Name and age:
Margaret Fourt Goka. Age 71
Where I am from:
Fiona; A little about yourself:
I went to college at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. I also finished a Master’s degree in Linguistics at San Jose State University. I married
an engineer, and we have three daughters. I have six grandchildren now. I taught English as a second language for over 30 years.
Fiona; What is you latest news:
My youngest granddaughter is 2 years old now.
Fiona; When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing poems and a few stories when I
was a child. I loved to read, and writing was my response to reading. I wrote in college as a break from studying. When I had to study for exams, I would take a break and write some poetry. When I had very young children and babies, writing seemed like a way to make something more permanent out of the time that went by so fast. I also write so I can see what I think.
Fiona; When did you first consider myself a writer?
In college. I gave a reading with some other students open to the faculty and students, and I helped edit a volume of poetry written by the students.
Fiona; What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired to share my poems with friends.
Fiona; How did you come up with the title?
The title The Woven Flag recalls an anecdote my father frequently told about the existence of a loom in New York that could weave the American flag.
Fiona; How much of the book is realistic?
Almost all of the book reflects my experiences.
Fiona; To craft your works, do you have to travel?
Fiona; Who designed the cover?
I suggested having an American flag on the cover, and Book Ventures made the design.
Fiona; Is there a message that you want the readers to grasp?
No, I just want them to enjoy my poems.
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?
I have not been struck by any new writers recently. My favorite writer is Robert Frost, who makes you realize that the everyday events have meaning.
Fiona; Name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author:
Members of my book club supported me.
Fiona; Do you see writing as a career?
No. My career was teaching.
Fiona; Would you change anything in your latest book?
I made changes before it went to the publisher. I would not change it now.
Fiona; Did you learn anything during the writing of your book?
I learned that the many, many short periods of time I put into writing it and arranging the poems together in sequence added up to something much bigger than any separate time spent on the book did.
Fiona; Making the book into a film:
The poems would not make a film.
Fiona; Any advice to other writers:
Keep your writing. Do not throw it away. As you go back to it, you will find ideas you can use, and expressions you like.
Fiona; Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like to thank them for reading my book, and encourage them to start or continue writing themselves.
Fiona; What book are you reading now?
American Nations by Colin Woodard
Fiona; Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona; What makes you laugh or cry?
My cats are amusing. When friends I have known a long time die, I am sad.
Fiona; Is there one person past or present you would love to meet?
I would like to meet the painter Henri Matisse because I love his paintings.
Fiona; Do you have any hobbies?
I make jam from my plum and apricot trees.
Fiona; What TV shows do you enjoy watching?
Mysteries on PBS
Fiona; Favorite foods, colors, music?
I like fruit, all colors, and jazz music.
Fiona; Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d continue doing all the things I now do when I am not writing.
Fiona; What do you want written on your headstone?
I would prefer to be cremated.
Fiona; Do you have a website?
On Facebook, go to The Woven Flag.