Sunday, December 14, 2014
Author Interview with Robin Landry, author of "It's Like Here Only Better"
1. Your book is a very touching tribute to your son. What made you decide to share your story with everyone?
At first I just had the dreams of Tim in a blog, but after hearing so many people say how much it helped them deal with their own loss, I decided to put it out to a wider audience, and to make it more permanent.
2. Did being a reviewer of so many books make your job as author easier or more difficult?
I believe that being a reviewer actually makes me a better writer because I read now with the idea of saying what I like and what I dislike about a book. After a few hundred reviews, I found that I had a much better idea of how to write than I did before. I couldn't help reviewing my own writing with a more critical eye, and applying the strengths I'd seen in other authors' works.
3. What had been the highlight for you concerning this book?
Both seeing how the cover reflects Tim so well, and having people who've read the book tell me how it affected them in a positive way, and lastly, the worse thing about losing your child is feeling like everyone has forgotten them. I've made Tim immortal in a small way and that makes me happy as a mother.
4. What is the one piece of advice that you would like to share with your audience? What was the best advice you received?
Just as it's hard to see how you look without a mirror, it's hard to judge your own creative work without the input of others. Sometimes it's hard to hear, but it always helps, so get as much criticism as you can because most people genuinely want to help you. And of course read as much as you can and start reviewing, because it changes both how you write and how you read, for the better.
5. Having gone through something similar, I know that feelings about the event never really go away. I personally find it harder to remember all the details as time goes on. Do you have any type of ritual or annual event that you do to keep his memory alive?
Well, since we're coming up on Christmas, I put a stocking up for Tim, and I visit his grave site once a month and leave something that represents the time of year it happens to be. I leave small gifts like flowers and Hot Wheel cars, and a Harley motorcycles, and talk to him. I know he's always listening, in fact he told one medium, that he listens now a lot more than he ever did before as a teenager.
6. What is one thing you know now after writing a book that you wish you knew before you started?
How easy it is to do the whole thing yourself. I waited 5 years because I thought I would have to go through a publisher, but really self-publishing is easy. I asked an author I'd reviewed for a cover designer, and I looked up a editor on the web. It's very easy to have a professional book these days so really anyone can do it. I would recommend that everyone tell their story if only to have a copy to hand down to the kids.