Name and age:

Margaret Fourt Goka.  Age 71


Where I am from:

Sunnyvale, California


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.