Today on “Book Chat” we talk with Ms. Peggy Barnes about her new memoir
I Knew You by Name: The Search for My Lost Mother.
Q. So, Ms Barnes, is this your first publication?
A. Goodness, no. For twenty-five years, I’ve written short stories and inspirational devotions, free lance food and travel articles. I’ve even been a restaurant critic. But—I tell you there’s nothing like having published a book. My name at the top of every page! The cover with that evocative photo (no, the little girl is not me), the smooth but intricately textured paper. Why I thought I would—
Q. All right, Ms. Barnes, we see that you are excited about this.
A. Don’t worry. The first lines of the prologue reveal my age –seventy-five—but I promise I’m not going to faint. I made it through seven years of research and writing. Okay, there were weak knees as I learned more and more about my poor birth mother’s life. But there, finally, was her story and mine. For the world to read.
Q. So how did you celebrate?
A. If you’ve read the book, you know I didn’t crack open a magnum of champagne. But there was most definitely a party! I invited friends to a Book Launch Celebration. Great Wine (and a fine iced tea with an elegant hint of citrus). Great Food. A reading from the book. Best of all—seeing so many (over 70!) friends and loved ones. It was like a wedding. No—a christening. I just wish there had been room to invite more folks who supported me through the years.
Q. How did it feel to reveal so much of yourself in the memoir?
A. Writing a memoir about abandonment, addiction and other oh-so-personal issues is like throwing yourself onto a round trampoline, surrounded by everyone you’ve ever know, and praying they don’t pitch you off while crying “Boo!”
Q. How will you know if the book is a success?
A. The surprise and joy has come from readers. It’s only been available for a few weeks and people are already telling me “I know your mother loved you.” “You made me laugh and you made me cry.” “Would you speak to my club/organization about the issues in the book?” Yep. It’s reader reaction that floors you. Makes your efforts seem worthy.
Q. Do you have any advice for …er..older writers, or anyone who is struggling with a difficult writing project?
A. Write every day. Love the process. Believe.
Q. Thanks so much, Ms. Barnes. We’ll say goodbye for—
A—Wait! Tell the viewers to Buy My Book! Amazon.Com. Barnes and Noble.com; peggybarnesauthor.com. Five star reviews are very much appre—
——-until next time on Book Chat. We are signing off.