Good morning everyone! Today is an exciting day in my life and the life of my blog. I am hosting my first guest. What makes it special is that my guest is author Mark Koopmans, who’s been close to my heart since lilicasplace was still a ‘baby blog’.
I didn’t know how the blogging community worked at the time, so I’d visit various blogs and leave comments on posts I liked. One of Mark’s impressed me, so I left a comment. He shocked me when he made his way back here and commented. When I told him I was ‘honored’ by his reply, it affected him in some kinda way, because he wrote a post about it! Read it here. I think I was enamored with the fact that he was a journalist and the winner of a memoir award (which I come to find, happens to be for REVIVAL!)
I’m proudly taking part in Mark’s current book tour for the release of Revival, the book I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. You can find it here. You’ll also find author information there too!
Just about everyone who follows me knows my background. Writing is one of my biggest outlets. It’s one of the few creative strategies I use to help myself and my brain heal. I love reading about Mark’s stories and what inspires him, so busy-body that I am, I just ask. As long as there’s some wine layin’ around, he doesn’t mind answering. 😀
Take it away, Mark …
As I continue the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story Tour, I’ve been looking forward to today. Eva and I know each other a couple of years, and as her regular readers are aware, she’s a fighter, and a true friend with the hugest heart.
Eva asked me to describe why I write.
I had to stop, take a sip of cheap boxed red wine before I answered with a deep, quiet conviction.
“Oh, anyone can write, love. I’m just in it for the money. Thanks for hosting and tomorr— ”
What? You want the real reason?
Easy. I love using the power of words in a positive way. (My superhero name would be WordWarriorManDude-Guy. A handful, perhaps, but we’d fix it in CP edits.)
I was a beat reporter my first few writing gigs, but there was (is) enough bad news reported, so I thought, why not focus on the “silent majority.”
Every day, I drove around spacious neighborhoods, (and we all have a story to tell, right?) I decided to get to know some of our readers.
Armed with my trusty photo ID, reporter’s notepad, recorder (and extra batteries after the first time the darn thing died) I soon wrote features on:
- A Holocaust survivor
- A 99-year-old former jazz player who worked in Chicago during the Roaring ‘20s
- Several veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
- A Rwandan Army officer in Cocoa Beach—who’d never touched the ocean
- Several pastors who were planting new churches
- A Mom who lost her son in a motorbike crash
- A Dad who lost his son in Afghanistan
For those last two features, my goal was never, (and never will be), to “ambulance chase” the parents, instead I just let them talk about—and share—the goodness of their child—and what we, the local community had lost.
In the past, I’ve worked as a cowboy server in France, a drunken clown in Spain, a busboy in Holland, a restaurant manager in England and a bank teller in Florida.
All those jobs had positive moments, but earning the trust of an interviewee—and honoring that trust—via the final, published piece… well, to me there was (is) no better feeling.
That’s why I write.
Why do you write?
Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting Lisa Buie-Collard who wants to know a little of my history and what life was like growing up in literary Ireland.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
WAIT EVERYBODY!! Don’t leave yet!! There’s a giveaway for some really cool prizes! Click the Rafflecopter link below the prize list to enter!
● GRAND PRIZE (2 winners): Donald Braswell to sing (Happy Birthday/Anniversary) via
Skype or phone call. (A unique gift idea!)
● 1st PLACE PRIZE: Signed Donald Braswell CD/REVIVAL book combo
● 2nd, 3rd and 4th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of REVIVAL (by Donald and Mark)
● 5th, 6th and 7th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of Donald Braswell CDs
● 8th, 9th, and 10th PLACE PRIZES: Signed Donald Braswell 8×10 picture
If any of you missed it, here is the Season 3 audition video for America’s Got Talent. Talk about turning the crowd around!
Go to donaldbraswell.com to find out more about this amazing man.
You can find my beloved boxed-wine drinking buddy at markkoopmans.blogspot.com.
If anyone has questions, leave them in my comments! I’m sure Mark will be stalking checking back periodically during the day, and will answer any questions or respond to any comments you have!