Monday, March 12, 2018

Interview with poet Linda Mangram

Poet Linda Mangram joins me today to talk about her new chapbook, Poems for All Occasions.

Linda is a first-time author with two more books in the works. She lives in Opelika Alabama and is married with one son and two grandchildren. Reading has been a passion all her life. Early memories include picking out children’s books at the public library while her mother browsed the adult section. Linda is a Christian with many wonderful friends. She worked for Bellsouth/AT&T for forty years and is now retired. She is also a cancer survivor and can relate to anyone who has gone through this terrible disease.

Welcome, Linda. Please tell us about your current release.
Poems for All Occasions covers a large selection of life experiences. Although written in the form of poetry, many tell a story. The book started as an answer to a prayer for words to help a loved one going through a very tough situation. The first poem in the book is the direct answer to that prayer. The first chapter deals with faith and all the poems are inspirational and cover a wide array of topics that anyone can relate to. The second chapter is lighthearted and will make you smile if not provoke outright laughter. It may not be inspirational but will surly lift your mood. The third chapter is all about friends and family. Although they are a somewhat personal look at my family, they are easy for anyone to relate to their own family.

What inspired you to write this book?
A loved one was going through a hard time. It was something I had never dealt with and felt helpless to find the words to comfort and encourage her. I prayed and asked God to give me those words. And He did. The first poem in the book reflects those words of comfort and encouragement and they were perfect. When God answers a pray He doesn’t do it with a trickle but with a flood. Thus, the book, Poems for All Occasions, was born.

This is an excerpt from the first poem:
Take My hand and let Me lead.
I know the healing you will need.

I see ahead the future bright.
Come walk with Me and see the light.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Actually, there are two. The first is complete and just waiting to be published. The title is Cancer Can Not Win. It is written in the same format as the first, but all the poems tell a story and read like a book more than individual poems. Anyone who has had cancer will appreciate having their story told. Those who are lucky enough to have avoided this terrible disease will have a new understanding of what their friend or loved one has endured. Much is from my personal experience but anyone fighting this battle will be able to relate to the entire book. Cancer Can Not Win is not only inspiring and uplifting it is also informative and packed with much useful information. The second book, An Average Joe, couldn’t be more different from the first two. This one is still in progress. It is a satire dealing with what is going on in president Trump’s Whitehouse. It follows all the news as it is happening. It is funny and pokes fun at the people and situations. It is a look from the eyes of the average citizen as we sit on the sidelines and watch all the goings on in Washington. Many books have been written about this administration but I guarantee there is not one like this one.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I answered the phone to the question “is this author Linda Mangram?”

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do rather than write and how do you find time to write?
Since I’m retired, I write when inspiration strikes. Some days that might mean all day and some days not at all. Since my current book deals with politics and news, I usually write in the evenings while I’m watching television. I watch various channels to be sure I get all the views and then convert them into the way they look to the average Joe. When I am not writing I do the normal things any retired person does. I cook, I clean, I read and I take naps. I also try to stay out of the way of my husband’s many projects. I spend time at the Sportsplex to get in the exercise that’s important at any age. Although if I wasn’t so careful to avoid my husband’s many projects, I wouldn’t need the extra.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write on my tablet and I try to balance it in my lap while I sit in my recliner. If my tablet isn’t available, I write on my phone. That’s even funnier to see me trying to peck out all those words on such a little device. I could use my computer but it’s in the other room and I don’t want to sit in there by myself. I might miss something.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A wife, a mother or a nurse. Whichever opportunity came first.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My Facebook page and webpage are being set up. I would love for you to follow me and leave words of advice, opinions, or encouragement. You never know what I might be up to next.

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