Arlene O’Neil! She is a fellow indie author and MSKP’er. Her book Broken Spokes has a 4.9 star rating on Amazon.com and is hailed as being “…an incredible story.”
Please, sit back, relax, and welcome Arlene today!
Thank you SO much for stopping by Arlene! Please, describe yourself in one word. Kind.
If you could have any super power, what super power would it be?
The ability to heal animals would make me feel complete. I am such an animal lover that it kills me to see something in pain. I am the one who patrols for frogs instead of running them over with the mower, who would hit a pole to avoid a cat, and the one who rescues Luna moths from drive – through windows. I’ll twist an ankle to avoid the cricket, stop traffic to pick up a turtle, and slam on the brakes to avoid a squirrel. Children have many organizations to fight for them. Animals have few.
What compelled you to write this book?
I never felt as though I “fit” in life. That I was different – someone I should not have been. I began to write “Broken Spokes” as a way of discarding negative childhood messages that told me what I could not do instead of what I could. Hampered by a childhood injury, I was over protected. Although well-meaning at the time and with the best of intentions, these messages caused me to become someone I would not have been had the accident not occurred. I know that is a double negative, but it is the only way to explain myself.
What do you do to keep yourself going when you aren’t motivated?
If I go back and read articles I’ve written previously, that will usually inspire me and help me out of a slump. Something else that helps are comments from readers. People don’t truly understand that remarks and reviews are a writer’s most motivational tool.
Which comes first the chicken or the egg… I mean the plot or the characters?
I start with a thought, add a plot, and the characters join in by themselves.
How do you create your characters? Do you When do you use character biographies, sketches, or do your characters just land on the page?
As my characters are real, they need little work. Oh, I may embellish some, or detract from them, but anyone who knows me will know my characters to be fairly true to form.
How old were you when you finished your first book?
I was somewhere in my 50’s. I’ll just leave it at that, which proves you are never too old to begin. As my late husband used to say, “Begin…the rest is easy.”
How long did it take you to write it?
My book took a total of three years to complete. I had finished writing it when one of my main characters died suddenly and I had to rewrite the ending. It took over six months to be able to emotionally change the end.
If you could do everything over (writing your book, or publishing, etc.) would you change anything?
I would devote more time to the end of my book. When I read it now, I feel I rushed the last few chapters. There are gaps in time that I should fill in and things I forgot completely. I am happy with the book as it stands, but did miss a few key events that should have been included.
Thank you, Arlene, for being such an awesome guest! I had a great tim and I am so glad that you were able to join me today!
Biography of Arlene R. O’Neil
“Writing is what lights me up,” states Arlene R. O’Neil. “Being a visual writer, I love seeing my work come to life: to take the reader with me on a journey word by word: to touch a reader whether through laughter or tears.” Her current book, “Broken Spokes,” refers to broken bones, broken bike, and broken spirit. It speaks to the reader of determination, of survival, of inspiration.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Mrs. O’Neil moved to South Carolina to work on her second novel, which will relate the roller coaster life of being the parent of a Soldier on active duty. O’Neil says, “My son, SGT Tanner O’Neil, is a member of the United States Army and the joy, pride, and love of my life. After five tours of duty to active war zones, I feel the need to share my experience with other parents in hope of lessening their fears.” SGT O’Neil recently returned from his 5th combat tour.
Currently Arlene lives with her two Labradors, Holly and Bruno, and her adorable pet goats, Paxton, JaeJay, Rupert, Patches, and Frosty. “These amazing characters have helped me through some incredibly difficult times and I love them dearly.”
Aside from writing, supporting her son while deployed, and caring for her animals, Arlene lives on 3 ½ acres of land that her and her beloved animals enjoy.
An author, editor and proofreader, Arlene R. O’Neil may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org