Wednesday, January 16, 2013

World of Writing, interview

World of Writing

Boyd Lemon is a retired lawyer and author of several books including: Retirement: A Memoir and Guide – Eat, Walk Write – and Digging Deep:  Boyd explains that “More than 70 million baby boomers are retiring or contemplating retiring, and without appropriate preparation, not just financially, but emotionally, they are at risk of living a miserable retirement.  Challenges in changing one's life from working full time to retirement are scary and formidable. I show how these challenges can be met and overcome to lead a happy and fulfilling retirement, as I am.” For excerpts, reviews, interviews and more books by Boyd visit:

Q: Who inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

A: I was a lawyer and had written a law book.  I was looking toward retirement in a few years, and a songwriter friend, upon hearing that I had enjoyed writing the law book, suggested I try writing fiction.  I wrote a short story that was largely autobiographical, and she critiqued it.  I went on to write more than a dozen short stories, and her encouragement and the fact that she was willing to spend time to critique my writing inspired me to keep writing.

Q: How does writing help you make a difference in the world?

A: People learn about the world around them from reading.  While my experiences in reality and imagination are uniquely mine, they resonate with every human being, and in the process of reading and thinking, the reader learns something new about himself and his or her world.

Q: What do you do when you are not writing?

A: I spend time promoting the books I have written.  I read a lot, fiction and history mostly.  I exercise (Pilates and hiking).  I engage in my second passion, which is travel.  I also enjoy spending time with my four adult children and four grandchildren.

Q: What gave you the idea (inspiration) for this book?


A: I have made a lot of mistakes in my life.  Want proof?  Take a look at my memoir, Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages.  In retirement I have done a lot right, and I’m sharing it with my readers in my new book, which is a memoir and guide to retirement.  I am a retired lawyer, leading a fulfilling retirement and having the time of my life on a relatively modest income.  For the first time in my life I take it slowly and notice and revel in the beauty in the world.  I have learned something about who I am and what I care about and feel at peace most of the time.  I felt that I could help a lot of people who do not prepare for retirement, suddenly find themselves with a great deal of leisure time and don’t know what to do with it.  They feel a lack of purpose and many fall into depression.  My father did and died three years after he retired, and that made an impression on me that lasted for more than forty years.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?

A: Writing a book length piece has many challenges: where to begin, how to organize, how to keep from being repetitious, how to show and not tell, how to keep the reader engaged, what to include and exclude and, finally, how to end it.

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

A: No matter what project you are working on, take the time to set it aside regularly and simply do writing practice.  That is, pick a topic unrelated to your project.  Sit down and write whatever comes into your head about that topic for fifteen to thirty minutes.  Don’t stop; don’t make corrections; don’t worry about grammar or spelling; just keep your pen (or fingers) moving.  It works like exercise for an athlete.  It keeps you in writing shape and helps to prevent or alleviate writer’s block.

Q: Do you hear from your readers? / What do they say?

A: Yes, I do, and I find it immensely rewarding.  People usually don’t contact a writer personally unless they have something positive to say.  It has been most rewarding to hear readers tell me that they got something positive out of my writing.  It is uplifting and inspirational.  My first book was a memoir about my journey to understand my role in the destruction of my three marriages.  I received many letters and emails from readers who told me that reading my story helped them to develop the courage to look into their failed marriages and discover important things about themselves. 

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