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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting to Know Pattie Welek Hall and her Books, Believe and Creer

My journey consists of stray puzzle pieces wedged together, providing an inter-locking connection to the person I am today. Born in St. Louis, MO, number three out of seven within a nine-year span, posed its own set of challenges. My best laid plan of action was to withdraw. That’s when my pen, paper and imagination became my most intimate friends.

It wasn’t till I attended an all-girl high school, taught by a flock of nuns, and filled with a kaleidoscope of females, that my life began to pivot. Girls will be girls and our mission was to break the rules, dodge detention, lie if we must, repent later, and laugh till we peed in our pants.

The years that followed were a horse of a different color. I taught school, experienced all the anguish that goes hand in hand with divorced parents, changed my career to real estate then reverted back to teaching, got married, lived overseas, raised three wonderful children, created several small business ventures, suited up and showed up at Nar-Anon and Al-Anon meetings, lost myself, got divorced, found parts of myself, returned to the workforce, dove into the abyss of family tragedies, moved to another state to reinvent myself again and continued to search for the lost pieces.

Due to the economy my Community Relations position in the non-profit sector, dealing with sexually abused and poverty stricken families, was cut. Like the magician in tarot, I packed up all my tools and headed south to Charleston, South Carolina, to create the new me.

Life has turned full circle and here I am today with my pen, paper, and imagination writing once again, only my stories are richer and fuller. The depth and breadth of who I am is enhanced by those intricate puzzle pieces of the past, but who I am becoming is still being defined and created.

In 2010, I wrote and illustrated BELIEVE, translated into Spanish, CREER, and am currently in the throes of writing my memoir. In 2011, I launched by Blog Talk Radio Show – JOY Radio: People Inspiring People.
TELL US ABOUT THE GENRE OF YOUR WORK.
I am not fixated on any particular genre.  My life experiences have inspired me to write, dictating the genre of my work. Not sure how to classify BELIEVE.  It can be categorized under Tragedy, Self-Help, Children’s Books, and Inspirational. My main focus was not to write in a particular genre, it was to convey my message, helping other people who walked in these same shoes.
My upcoming book is a memoir/narrative nonfiction.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS GENRE?
As mentioned above, I didn’t choose the genre, the genre chose me. My son’s death was so surreal that I found myself standing knee deep in denial, stuffing the pain. Driven to escape reality, I buried myself in my work, hardly breaking to breathe. The unstable economy, wobbling on three legs, forced me into unemployment. With nowhere to hide, I was driven to return to the past, and retrieve my emotional story hidden on my back bookshelf. Blowing away the cobwebs, opening to chapter one, sinking into the story-line, I plummeted into the abyss and began my healing process. It’s said, “We only get what we can handle in life, but sometimes it takes time to digest everything on our plate.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BOOKS, STORIES THAT HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED?
Believe and Creer (Spanish version of Believe) published in 2010. Memoir/narrative nonfiction to be released 2011/2012.
As mentioned in my bio I am pretty much of a newbie to the publishing world. Grief Haven published my story, Believe, in their 2011 second and third quarter newsletters. http://www.griefhaven.org/. I also write for Examiner.com/Charleston as Charleston’s Family Grief and Bereavement Examiner.  But recently I’ve grown tired of writing about grief… half my life my feet have been submerged in that quicksand. I decided to leave the muck behind, find the lessons, honor the gifts and step into joy. Hence, I created JOY Radio: People Inspiring People. My show focuses on authors, motivational speakers and coaches with inspiring and empowering stories. My goal is give life a helping hand by providing a venue where people can move out of their ever-consuming and paralyzing fear into joy, stimulating positive vibrations, lifting the earth’s energy, and creating a Tsunami of good news.
WHAT AGES DO YOU DIRECT YOUR BOOKS?
My first books, Believe (Creer - Spanish version) can be read by all age groups, yet current reviews list it under Children’s Books.  The message is simple yet powerful: the pain is deep yet it does lesson with time, honor our loved ones journey, find the gifts they left behind, and celebrate their life every chance you get.
My upcoming book is a memoir/narrative nonfiction and can be read by all age groups.
GIVE A DESCRIPTION OF EACH. BOOKS-TITLE, ISBN AND WHERE THEY CAN BE FOUND. NEWEST BOOK?
Believe and Creer are a story about the loss of a child… a heart’s healing journey… and the bond of a Mother’s love. Both are available on Amazon.com and also through my website: http://www.pattiewelekhall.com/
Believe ISBN: 9781449990008
Creer ISBN:    9781450575843
My upcoming memoir/narrative nonfiction (title TBA) centers on my son’s traumatic brain injury, set against the backdrop of his insurmountable challenges, inspired by a mother’s unwavering faith, impacted by the intercession of heavenly beings, yet gripped by an unexpected twist of fate.

Want to know more about her new book, check it out at: http://pattiewelekhall.com/media-kit/
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR BOOK/S?
My books are a part of my journey. They have provided the greatest amount of soul-growth any human being can ever wish for. I consider myself a ‘little nuts’ to have raised my hand for such an adventurous ride through life, but blessed knowing I survived.
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP THE CHARACTER/S IN EACH OF YOUR BOOKS?
Death is not an easy subject to talk about, especially when it pertains to the loss of your child. I wanted something light, for death itself is dark enough.  I chose Oma, the wise grandmother to tell the story to her grandson, knowing with age comes wisdom, understanding and acceptance.
The characters in my memoir/narrative nonfiction are authentic, outlandish, serious, sad, compassionate, helpful, moving, enlightening, mysterious, exciting, quirky and funny.  They are a kaleidoscope of colorful personalities developed through the unfolding of my son’s horrific tragedy, tangled in deep emotions, riding a roller-coaster of unpredictable events, set against the backdrop of the hospital, rehab, home, andI’d rather not say.
IS YOUR BOOK ILLUSTRATED? IF SO, WOULD YOU TELL US BY WHOM, AND IF YOU WORKED WITH AN ILLUSTRATOR, CAN YOU DISCUSS THAT EXPERIENCE?
While creating BELIEVE I was encouraged by my best friend, Drace, to illustrate the book. I fought and screamed like a two-year old having a temper tantrum.
“Me illustrate the book? Are you nuts? I’ve only taken one art class in my life – watercolor – that was interrupted mid-stream when Casey had his brain injury eight years ago?”
“You’re the only one who can do the drawings. This is your personal story and your energy will flow through your artwork,” Drace gently coaxed.
The rest is history, but I fought all the way till the last blot of ink.
My upcoming memoir/narrative nonfiction will include pictures, not illustrations.
ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS IN GETTING CHILDREN’S BOOKS PUBLISHED?
Going the traditional way was not an option for me. My objective was to get BELIEVE published so I could continue my healing process.  Guess I’m not the person to answer this question.
WHAT IS YOUR WRITING SCHEDULE?
Being quite disciplined and still unemployed, I usually start plucking away around 4:00 AM and by 6:00 PM my fingers and mind go limp, and the light switch goes off.
WHAT KIND OF ADVICE OR TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO WRITE AND GET PUBLISHED?
Best advice I ever received was, “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” ~ James Thurber.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS, ADVICE OR TIPS THAT YOU WOULD GIVE TO BEGINNING WRITERS?
Churchill said it best, “Never, never, never quit.”
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WRITING?
Read, plan JOY Radio Shows, play with my lab Emme, jog, ride my bike, play tennis, go for walks in nature, meditate and hug a tree whenever I get the chance.
You can learn more about Pattie by following the links below.
http://pattiewelekhall.com/media-kit/


3 comments:

Anne Drace Hess said...

Pattie's heart and soul are in her writing -- which translates into laughter, insight and inspiration. That's what she brings to her books, her blog talks, her life. That's who she is.

Anne Drace Hess said...

Pattie's heart and soul are in her writing -- which translates into laughter, insight and inspiration. That's what she brings to her books, her blog talks, her life. That's who she is.

Don English said...

Wonderful interview. I have been on Pattie's show as an author and reading HER being interviewed was very impressive. She is truly a ray of light in this dimming world. We need to clone her many times over! Can't wait to read her memoir. I am sure it will be a hit.
Don English