Thursday, April 3, 2008

[Interview] Lyn Petit’

Lyn Petit’ lives in Amarillo, Texas.

Her first book, The Philosophy of a Thought (Publish America, 2007) has been described as a "light hearted yet profound way of looking at life and the people in it".

In this interview, Lyn Petit' talks about some of the factors which compelled her to start writing.

When did you start writing?

I have always loved writing since I was a kid and the teachers would have us make up stories using our spelling words for the week. Since none of the words went along with each other it made you have to use your imagination and was a great exercise for your brain and thoughts.

Even back then I would always write about weird things and somehow my stories were always the strangest no matter how big the size of the class.

Because we had free reign on what we could write, it has made a big difference in the way I write and think today. Now I allow my imagination to do the thinking and sit back to see what it comes up with instead of waiting for someone to say, “I think that you should write about this or that.”

If someone says, “I think that you should write about this", my mind will instinctively go blank because that is not how it is used to writing.

How and when did decide you wanted to be a published author?

I was going through a really hard time and went to see a counselor about all the things that had happened and were happening at the time. She advised me to write as a form of therapy.

The wonderful thing about her advice is it worked and helped me to overcome many of the obstacles that were bothering me! I then decided that what I had experienced and how I came through it might be of help to others going through similar trials, so I wrote my book.

I had an old beat-up computer that I used to write the book on. If I had written by hand, I would be at it until 2010!! But seriously, I had lost nearly everything and asked a friend if I could stay with them until I got the book written. I set up a work space in a corner of the bedroom and lost myself in the writing. After I finished, I sent my manuscript off to Publish America. I heard from them shortly thereafter that they wanted to publish my work.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone who is tired of going through the same old stuff over and over again, with no end in sight.

Sometimes we have to take off the rose-coloured glasses and see the people in our lives for what and who they really are and not how we would like them to be. When we do this, we can begin to make new choices and say no to the ones who would only continue to use and abuse us.

Who has influenced you most?

Definitely my mum for sure, but also God. Both of them grabbed me by the collar and turned me around! Also my counselor, who encouraged me to write my thoughts.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

The whole book is about my personal experiences!

I wanted others to realize that you can overcome life’s adversities, that sometimes it’s as simple as putting both feet down and saying no, standing up for yourself, and not allowing people to use you anymore!

Is Lyn Petit your real name or is it a pseudonym?

Lyn Petit’ is a pseudonym.

Lyn is my mum’s first name and Petit’ is my last name. I wanted to include her in the pen name because she took the time to include me in her life and make me a part of her (now my) family. The advantages are that I have been able to honour my mum for loving me as I was, and I see no disadvantages in using this pseudonym since my mum and I are sharing it!

What are your main concerns as a writer?

My main concern while I was writing was that my thoughts were coming faster that I could type! I bought a digital recorder to help keep them from disappearing into the ether.

What are the biggest challenges that you face?

I am dyslexic, slightly autistic, and partially deaf in one ear. This can result in some interesting twists like I had always
heard that the “ghost was clear”, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that it was “the coast is clear”! I had also thought it was “worth my wild” to do things, had that one wrong too and was somewhat red faced to find out it was “worth my while”!

First, since dyslexic people “think” that their spelling is correct, I was surprised to find out I had extensive proofing to do on my book! I found someone to help me do this, and we really had a lot of laughs at my expense. She’d ask me if a word was British spelling and I’d say yes several times, then one time she said I know this one is not a British spelling and I told her no, but it’s the way a dyslexic spells!

Do you write everyday?

When I am writing, yes. I try to focus on what I am trying to say and then begin. I can always go back and edit later, but try to get my thoughts down. I have no magic formula, I just write! I just let my thoughts flow or wander off without adult supervision! First of all, you can’t look at writing like a job, otherwise you will dread it. I write until I feel like I’ve
completed my thoughts for the day. I have no set schedule, I just write, sometimes a few pages, sometimes lots!

How many books have you written so far?

So far I have written two. Only one is in print, The Philosophy of a Thought. It is published by Publish America, August 2007. The book answers many questions that plague mankind, such as the meaning of life.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? Why bad things happen to good people, societal issues such as abuse, treatment of our elders, good people, bad people, parental concerns, etc. If you have a question, the answer is probably in there somewhere, as well as a liberal dose of humour breaks. It is a book that you will keep going back to and pondering.

My other book is a children’s book and I will submit it to Publish America early next year. I am still working on the illustrations for it.

How did you chose a publisher for the book?

The Philosophy of a Thought is about all aspects of life. We all have choices about how we want to live our life. Some people are still not aware they have a choice. I am in hopes that after reading The Philosophy of a Thought, that many people will find the strength to end years of abuse and victimization and begin to live overcoming, purpose filled lives.

It took me about seven months to write the book. I never realized I had so many thoughts crammed inside my head until they started coming out in my writing! The book was published in August 2007 in Fredericksburg, MD.

I researched publishers on the internet and chose Publish America because there are no up front fees and they work with you to help further your efforts. I would highly recommend Publish America to any new author. The advantage is that you don’t have to pay for the printing and distribution of your book and Publish America distributes books to a worldwide market.

Which aspects of the work that you put into the book did you find most difficult?

The proofreading. I thought it was fine, but when Publish America asked me to do some extensive editing on The Philosophy of a Thought, I knew it was time to find someone to help me. For some reason dyslexics have a very hard time proofing their own work!

Which aspects of the work did you enjoy most?

The humour breaks that I included at the end of some of the chapters. When your mind thinks hard, it needs a break too!

What sets the book apart from other things you've written?

Most of the things I have written have been letters and essays that will never be published for one. Second, what started out as therapy, became a declaration of sorts, a sounding board if you will of things in society that need to be addressed and said.

In what way is it similar?

It proves that when you start out thinking outside the box, and you keep going at it, you will eventually have a lucid thought!

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Getting published!

How did you get there?

Never give up! Don’t listen to the naysayers, even if they are in your own head! Sometimes, you have to go against the current, even when you don’t realize there is one! The harder people try to stop you, the more you should realize you are onto something good, if not great!

This article has also been featured on Associated Content.

1 comment:

hayesatlbch said...

I used to have to write a sentence for every spelling word. In my lazy way I used to make one long convoluted sentence that used all 20 spelling words. Sometime it was more of a challenge than others. I always was able to argue that" write a sentence with each spelling word " did not exclude the possibility of my approach. When that changed to "write a sentence for every spelling word" I just wrote "see the above sentence".