’s side, I love Italian food and love cooking it. My fav colors are Purple, Dark Pink and Black together. My favorite music is Zen/New Age when I write. Old School R&B, and LOVE “Adele and Mary J Blige”
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write.
What would you do?
READ or SING!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“No LongerAddicted to Dimes” Lol.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have two blogs. And all updates and events are listed on both Recovery and one for Readers.
Recovery Starts Here: https://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com
Cat Lyon’s Reading Den Blog: https://anauthorandwriterinprogress.wordpress.com
My Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/
The E-book is currently on sale for $3.10 USD on Amazon through September 2017. “Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat”
Readers can also find updates on my Author Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineLyonAddictedtoDimes/