Does lightning ever strike twice in the same place? It does if your name is Lorna Lee. To find out more, you’ll have to read her newly published memoir, ‘How Was I Supposed to Know?‘. This book will make you laugh, cry, and laugh some more. True tales of near misses and direct hits, and did I mention lots of laughs? Lorna has a talent for finding the comedy and the positive side even where there really isn’t any. Readers of her blog, Lorna’s Voice, will know what I’m talking about.
I’m going to put a pot of coffee on now, so please join me and Lorna for a chat, and if you leave a comment at the end of this post, you will be entered into a draw to win a copy of her book.
Beautiful inside and out, charming, intelligent, funny. But enough about me, let’s talk about Lorna (the old jokes are still the best, right? Right?!). But of course I was talking about Lorna. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and make some noise for the wonderful Lorna Lee!!!! Woohoo!!!
Hello Lorna, glad you could join us.
Hello Vanessa, thank you. Wow, what a welcome!
Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
Firstly, the obvious question – what prompted you to write this memoir?
Since I knew from an early age I ‘had a book in me’, it was either this or ‘Little Men, Big Problems.’ I already had piles of short stories about my youth that I wrote as therapy when I became ill with dizziness-blondeness (Chronic Fatigue). So I chose to go that way. Plus I needed to put the past behind me for good. Writing this memoir did that for me.
Well, you certainly pull off dizziness-blondeness very well. I wonder, what song would you pick as the theme tune if your book was made into a film, and why?
I ruminated over this question for a long time for two reasons: I’m not a music aficionado, so my selection of tunes is limited to songs I like to sing or dance to and none of those songs were perfectly appropriate for the theme of the book. ‘The Long and Winding Road’ by the Beatles is my all-time favorite song by that group and it connotes the twisty path my life has taken, but it’s kind of soulful and my book is upbeat. ‘Open Arms’ by Tina Turner is what I’m going with. It has a snappy beat. The lyrics are positive and upbeat, while acknowledging that life isn’t always that way. I’d say that captures the spirit of my memoir. Plus, Reggie (my cockatoo) and I used to dance to this tune all the time.
Yes I’ve heard all about your wild dancing nights with Reggie. Now, apart from the dizziness-blondeness thing, what road blocks did you have in writing this memoir?
I had too much material and didn’t see a way to organize it. Memoirs need a theme like fiction needs a plot. Once I settled on a theme, the book took shape. Then there were the days when I doubted myself. My illness is one that affects my ability to think coherently. I would be writing and stumble because I knew there was a perfect word for what I wanted to say, but couldn’t ‘find’ it in my brain. What kind of writer loses words? Finally, telling this story involved more than just me. I was concerned about my ex-husband and how he would react to my honest tale. Making the decision that this was my story told from my recollections and feelings, I forged on. If he wants to tell his side, it’s a free country, he can write and publish a book. Who am I kidding? He probably won’t even read the thing!
Speaking of the effect you have on others, if you were stranded on a desert island with a group of people, which skill/s do you have that would help ensure the group’s survival?
I sure hope that desert island has lots of shade, doesn’t get too hot, and has lots of fruits (the edible kind, not the looney kind). The only skill I could lend to ensure our mutual survival is my natural aversion to conflict. I am a peace-keeper. As a highly sensitive middle-child, I have learned how to anticipate when tension is brewing and use my humor and/or negotiation skills to avert conflict. We may be stranded, but I’d make sure we were all cooperating and being nice to each other.
Those are important skills Lorna. No shelters or rafts are going to get built if everyone is fighting, right? Now, looking back at your life, what advice would you give to your teenage self?
Use your unique voice, Lorna; don’t squelch it just to please others. You don’t have to put on an act. The real you is a show worth seeing. And get some help with that drinking problem.
And finally, and this isn’t a hint (although I am free on Saturday), if I came round for dinner, what would you cook for me, and what sort of entertainment would you provide?
I make a delicious vegan eggplant parmesan with quinoa pasta (gluten-free). I would serve it with a fresh tossed salad with a homemade dressing of aged balsamic vinegar and Tuscan herb olive oil. And my specialty: challah, which I couldn’t have, but you could. For dessert, a bowl of fresh fruit drizzled with mango sauce (no sugar added). Healthy and delicious. Oh, and Melbeck wine from Argentina (that’s Phil’s favorite wine). I’d have seltzer water. As for entertainment…Scrappy has an amazing number of adorable tricks. Maybe not a whole evening’s worth, but I’m sure we’d find lots to chit-chat about too. [Editor’s note: Phil is Lorna’s man, and Scrappy is her dog, in case you thought it was the other way around]
Sounds great! 7pm ok for Saturday?
Thank you so much for your time Lorna.
Right, the giveaway works like this…
1) You leave a comment on this post by 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2013.
2) I put the names into a hat and get one of my kids to draw one out.
3) I let the winner know that they have won a copy of Lorna’s book, ‘How Was I Supposed to Know?’ and they can pick either the paperback version or an e-book in their preferred format.
4) They get their book.
5) They read it and love it.
If you would like to buy the book for yourself, then this page on Lorna’s blog has the buying details – http://lornasvoice.com/how-was-i-supposed-to-know-a-memoir/
Well, what are you waiting for? Let the comments begin!