Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On the Other Hand

I feel so very lucky!
I have author, June McCullough visiting my blog today.
She's talking about her book, On the Other Hand.

On the Other Hand is a very heartfelt story. Where did you come up with the idea?

I didn’t come up with the idea as much as it evolved. In 1983 my father came home to find my mother on the floor. She’d had a stroke and died shortly after. As hard as it was to lose my mother, it was just as difficult as I watched my father try to adjust to life without his wife of 38 years.

My father was lost without her and over the next few years, I watched as family members, friends and co-workers lost their spouses to heart attacks or strokes. Each time it happened, I was reminded of the struggles that my father went through.

Is On the Other Hand based on a true story?

Not at all. Although the main character, Nina, experiences what several people in my life have experienced, this novel is fiction.

It surprises me how many times I have been told by someone who was widowed that they didn’t think anyone understood what they were going through, and yet they saw themselves in Nina. I’m very pleased to know that people think I’ve actually captured the emotions and trials that someone in Nina’s position goes through.

Besides being a good read (so I’ve been told) I think this novel does two things. It shows the people who are trying to cope with this situation that what they are feeling and thinking is not crazy or abnormal. Hopefully, they feel a little less alone. It also gives the people who are trying to help them through this period a better understanding of the pain, confusion, and loneliness that they are going through. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

While it does sound inspiring, it also sounds like it could be depressing. Is it?

No. There is a second character, Pat, who attempts to balance her life as a single mother. The feedback that I am getting from my readers is that this is a very ‘real’ book, meaning that they can relate to it. They tell me that On the Other Hand had them both laughing and crying.

I understand that you’ve also published a second book. What can you tell us about it?

Home to Stay is a contemporary romance that takes place on a ranch just outside Calgary, Canada. It was actually written over 30 years ago and then put away until last year when I pulled it out and edited it.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the readers, but one reader has actually asked me to write a sequel. She wants to see the family grow.

And do you plan to do that?

No. Although I enjoyed reading it when I pulled it out last year; that story was written at a different time in my life.

Are you working on anything now? 

Yes. I started a novel last year and I have a lot of people asking for it, but I just haven’t had time. I’ve made a conscious decision to stop doing book signings for now. I miss meeting the readers, but the travel and signings were taking too much of my time and I wasn’t getting the time I need to work on the next book. This new book is exciting, an edgy revenge story.  It’s requires a great deal of research; but that’s one of the bonuses for me!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I give credit to the fact that more people are surviving a heart attack or stroke to the organizations that do research in this field and the progress that they have made. I would like the readers know that because of this, the Heart and Stroke Foundation receive 20% of the profits from book sales of On the Other Hand.

Where can my readers find you and your novels?

My novels are available on-line through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters. The links are:

I love to hear from my readers and reply to each of them. They can contact me through my website or my blog.

They can also follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/McCullough_June

I would also like to thank you for this interview, Jean, and to thank the readers for all their wonderful feedback.

June McCullough grew up in the three western provinces of Canada, although her family never lived in one community long enough for her to consider any one of them her hometown. By the time she graduated from Prince Charles Secondary School in 1971, they were living in Creston, British Columbia. After a few more moves, she moved back to central Alberta in 1989, set down roots and she has lived there ever since. 

When her son was the only goalie on a hockey team she joked with the coach that he needed to be nice to her if he wanted to keep his goalie. Two years later she married him. Both children have since grown up and left home, but she and the coach still reside in the same community.

Between commitments for appearances, working part time, and trying to work on her third novel, she spends as much time as possible hugging and playing with her grandchildren. 

June loves to hear from her reader and invites you to contact her.

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