Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Interview with women's fiction author Grecia Chasteen

My special guest today is author Grecia Chasteen. She was one of three guests this past Sunday from Gator House Publishing to visit The Writer’s Chatroom for a live chat. It was a great time. Today she’s chatting with me about her debut women’s fiction novella, Because of Yesterday.

Grecia Chasteen received her BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality from University of Cincinnati. Grecia resides in Cincinnati, OH with her two children. Grecia has followed her passion of helping others with a career in the Social Work field, working with the homeless population. She is founder of W.I.N (Women, Inspiring and Networking) a community group based in Cincinnati.

Please tell us about your current release.
Because of Yesterday, is a book inspired by true events that happened which makes this work so important to me personally. The book is set up with a woman going to therapy to discuss a current situation she is in but instead of focusing on that situation right away, the therapist discusses past situations. This work discusses topics such as child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexuality to name some.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book because I felt the need to tell my story, so I can start to heal. Once I started writing I realized that my story may inspire others that they are not alone. This book was also meant to help educate those who may not understand how domestic violence can become a cycle or the hurt of child sexual abuse influences who you are as a person.

Excerpt from Because of Yesterday
I sit in my car, staring at the white building debating going in. When I made this appointment, I had so much to say. Now I can’t think of anything to discuss with this lady. How can some stranger help me with my problems? Why am I paying a lady to listen to me talk about nothing? Maybe I will just do this one session and never return. I grab my purse and get out of the car, “Geez, feels like I’m carrying around luggage instead of a purse.” I say aloud. Great, now I’m talking to myself before I see a therapist, how ironic? I shake my head, shutting the door.
I walk into the building and fill out the paperwork given to me by the receptionist. When I finish, she leads me to a back-corner office. The small room has the therapist’s brown framed diplomas on the wall. I sit on the couch and look around the room. The office is organized with very little in it and I can smell vanilla oil burning in the warmer. Looking out the window I see a bird sitting on a tree, I think to myself, how easy life would be if I were a bird.
“Hello, my name is Ms. Jones. How are you today?” The therapist asks, shutting the door and taking a seat across from me.
“Hello, I’m fine.” I respond, feeling a little uneasy, but forcing a smile at the short medium framed woman.
“What brings you in for therapy?”
“Well, I’m currently going through a situation with my partner and I’m not sure what to do. I thought maybe I should come see someone to discuss it. My family also believes I have some issues to work through from my past,” I say, but now questioning if I’ve said too much for a first session.
“Have you ever been to therapy?” Ms. Jones ask.
“No, this is my first time.”
“Ok, well, anything that we discuss here is private unless you mention wanting to hurt yourself or someone else.”
“Why is that?”
 “As a therapist it is my job to make sure you do not hurt yourself or anyone else. This is a safe place where we can talk. Do you feel like your past is affecting your current situation?” She asks, opening a notepad.
“I don’t believe so because I don’t think about it. My past shouldn’t have anything to do with my present, right?”

What exciting story are you working on next?
My exciting story I am working on currently is a follow up book. There’s more to discuss in therapy.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure if I would label myself now as a writer. I love writing, it’s my art form of expressing who I am and what I desire. It’s a way of speaking without being verbal.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not write full-time as a job. I write when I get the urge to write. Writing for me is not forced it happens. I do have a full-time job as a single mother and social worker.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
This is an interesting question because I’ve never thought about it. I tend to listen to music while writing. The music I choose is usually something that allows my mind to get lost, so I am able to just write without overthinking what I am trying or wanting to say.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a 3rd grade teacher as a child. I choose 3rd grade because my teacher allowed me to be quiet and shy. She would never push me or ask me hard questions in front of the class. It wasn’t so much I wanted to teach but I wanted to be who she was.


Thank you so much for visiting today – and for the live Q&A conversation this past Sunday!

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