Monday 14 January 2013

#OBBigBang Orangeberry Big Bang - I Was In Love With A Short Man Once by Kimberly Dalferes

Updated on 28th December 2012

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What is your favorite quality about yourself? I think I’m a pretty honest person. Because I write narrative non-fiction I have to offer an honest reflection, especially when the situation warrants a description that doesn’t always paint me in the most flattering way. If I were ever insincere I think my readers would call me on it; I KNOW my gal pals would call me out!

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I’m a Virgo, so I can tend to be a little rigid. I’ve been known to say Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. That’s not a very charitable way to go through life, AND, can seriously come back to bite you in the ass; trust me.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? I love Erma Bombeck’s “”Hook ‘em with the lead. Hold ‘em with laughter. Exit with a quip they won’t forget.” She could always cut right to the heart of the matter. Did you know that her columns were originally limited to just 450 words?

What is your favorite color? I love chartreuse (just a fancy name for lime green). It’s so cheerful and fun and gets your attention. My book cover design incorporated this lime green color – at first my publisher was not a fan; but they came around.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My family is a very eclectic mix of DNA. We are mutts for sure: Mom is southern Catholic; Dad is originally Yankee Irish (having been born in Long Island but moved to Florida when he was five). This mishmash of scrappy, funny, loving kinfolk has provided wonderful fodder for many of my stories. Funny story: last year through some genealogy research I discovered a very plausible link in our ancestry to Princess Margaret, the older sister of King Henry the VIII (on my mama’s side). Family reaction: that’s crazy; we can’t be related to royalty; we don’t run in those kinda circles!

What inspires you to write and why? I find inspiration at the craziest moments. Because I write narrative non-fiction, I am often inspired by daily events that occur right in front of me. For example, I’m working on a story now about being stuck on a city bus during a blizzard. My story notes consist of e-mails that I sent out via my Blackberry and posts to Facebook during the five-hour ordeal. It was funnier than you would think.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I gravitate to narrative non-fiction. I would like to try fiction, but I’m just not that talented.

What inspired you to write your first book? My Nana’s apple pie recipe. My Nana was a great baker. Unfortunately, when she left this world she took her fabulous apple pie recipe with her. So, my first book, I Was In Love With a Short Man Once , was created in part to capture the stories of my family that I didn’t want to go missing.

Do you intend to make writing a career? I would LOVE for writing to be my full-time job. However, for the time-being I still have to pay my bills the old fashioned way: via my day job as a public policy consultant.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m working on the sequel to I Was In Love With a Short Man Once, tentatively titled The View From the Middle-Aged Cheap Seats. My blog has evolved into discussions regarding issues of interest to middle-aged women: kids; menopause; relationships; etc. My gal pals out there have some wonderful and very funny insights to life in the second or third act. This blog, , has provided a lot of inspiration for creating the second book.

How did you come up with the title? The last essay in the book is titled: PS: So What’s the Deal With the Title? I don’t want to spoil it for anyone; but I promise that all is revealed…

Who designed the cover? A wonderful designer, Colin Parks, created the cover for I Was In Love With a Short Man Once. Colin is very talented: because the book is an essay collection, he had to work on an illustration of the title, but not zero in on any one particular story within the book. He SO nailed it!

What was the hardest part about writing this book? Deciding which stories to include. The middle section of the book is entitled Jimmy Stories, and I could have written a whole book dedicated to just stories about my son Jimmy. My family (Trivial Pursuits), friends (Naked in a Hot Tub in Vegas), and even complete strangers (Auto-Pilot) never cease to provide great inspiration.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? I started writing the book thinking it would be mostly about family and my son, but it evolved into also being a missive for my gal pals – the women who stick by you all your life. There are few things in life that cannot be resolved through a good pedicure, a shot of tequila, some chocolate, and a good laugh with your gal pals (not necessarily in that order).

How much of the book is realistic? The book is 100% non-fiction. A few names were changed to protect the innocent (and to avoid a slander suit), but there is nothing written in the book that is not inspired by actual events.

What are your goals as a writer? I like to find humor in everyday situations: cleaning out a garage; riding the subway; or walking the dog. As a writer I hope I convey through my stories that life is funny – often messy and complicated – if you take the time to watch and laugh.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? I love all the funny women who are publishing books: Chelsea Handler, Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, and Mindy Kaling to name just a few. These are women who have succeeded in the entertainment industry and are now offering their humorous insights through their writing.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? There are great resources and tools readily available today – and mostly free – thanks to living in the Information Age. There are many Facebook groups for writers; some of my favorites are: Go Indie; The Indie Exchange (TIE); Celebrating Authors; and The Women of Facebook (TWOF). TWOF isn’t specifically for writers, but it’s a great place for support and creative inspiration. There are also lots of ways to connect through Twitter, such as The Kindle Book Promoter or Free Ebooks Daily. Finally, I follow some wonderful bloggers including Morgen Bailey and Rebecca Scarberry.

Do you have any advice for writers? Invest in a good pair of quality fuzzy bunny slippers. You can’t be creative if your feet are cold. Mine are pink and fluffy and size 11.

What do you do to unwind and relax? I am a crazed estate sale junkie ( ). I love the hunt for a buried treasure amongst the pots and pans and rusty garden tools. My husband does not share in my enthusiasm: he equates it to sorting through the belongings of dead people.

Bonus Question: If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Kate Hepburn once said Never complain, never explain. I love the sentiment – lead your life the way you want to lead it, own it, and never feel that you have to justify your decisions. Oh, and own at least one red coat – put on a red coat and a pair of boots and you can rule the world.

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Genre – Humorous Nonfiction (PG)

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