INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Bertha-Size Your Life!
by Jane Carroll
Jane Carroll joins me today to discuss her book, Bertha-Size Your Life! In addition, Jane has donated three Kindle edition copies for our GIVEAWAY, so please be sure to enter below.
Bertha-Size Your Life! is a book of personal transformation that reads like a series of entertaining and humorous stories. Bertha, a zany redhead, mysteriously appears in the narrator's life during a walk in the park. Quicker than a man can hand off a baby with a dirty diaper, she has moved into the narrator's empty nest and the fun begins.
You never know what Bertha will think up next from flying a hot air balloon to singing to her begonia, she's always up to something. Bertha delights in standing on her soapbox while dispensing down-home wisdom and perky advice, explaining The Law of Attraction in a refreshing, humor-filled, practical way that has the reader going aha! instead of humph!
Throw in a conniving nemesis, an antagonistic cat, lime green spandex and high-heels and you've got a book that's sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you wearing your thinking cap as you read and reread each vignette.
Bertha rushed past me in a blur, broom and dustpan in hand. She was dressed and ready to go to a Mardi Gras ball. I mean we’re talking fuchsia strapless sequins with matching three-inch heels and even a matching boa, and there she was, going somewhere in quite a hurry with the broom. I followed, she was obviously too rushed to stop and talk.
When we got to the kitchen, she started to sweep. In no time she had a little mound of cat litter, dirt tracked in from feeding the dogs, the occasional popcorn kernel and a stray M&M.
She was sweeping up quite a pile. I couldn’t resist any longer. “Bertha, what are you doing?”
“That’s an understatement,” I thought. I looked around the kitchen for some new mess that had prompted this unorthodox behavior. “Bertha, why are you sweeping now? You’re already dressed for the ball and you look quite beautiful I might add. So why now?”
Bertha stopped briefly and looked at me in sheer disbelief. “Can’t you see what has happened here?”
This is a light-hearted read through one woman's life as she tries to deal with the empty-nest syndrome as well as her doubts and fears that tag along with it. Laced with humor throughout, I quickly realized Bertha was her alter-ego pushing herself to see beyond her self-ascribed limitations. In the end she realizes her horizons are endless so why not enjoy it while she can. Filled with metaphors and humor, it is a quick read or it can be savored a little at a time with advice for all women in how to deal with their life. Both inspirational and funny at the same time, enjoy this don't-take-yourself-seriously read and take it for what it is: a fun and positive way to deal with emotional and mental obstacles that might stop you from enjoying life.
Interview With the Author
Hi Jane, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book Bertha-Size Your Life!
Which writers have influenced you the most? Definitely Og Mandino. Reading The Greatest Salesman in the World was my first experience reading a personal growth book that read like a story. I was hooked in a big way.
What age group do you recommend your book for? Bertha was originally written with the empty-nest woman in mind but I have found that younger and older women also appreciate her wisdom and wit. So realistically for women over age 30.
What sparked the idea for this book? Basically, my youngest daughter got married making my nest officially empty. I was ready to celebrate but I realized that this is a time of self-discovery for many women so I decided to write a book of exercises to help them do just that. The only problem was … it was totally boring … lots of …get quiet and make a list chapters. The character Bertha was born as a fluke but she took over my writing and the entire book changed from dry and boring to lively and funny.
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel? The idea for the book definitely came first and then Bertha’s story took over with a mind of its own.
What was the hardest part to write in this book? Actually, it was a very easy book to write once it became about Bertha but for me the hardest part is always the editing.
How do you hope this book affects its readers? I really hope that women will come away believing that they can create the life that they want and essentially that anything is possible.
How long did it take you to write this book? It took almost two years from beginning to published book.
What is your writing routine? I write best in the early mornings. I write something almost every day whether it’s my blog, my journal, or on a manuscript.
How did you get your book published? I originally went with a small press publisher. They went out of business after a few years and Bertha was self-published for a while. I recently signed with Saga Books who re-released Bertha-Size and who will be publishing the sequel as well.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? First of all … write … write …write. I know that sounds silly but the more you write the better you get, so do a lot of it. Next …get the best editor that you can to edit your work. This is especially important if you are self-publishing. There are different types of editors so you need to be sure that you get someone who can check not only your grammar but also the storyline.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? In good weather I love to cycle. Otherwise, I enjoy reading, porch gardening, spending time with my family and, since I also work fulltime as a school nurse, I enjoy just chilling out.
What does your family think of your writing? They enjoy reading my writing but I don’t think they fully understand my need to do it.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood. I’m the youngest of three girls and grew up in northern Alabama. It was pretty uneventful as childhoods go, although at the time I thought it was very dramatic … LOL!
Did you enjoy school? For the most part I did and I was a straight A student until I got to college.
Did you like reading when you were a child? I have loved to read as long as I can remember and spent many a night reading until the morning light.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Funny, I don’t remember … I think I just always wanted to.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? Not so much for Bertha but I’m sure that they will play a bigger role in future books.
What was your favorite book as a child? Mama used to read a chapter of Heidi to us every night. I loved that book … or maybe I just loved it because Mama was reading it.
Who were your favorite authors as a child? I really don’t remember having a favorite … I just read everything I could get my hands on.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I love the fact that social media has made it so easy to interact with my readers. They will usually ask me how Bertha is doing and talk about her as if she were a real live person. The other thing is they frequently ask for her advice.
What can we look forward to from you in the future? I have submitted Bertha’s sequel to Saga and am anxiously awaiting the edits. Beyond that I have a tentative idea for a third book in the Bertha series and perhaps a novel.
Thank you for joining me today, Carroll. It's been a pleasure chatting with you. Thank you so much!
About the Author
Jane Carroll, author of Bertha-Size Your Life!, is a life coach, registered nurse, Reiki master, mother, grandmother, and long-time student of life. She has seen the focus of her over 30-year nursing career change from illness to wellness to wholeness, a philosophy that permeates everything she does.
While she enjoys all aspects of her life, writing is her passion and she is currently working on Bertha's latest adventures.
As Bertha says, "When life hands you an ostrich...make a boa."
Jane has kindly donated three Kindle edition copies of her book for our giveaway. Please show her your appreciation by entering!