Author interview with Lillian Jade
What is your background?
I was born in Bronx,NY. My parents bought a home shortly after my birth in Westchester County, NY where I spent the remainder of my growing up years.I am the second oldest of five children. My three sisters are younger than I, and my brother was the oldest. I say ,was, in past tense, as he passed in 2005 due to a battle with Ewing Sarcoma, at the tender age of forty – five. I was married for twenty – five years, and raised three children in Milford Ct, along the waterfront. I am since divorced from the marriage that never should have been, my children are all grown now and moved to their own glorious lives of choosing. My son was just married in July 2012
in Bethesda MD, at Congressional Country Club. I have a daughter whom lives in Ct, my oldest, at thirty – one years old. My second daughter is just beginning Graduate School and Medical School at Columbia University in New York City. She had always had a vision of growing up and becoming a doctor, and her goals are now in progression of achievement. I had been a business consultant for most of my years, managing various offices and staff, only secretly did I succumb to being a “closet writer” in any and all of my spare time. My dog at my feet, has always been the keeper of my secrets, and devotedly loyal to me. I currently live alone, with my dog, in the Hudson Valley section of New York. My goal is to move to Cold Spring or Garrison New York, where the serenity can make claim to me, and I live
amongst other artists and writers.
When did you begin your writing journey?
I began my writing journey as a teenager, submitting to small town papers and magazines. I was shy, very shy, and awkward within myself. The writing allowed me to hide that shyness, as I no longer had to speak from my mouth. It worked for quite some time, until I was finally forced to read aloud what I had written in front of an audience. That busted my entire game plan to pieces, and so, I began to write book length pieces for submission.
Please share about your book.
Naked in Front of GOD, Are You There God, it’s me? is a memoir of a very tragic time period and episode in my life. I had been in an abusive marriage for many years, when I fell into the arms of an accident. The accident left me with fifty percent of my scalp eaten away by a hair processing that went horribly wrong at a salon. The disfigurement and plastic surgeries needed to repair the damage were intensely drawn out over the course of almost three years. The pain was beyond what I ever thought possible, and my marriage was in a continual downward spiral of anger and violence during the entire time period. In the book I tell my story in narrative format. It is very dark, very depressing, very real and raw emotion. It spins the tale of the years of torment in a marriage that never should have come to be, and of the tragic mistake at a salon that rendered
me hopeless while succumbing to multiple surgeries and skin grafting. I included pictures in the book of then, and after, to better enable my readers to grasp the intensity of what tissue expanders are, and how they bulge from under your scalp. Although graphic in detail, they help paint the picture of my words. The story is not for the ill at heart, but it is, for every women whom thinks they can not endure and then prosper. It is a channeling of the human spirit when all else fails you, and the innate ability to dig deep within oneself, to save oneself from the perils that possess us. It is also a screaming voice that shouts, get out when you can. It is a voice of pain that will leave you trembling, and then empowered, as the timeline of the my accident sends your head in a tailspin. The story leads one to the conclusion that all of us, can endure, and get through, greater physical pain than we ever thought possible. It is a mind over
matter fact of life.
How did you publish your book (self or traditional) and why?
I did not shop the manuscript around in order to publish it. I had just wanted to get the story out in my own version, not be under the guidelines or control of another. A second edition is being handled by a publisher, as I have learned from the trade now. The second book in my Naked Series, entitled “Life Changes,” will be out Winter 2012. It is a book depicting the afterlife of all that tragedy, and the beautiful life I have let myself open up to in these more forward years. It is about the one constant in life, I refer to as change. Everything, and all of us, are constantly changing and evolving. It took a long time for me to get to the point of realizing that things can, and do, change.
What are some books on your must read list?
Oh boy, the books on my nightstand are a pile of books I picked up at BEA 2012 at the Javit Center in June 2012. As I read one, the pile gets low enough to use as a stand for my glass of wine, or cup of tea. A Brilliant Novel In The Works by Yuvi Zalkow, is what I am currently reading. It is about the structured life of a writer which falls apart page by page, and is filled with much sideways humor. I Married You For Happiness is the book I will be reading after I finish that one.
What is the best advice you have ever received about writing?
The best advice I have received about writing is when someone told me to write with clarity, honestly, and fearlessness. If the story needs to be written raw, than write it raw, as all of life is not pretty. You will be heard and loved for an author not offering up apologies. I took that advice when writing the memoir, and the emotion it embroiled came through on every page. I cried when reading the book, as if someone else had written it and not I.
What is your advice to beginning writers?
My advice to beginner writers is simply to write. Write every day, set word count goals. Do not write and edit at the same time. Just write and the editing can be taken care of down the road, and you will see a better use of time that way. Do not be afraid to abandon the sugar coating and speak from a real point of view or incident. If something is worth writing about, it is worth being gut wrenching truthful in the speaking of it all.
Where can people find out more about you and your book?
If anyone would like to know more about myself, or my books, they can pop into my blog http://www.lillianjade.com
or connect with me on my twitter account or on my Facebook Page, Lillian Jade. I tend to post pretty regularly to all of the social media sites listed.
What was your favorite childhood toy and why?
Hhmm, my favorite childhood toy would have to have been my bike. With my bike I could ride off to some secluded spot and sit under a tree to read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy books. My bike was a means to immerse myself in another world, time, and place.
Lillian Jade is a past business professional, turning from years as a closet writer into a full = time writer/author of non – fiction, short story fiction essayist and blogger. Her writing takes seed from her own life experiences. Keeper of her own counsel while documenting the unhinged involuntary experiences in life that many woman succumb to, the disconnects, the friendships, the confrontations, the sexual interactions, the grief, the loss, the love, the stories in life that keep the ground ever shifting beneath our feet. An author who firmly translates that life is predictable only in it’s own unpredictability, and writes at times, so brazenly, it leaves little space between the air and the safety of her own skin. Her writing is often a subtext of perception of how we perceive every experience we encounter, making up the fabric of who we each are, and the
makeup of who we thus become. An early morning riser, runner, certified yogi, mother of three grown children, past business world professional, accident survivor, and an outspoken advocate on domestic violence and woman’s health issues. Lillian Jade writes of the taboo that most people dare to admit to. Her short story and essay pieces, written daily for her blog and freelance articles, intimately comprise the theater of romantic interlude as she often tiptoes into the romanticized fiction side of herself in these comparatively short pieces. Serious melodrama in non -fiction, left in darkened passages, as well as the humor to be found in life, resounds throughout much of her writing. Public speaker on domestic violence, and the often overlooked harmful effects of chemicals on our bodies, taken from the voice of personal experience as a salon accident chemically burned 50% of author’s scalp in a hair processing gone horribly wrong in 2004. Life changed dramatically over night, channeling the onward years of Lillian Jade as Author, Writer, Blogger, Advocate Speaker. Author currently resides in New York and writes under varied pseudonyms in non -fiction, essay and fiction genres.