Today Roberta Goodman, author and relentless supporter or her fellow indie-authors is on the blog to talk about herself and her book.
Hi Roberta, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. I’d like to start with some personal ones if you don’t mind. (She can’t answer because I’ve just offered her a huge chunk of delicious chocolate and she’s in heaven right now.)
Given the choice would you rather live in the city or a small town?
Since I’ve actually lived in both, Lucy, it’s a very interesting question to start off our interview. I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I lived for almost twenty-five years. For the past nine and a half years, I’ve lived in a small town in Maryland. I prefer the city, because I love the atmosphere and energy generated from lots of people living in close proximity.
What does living life to the max means to you?
Living life to the max for me means appreciating every day I’m lucky enough to wake up. It means constantly moving forward toward the future by not holding onto the past. While it’s important to work hard to achieve our dreams, I also believe we all need to regularly indulge in activities that make us happy. Hobbies can be just as important to fulfill a person as the career he or she has chosen.
What is your idea of a great holiday?
In the United States we call it taking a vacation and a great one to me means going someplace I’ve never been before and being able to explore everything the location has to offer. It doesn’t matter if I go to an exotic island, or a new city, I love to immerse myself in the culture of an area. I’m married with two children, so I also love to introduce my kids to new places. I want them to realize there’s a big world outside of the small town we live in. Any holiday that provides me the chance to relax and spend quality time with my family creating wonderful memories is a great holiday for me.
I know you’re familiar with the real possibility to loose a loved one. How did that influence your writing?
When my husband was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, I chose to write about the situation to ease the fear I had that he might die. I think fear forced me to be incredibly honest in describing the whole journey from diagnosis, through treatment, and up until he was cured. I needed to document everything that happened, because I knew our suffering and the eventual triumph over that suffering would give comfort to those going through similar situations.
After that book was done and out off your hands into those of the readers, did you ever wish you hadn’t written it?
If I hadn’t written it, I would regret it. By writing about a very dark time in my husband’s and my life, I created something I can read to remember how bad it got so I can appreciate when things are good. My children were nine and six when their father was sick, so they weren’t aware of certain things. When they’re older they’ll be able to read about exactly what went on and how we got through it.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
I can’t say there’s any food or beverage I consistently write about, but chocolate is a constant factor in my life. I can’t go a day without eating something containing chocolate.
What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?
My Italian-American maternal grandmother made the best meatballs I’ve ever tasted. I could make a meal of those meatballs. Unfortunately, before she died I never got the recipe. I’ve spent years trying different recipes in an attempt to replicate her meatballs. So far, this recipe is the closest.
Ingredients make 8 servings
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup olive oil
- Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)
- I usually place the cooked meatballs into a pot of hot spaghetti sauce, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, but this isn’t necessary.
NOM! I am going to try these out this week and will let you know how they turned out.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?
The title of my memoir is Perseveringthrough the Unforeseen: One Couple’sExperienceConquering Testicular Cancer.
Below you’ll find the prologue:
We’d been married for almost eleven years. Our union had produced two healthy, beautiful children. Our lives were filled with the routines most people flourish on. There had been some rocky times like most couples experience, but overall my husband and I were living unassuming lives. We never anticipated our world could change in a short amount of time, but on a cold winter night at the beginning of January 2011 it did. Suffering from pain in his groin, Eric was sent by our family physician to a hospital thirty minutes from our home to get an ultrasound. Our doctor suspected a contortion of the right testicle, and he acted quickly. Upon further investigation, Eric was found to have two masses contained in his right testicle. The preceding months would test our strength as a couple. It was hands down the darkest period of our lives to date. I chose to document what we went through in the hopes our experience can give comfort to those on a similar journey. The battle against Testicular Cancer was one my husband won, but it’s a battle my family will never forget. From the beginning, I’ve emphasized Testicular Cancer is to men what Breast Cancer is to women. Because more women are affected by Breast Cancer every year, than men are affected by Testicular Cancer, this disease gets publicized with greater frequency. By revealing the everyday struggles we encountered, and the hardships Eric faced as a cancer patient, I hope to educate, enlighten, and bring attention to a disease that affects thousands of men all over the world. I can’t emphasize enough to every man how important yearly check-ups are to maintaining his well-being. Pain is an indication something’s wrong and should never be ignored. Testicular Cancer is a fast growing threat many men could catch in time if they just make sure to look for the warning signs. I want to thank in advance all those choosing to read our story. It’s a personal one that wasn’t always easy for me to write down, but by doing so I knew I might be able to inspire others to fight when faced with a cancer diagnosis.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
No, I didn’t have any difficulty at all. I knew in my heart my husband would survive, so the title came to me instinctually.
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
As a self-published author, I’ve had to do all my own promotion. It’s not always easy when you don’t have a substantial amount of money to invest, or people with powerful connections behind you to help, so I’ve been forced to think outside the box. I realized early on into my career I needed to create a very visible online presence so readers from all over the world would become familiar with me.
Since very few things happen overnight, I realized it was going to take years to build up a fan base through social networking sites. This fact has been very frustrating for me at times, so it’s forced me to try different approaches. I did an internet radio show which was a complete waste of time and money. I don’t recommend any author try this unless they’ve established a strong fan base. I’ve also consistently attempted to contact bloggers to review my work every time I publish a new book, but they’re not always receptive.
I can honestly say the most attention I get for my books comes from using Twitter. I’ve been trying to establish myself as an active supporter of the indie writing community for several years, because I believe there’s a tremendous amount of undiscovered talent in the world. These are people just like me who deserve a chance to be read. If I can help them achieve their dreams, it benefits every person who makes a decision to become a self-published author. Most of the wonderful people I support on Twitter have reciprocated by supporting my dreams, and for this I’m incredibly grateful.
Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Before I begin, I’d like to thank you for featuring me on your forum, Lucy. I always value the support I’m given 🙂 Since I don’t want to discuss my “dirty little secrets” because I’d hate for my words to come back and haunt me, I’ll disclose something very few people know about me, with the exception of my family. I possess the coldest hands and feet of anyone on the planet. This is especially true during winter months. My husband calls my
extremities “The hands and feet of death”, because they really are as cold as blocks of ice.
It’s caused by low blood pressure. I’m not prone to get heart disease, have a heart attack, or a stroke in the future, but I’ve had quite a few fainting episodes throughout my lifetime. It usually happens when I’m suffering from some sort of illness, like a virus, but it has occurred when I’m completely well. On more than one occasion my husband has had to catch me before I hit the ground. On days he hasn’t been around I have hit the ground.
One occasion stands out in my mind:
My husband was working overnight, so he wasn’t home at the time. My immune system was compromised, so I was suffering some illness. It was the middle of the night, and I’d woken up needing to use the bathroom. After I was finished, I started feeling nauseous which is a precursor to fainting. Instead of sitting down on the ground until it passed, I decided to stand up to wash my hands. I turned on the water, everything went black, and I woke up looking up at the ceiling. The water was still turned on, so I stood up to turn it off. Before I knew it, I was looking up at the ceiling again. I didn’t want it to happen for a third time, so I crawled on my hands and knees over to the faucet to turn off the water then I crawled over to my bed and carefully climbed in. I called my husband to come home from work, because the whole episode scared me to death.
Thank you Roberta for being here and sharing all of this with me and the readers. I do hope you’ll come back to talk about your other books.
For those readers who want to know more about Roberta, she can be found online at:
Her website/blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+