Featured Author of the Week – Sally Showalter

Featured Author of the Week – Sally Showalter

Featured Author of the Week – Sally Showalter

June 30, 2023

Hello, everyone.

Today, in our Featured Author of the Week series, Sally Showalter returns to Patty’s Worlds with a new and better than ever interview.

Sally graciously took my advice when I suggested she add a little more about herself and her work.

Now, I’m pleased and privileged to bring it to you.

I hope you’ll take the time to read and enjoy this incredible interview with Sally. She’s got a lot of information to share to help us get to know her and her work, as well as the writing group she works with a bit more and I must say it’s excellent.

I cannot wait to read the book featured here.

Let’s go now to Sally and see what she’s got for us today.

“Hi Sally, thanks for being here today. Let’s just leap right in and tell the world all about you, who you are and why you do what you do.”

“Thanks Patty. Here we go!”

Patty:

First, in your own words tell us a little about you.

Where do you live?

Sally:

Tucson, Arizona. I moved from Perry, Illinois, a small community of five hundred, where I was born and raised to southern AZ in 1973. It was a drastic change and a very slow acceptance to leave the Midwest for a desert. In time with eyes open, I saw Arizona as lush with every sort of landscape imaginable. The sunsets, the monsoon season, the tease of fall, and glorious winters. There is not one day I cannot be outdoors. After I met and married, my husband, we moved up the road to Tucson in 1984. Tucson is a hotbed for the art communities as I soon found out. Writing began.

Patty:

Who are the special people in your life?

Sally:

My husband of forty-four years, my only brother and his family, and various important significant friends.

Patty:

Do you have any pets?

Sally:

Two cats, Maisie and Scooter. I have had cats since a kid, and are always a rescue in one form or the other. Many great stories are attached as to how. They are such an extension of love and friendship.

Patty:

What keeps you going? I mean, like what inspires you and keeps you moving forward in your work?

Sally:

Love of words, the time spent writing stories, poetry, memoir, and journaling. It seems thoughts, ideas, and memories are and will be never-ending. This urge to express is constant.

Patty:

What is your favorite song?

Sally:

So many but will say I Want to Kiss You All Over, by Foreigner and Stand By Me.

Patty:

What is your favorite movie? Feel free to list multiple titles.

Sally:

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Magnificent Seven, Wizard of Oz.

Patty:

What is your favorite book? Feel free to list multiple titles.

Sally:

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, Safekeeping by Abigail Thomas, Blue Pastures by Mary Oliver, and more!

Patty:

What is your favorite food? Feel free to elaborate on all your favorites.

Sally:

I love pasta and what can be swirled in, around, over, and under. Yum. Also, chocolate and toffee. My husband and I both love to cook and we have two kitchens in our small house. I soon found out my husband does not clean up after himself as I do, therefore, we added a smaller kitchen in this house just for him. This is a fun and fabulous arrangement.

Patty:

What is your favorite quote?

Sally:

God created a cat so man could have the pleasure of caressing a tiger.’ – Victor Hugo

Patty:

What is your favorite affirmation? Does it in some way relate to your work?

Sally:

Let your Yes mean Yes and No mean No. To be positive, creative, and helpful.

Patty:

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Sally:

Foremost, when someone commits to being part of something, and then doesn’t follow through. Especially when others are counting on this person. It shows a lack of respect, lack of self-sacrifice, and honesty.

Patty:

What do you think your best strengths are, and how do they help you in your work as a writer?

Sally:

Experimenting and looking past the existing. In my work, it is trying whatever may come to mind, playing with it later, moving and pushing it around on paper. Just as in gardening or painting, it is about putting objects, and ideas in varying spots, looking from and at different angles, looking through the glass so to speak.

Patty:

What are your weaknesses, do they hinder your work, and how are you making them stronger?

Sally:

Patience. I lack patience. Allowing myself to get distracted, and not stay focused on certain things. Yes, these hinder my work. I am in dire need of Butt Paste. As our writers’ group left on personal vacations, we always expected a gift once they returned. On one of my trips, I visited my niece who had her first baby and she introduced me to Butt Paste. This was an ‘Aha’ moment. All the gals got a tube. It brought an entirely new meaning to writing.

Patty:

What is your dream for the future, and how does it relate to your work as a writer?

Sally:

Our book Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets was a dream come true. It didn’t start as a dream, or even a thought. As our writing lives continued and grew together, persons we met at conferences, semester classes, and workshops, would ask us, (once they found out we were a writing group experiencing these classes together), why didn’t we write a book about our group, our journey? We built on this idea in 2005.

To back up a moment, Diana and I first met in 1997 at a workshop. As total strangers, our interest in writing brought us to this small table in a comfortable classroom setting. At the end of the five weeks, we formed a group of six. Jackie soon joined us in 1999. The first chapter in Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets covers the beginnings of members coming and going over the first few years, our prompts, our early writings, and our discoveries.

Our group (at this time there were five in 2005) decided to write a book about our beginning, various members, how we started, and the mechanics of what kept us going through memoir and narrative. We had eight years of experience and notebooks full to prove our existence. We kept our every two-week meeting, changing our writing routine to focus strictly on the book idea. Much discussion and ideas and notes easily filled our two-hour meeting time over the following year.

Our attempt was genuine for most of us, but again, fires burn out for one reason or the other.

In early 2009 four of us began the 2nd attempt and decided a change of venue might work better. We met at a local library every other week. The uninterrupted space from the hush of a library gave us meditative thoughts, constructive theory, and movement toward a book. We lived in a world of creative energy and side by side with the unknown of such a project. Yet, once in our cars, we drove home to husbands that were in the early stages of ill health, births of grandchildren, and shortly one of the foundation members (Jackie) moving out of state. These culminated enough to disrupt our second attempt. Desk drawers and computers were closed again. Our group took a genuine hiatus for a short period.

In time, we revived and survived our circumstances, hungered for a writing rhythm, and began to write together again, and alas, the sleeping giant book idea rose. We met in Pagosa Springs, Colorado in August of 2017 and never stopped. We were on fire.

This book not only speaks and shows our long journey but is a tale of encouragement to all writers, no matter the age, gender, experience, or years it may take to reach a destination. By December 1, 2020, we began submitting to dozens of publishers that we carefully researched. On July 1, 2021, we signed our contract. September 6, 2022, was the launch date for our book.

May I add, I want to stay as healthy as I can, and my husband. We both are aging, and that takes a lot of time, energy, and worry. My time spent on the creative side of my life takes more effort, but I carve time for it because it is part of my health regime.

Patty:

What is your preferred way of communicating and how can someone best reach you if they should wish to buy from or work with you in some way?

Please email me at: salsbook@ymail.com

And our contact information can be found on our Website here.

Patty:

Before you go, is there anything you’d like to add about yourself, or your work that I’ve not asked?

I primarily write fiction, but also poetry and memoirs. I have studied at the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, Tucson Authors Resource Center, and the Creative Writing Center in Tucson.

Much of my writing stems from growing up in rural Illinois where I was born. I was raised around all my family on both sides of my parents. Once I made the above-mentioned move to southern Arizona in 1973, it took years to overcome the change. I began to understand both ends of the stick of wanting to leave rural life and experience something broader. Both of which have been a blessing and enrichment.

I have various pieces published and here are a few:

When Home is Not Safe—Writings on Domestic Verbal, Emotional, and Physical Abuse. McFarland & Co., Inc/Exposit Books. Anthology. Sept 2021.

Pudding Magazine # 68. Poem, Chat Room. August 2019

Paw Prints in Verse, Poetry, Return Home, April 2017

Our Last Walk – Using poetry for grieving and remembering our Pets. Poem, Return Home. University Professors Press, Colorado Springs. Fall 2016

Just A Little More Time, poetry anthology, Poem, Silent Messages. July 2015

Here are all the websites where our work can be found.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to showcase myself and the work I do with my writerly friends.

I look forward to hearing from readers.

Happy reading,

Sally.

Visit Writers Writes here.

Visit on Amazon here.

Visit on Barnes and Noble here.

Find more on Amazon here.

5 Comments

  1. Thank you Patty for this awesome opportunity!

  2. Hi Sally, you’re sure welcome. You put in a lot of hard work on this, so please feel free to share the post with all your email contacts Etc.
    If you all would like me to create a post you can put onto your blog as a reblog let me know. I’ve no relog feature here but those are easy to create and I’m happy to do it.
    Just reply here and I’ll get back to you soon.

  3. Great job, Sally. Your answers show just how interesting and talented you are at writing!

  4. Thanks Jackie, we know each other’s styles very well and still learn from one another as well as so many other great writers and teachers.

    1. Hi Sally. The connection shines through in your work.

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