Saturday, June 30, 2012

Author Spotlight featuring Rae Ann Norell

Welcome to The Writing World Rae Ann Norell. It's great having you here with us today.


Rae Ann Norell is a retired clinical social worker, former teacher, and violinist in the Boise Philharmonic.

She is a facilitator for the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for bereaved parents. Although she is retired,
she teaches violin part time in her home, and maintains a part time counseling private practice. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling all
over the world and US, motorcycle road trips, and spending time with her daughter and three grandchildren. She lives in Eagle,  ID.
Broke Hungry and Happy is my first book. I'm in a local non-fiction writers group, and am currently working on personal essays (memoirs),
and have in mind a plot for a novel. I recently submitted an article for a local writer's contest with The Literary Cabin in Boise, ID and
my article was one of the ones chosen to be published in an anthology next year. 
Book Review (Coming Soon)

Links (reviews of my book) (blog-- my name is "Strings 'n things"

1.       I’m the author of Broke Hungry and Happy: The Life of Dangerous Dave Norell (published by Borderline Publishing, October 2011) and the mother of David Norell, extreme kayaker. I’m a former teacher, retired clinical social worker, and was a violinist in the Boise Philharmonic for 40 years. I’m a facilitator for the local Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have lost a child. I have a part time private practice (counseling). In addition to writing, I love to read, travel all over the world, take motorcycle road trips, and spend time with my daughter and three grandchildren.

2.       This is my first book; it is a biography and an outdoor adventure story. David died at age 24 while competing in a triathlon. His death was caused by a previously unknown congenital heart abnormality. His philosophy of living life to the fullest inspired so many people, and continues to inspire to this day. The book also portrays my journey from grief to healing, and how I learned to turn adversity into strength. I also write personal essays (memoir). I have in mind a plot for a novel loosely based on an incident in my great-grandmother’s life.

3.       My main audience is people interested in adventure sports, particularly whitewater adventure, and also people who have lost a loved one.

4.       My strong points are tenacity, the ability to organize, set goals and deadlines and work hard to achieve these. Also for this particular book I had a passion for the topic and a  burning desire to complete the project. One of my challenges is insomnia. When I do experience it, I often obsess about my book, or whatever I’m writing at the time, until I get up and start writing; consequently lack of  sleep can be tiring at times. Also I’m a bit “dyslexic” when typing and have to spend a bit more time fixing my mistakes.

5.       Writer’s block in my mind, refers to coming to a point in one’s work where the writer feels as if he/she is out of ideas, is stuck, and has a challenge moving forward. If I was facing a difficult chapter or portion of my book, in which I wasn’t sure how to begin, I forced myself to sit at the  computer, and try to type a first sentence, anything would do. Then things usually began flowing from there.

6.       I’ve written one book

7.       I’ve published one book.

8.       I published traditionally.

9.       For me, the hardest part of the writing process is maintaining my energy  for the project as I’m nearing the end of writing the book.
10.   I enjoy reading mysteries, such as books by John Grisham, Jonathan Kellerman, Stephen White, and Michael Crichton. I enjoy historical fiction. I enjoy a good biography or memoir. I enjoy non-fiction in the field of psychology, and books about writing.

11.   My favorite author is Stephen White.

12.   Gone with the Wind is my favorite book. (I can’t help it, I have to add other favorites: BenHur, Forever Amber, The Thornbirds, and Lord of the Flies.)

13.   It took me 1 ½ years to write my book, then another six months for editing, working on the edit suggestions, and getting it published.

14.   The favorite character in my book is David, the hero of the book—my son, what else can I say.

15.   Although I’ve always enjoyed writing, one of the most surprising things I’ve learned as a writer is how much I enjoy it.

16.   My family is very proud of the book; they felt that the book really came to life, especially in the character of my son. I wrote the first 3/4ths of the book in first person as if David was telling his story.

17.   When I was working on the book I got the best writing done early in the morning. I often wrote for two hours. If I was inspired, I would write again that evening.

18.   I wrote almost every day while working on the book, unless I was on vacation. Even then I took my lap top and worked on the book while in the airport and on the plane. Now my schedule is very busy with networking, attending writing workshops, and marketing the book, so I’m not writing daily. However, remaining in my writing group after the book was published, inspires me to keep on writing, and gives me a “deadline” which is a good motivator.

19.    The latest news I’d like to share is that people can buy my book on line at, at, electronic versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and locally in Boise at Idaho River Sports, Alpenglow Mountainsports, Hastings, and Hyde Park Book Store.

20.   My advice is to start networking well before you finish your book. Join a supportive writing group. Set up a schedule, and try to write almost every day, even if it’s only a few paragraphs. Also when the time comes, don’t skimp on editing. Hire a good editor. Know your audience. Also the title and the cover design are two of the most important things to help sell your book.

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