Empathy is the antidote to everything.
As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the great pleasure of interviewing Lorraine Devon Wilke.
An accomplished writer in several genres of the medium, Lorraine Devon Wilke, a Chicago native and one of eleven children, has built a library of expertly crafted work with a signature style that exudes intelligence, depth, and humor. Whether screenplay or stage play, article or editorial, short story or novel, her work captures the edge and emotion of real life, incorporating original plots, jump-off-the-page dialogue, and thought-provoking themes.
In 2010 she launched her “arts & politics” blog, Rock+Paper+Music, and from 2011 to 2018 she was a popular contributor at HuffPostand other news and media sites, typically focused on politics and social issues.Known for her “sass and sensibility,” her work hasbeen reprinted and excerpted in academic tomes, nonfiction books, and literary journals; a catalogue of her articles, op-eds, and essays can be found at Contently.com.
A produced and awarded screenwriter, she added longform fiction to her creative palette in more recent years. Both her award-winning novels, After the Sucker Punch and Hysterical Love, are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her latest, The Alchemy of Noise, contemporary literary fiction that digs deep into issues of privilege, profiling, and prejudice, is published by She Writes Press, released April 2019.
Having left Illinois decades ago with a rock band heading west, Devon Wilke landed in Los Angeles where she still lives with her husband, attorney/writer/producer, Pete Wilke, with her son, Dillon Wilke, and other extended family nearby. She’s working on a fourth novel, a rock & roll dramedy titled, A Minor Rebellion, while continuing her endeavors as a performer, photographer, and social commentator.
To learn more visit www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?
My particular backstory started in Chicago, where I was born the third child of a Greek-American father whose parents emigrated from Turkey, and an Irish/German/American mother who was raised by an extended family of rowdy Irish Catholics after her mother died and father absconded. This dramatic starting point infused my own upbringing with some rather stunning polarities on all fronts, from religion to politics to sex to how to raise children, and I became a very opinionated child as a result.
While still formulating my character, however, my parents fled the city, relocating to as disparate a place as one could imagine: Richmond, a tiny (population 350 at the time) farm town in northern Illinois, bike-riding distance from Wisconsin, as homogenized and white as Chicago was diverse. Too young to grasp the impact this would have my worldview, I reveled in the insular charms of small-town life until I grew old enough to realize I’d be fleeing in reversal of my mother and father.
But I was lucky: my culturally attuned parents infused our lives with music, plays, and books, and when the TV blew up one unfortunate night and was not to be replaced, my father insisted we’d enjoy the boxes of books he brought home from the Chicago library and the soundtrack albums of musicals they’d attended in the city. He was right. The gift of that insistence enriched my life, imbuing me with a passion for every form of art, particularly words and music, something for which I’m eternally grateful. I also know all the songs from South Pacific.
Next came the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, where, as a theater major, I began building what would become a lifelong career as a singer/songwriter. When an original project in which I was cast, Head of State, demanded that we cast members participate in fashioning a musical play built around the American presidency, I had my first taste of writing collaboration, a heady experience that set a high bar for those in the future. When the project won the American College Theater Festival, earning a performance at the Kennedy Center, the nature of my muses was firmly established, my path defined.
Lead-singing in a popular rock band soon pre-empted theatrical forays, taking me on the road for long enough that I took leave from school, convinced that doing what I loved as a performer was “life experience” commensurate with formal education. My parents were less convinced. The choice, however, emboldened my creativity and led me to Los Angeles, where I constructed a world surrounded by vibrant artists and projects that became my life’s work.
Marriage and family arrived in the 90s, a warm, soulful addendum to my creative pursuits, and as the Internet launched, and awareness of every roiling social issue of the day came into high relief, the cultural conversations we were all having profoundly changed. Never one to be silent, I began writing op-eds, social commentary, essays, and opinion pieces that were published by various media sites, including my own blog, Rock+Paper+Music, leading to an invitation in 2011 to contribute to The Huffington Post, a position that lasted until early 2018, when the now-called HuffPost discontinued the program. Those seven years, however, gave me access to a global audience that exposed me to wildly divergent thoughts, opinions, and worldviews, informing my work throughout and from that point forward.
It was during that time that I decided to tackle a creative goal I hadn’t felt equipped for up till then: writing a book. In 2010, I’d stumbled upon a story that seemed ripe for the medium, and my debut novel, After the Sucker Punch resulted,published in 2014. It was followed by Hysterical Lovein 2015, and while both involved the serio-comic politics of family and relationships, my third and current novel took a more dramatic turn. Inspired to explore the provocative themes of race and profiling, The Alchemy of Noise(pubbing April 2019 via She Writes Press) opened up the conversation we’re having at this moment…
When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life?
There were actually two seminal reading events that shifted my emerging awareness of the issues of racial conflict and systemic bigotry; both occurred in the sixties.
For me that was a time of the Beatles, childhood wonderment, and the gentleness of life in that small town far from the reality of the civil rights movement. With nary a person of color within fifty-five miles (the distance to Chicago), the biggest rumbles we witnessed were those between the Protestant and Catholic kids after school. I was oblivious to the metastasizing issues of race conflict and inequality. The media, however, was not.
My first seminal moment came while flipping through the pages of a Life Magazine left on the coffee table, when my attention was grabbed by a stark black and white photograph that almost leapt off the page. I wasn’t clear what the article was about, but that image was indelible: a group of white men huddled around a hogtied black man smoldering in a fire pit, his skin melting in the heat, his battered face lifeless. One of the men in the surrounding group was smiling, a sneer etched across his face. Everyone in the background, most in their Sunday best, appeared energized by the spectacle.
Horror crashed over me. My brain couldn’t process the information being conveyed. I burst into hysterical tears, pleading to my mother, “What is happening? Why are they doing this?” In my child’s mind, I could not fathom such cruelty. She did her Christian-level best to explain that hate and fear could make men do evil things. As she tried to make whatever sense she could of the senselessness I’d seen, there was no doubt in my mind that this was cold inhumanity at its worst. My cells rearranged.
The second moment came when I read the book, and watched the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird. Everything about that story took the horror of that image and gave it context, background, and I was moved and touched by the jarring contrast of a white man in the south who held respect for people of color at a time when no respect was afforded them. It also broke my heart. The railroading and ultimate murder of Tom Robinson was as caustic and inexplicable as the burning man in the photograph, and the fierce message conveyed by Atticus Finch was unforgettable. I wanted him to be my father, at times my own father reminded me of him, and that book solidified the urgency with which I viewed the racial divides in our country.
What was the moment or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world?
When I left Illinois to come to the free-for-all that is the west coast, I was surrounded by every kind of person pursuing every kind of adventure imaginable. During the 80s, I met and began working with a group of talented musicians, one of whom I had a relationship with. We lived together for six years; he was an amazing musician, a flawed but caring person and, as life would have it, a black man. It was Los Angeles, the Rampart police scandalhad yet to be thwarted, and though my open-minded parents had taught me to judge on soul not skin, I was to learn what only proximity could teach.
We were ignored in restaurants, hissed at by passersby, judged harshly by landlords, and stopped by the police more times than I’d been before or have since. In fact, we were harassed on such a relentless basis I would actually shake when I saw a police car anywhere near. And I was just the “white girlfriend”; he was the focal point of their ire.
Had I not been witness to (and tangential recipient of) the police overzealousness meted out to my partner, I would not have believed such things were possible outside the realm of gangs or street criminals (as is the naivete of white privilege). Whether arresting him for “breaking and entering” as he carried boxes up to our apartment, harassing him about “stealing” his own instruments in the back of our car; splaying him spread-eagle in front of our building for “looking suspicious,” or beating him mercilessly after he was wrongly identified in a vandalism and rape case (the right guy was later apprehended), the clear message — endemic to black life, but either denied or dismissed by oblivious whites — was that beingblack was enough to trigger suspicion and police aggression. We call it profiling these days.
My eyes were painfully opened, my attitudes forced to change; my trust in our system of justice irrevocably altered. Whatever I thought I knew about race in America, I was disabused, and I knew I would write that story someday, one that took on the disparate and conflicting realities of an America with two sets of rules.
When I began writing for HuffPost, and certainly after Barack Obama’s election, issues of race came into full, vivid relief, across every form of media. Pandora’s Box was opened, and with the burgeoning assist of social media, out emerged of every kind of bigot with an agenda and Wi-Fi connection. It was the wild west of hate-and-fear mongering, and speaking up became essential for those pushing a message of unity, empathy, and equality.
But even some who considered themselves open-minded and “colorblind” stumbled in the changing zeitgeist, unclear how to interact or intercede; confused about what words triggered anger, what responses conveyed condescension. Becoming true allies was not as simple as being a “nice white person”; there was a real learning curve to authentic alliance that wasn’t necessarily breaking through the noise coming from both sides.
There was tension; rancorous debates exploded. As a writer with a pulpit of sorts, I felt obligated to lean into it by writing and communicating with as wide a view as possible, engaging with as many disparate voices as I could. Which ultimately led to my contacting a fiercely dedicated BLM activist from New York who’d connected with me over a piece I’d written (No, White People Will Never Understand the Black Experience). She appreciated my perspective, I appreciated her response, so I invited her to sit down with me for a three-part interview series, no holds barred, no questions too sensitive; no answers censored. She agreed, and what resulted was a candid, bracingly honest and educational discussion (Regina and I Take It On…).
It was then I decided to amalgamate the events and revelations of my earlier experience (sadly still so relevant today) with the critical mass of information and perspective gained in my editorial work, and write my third book. I created a cast of fictional characters, wrapped them in a suspenseful, compelling story, and set them in contemporary Chicago (a place deeply entrenched in racial discord). I let them fall in love, find equilibrium, then burdened them with the weight of it all, demanding that they somehow endure and transcend. Did they? That dilemma is at the heart of The Alchemy of Noise.
What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?
My first mandate was to write a gripping, provocative novel that held readers’ attention and sparked their emotions. My second was to create a narrative that was so frank and unvarnished, so true in detail and authenticity, that it rattled the entrenched thinking of those whose white privilege obscures reality, while, at the same time, offering honest reflection of the black experience through the eyes of the characters involved. I wanted the narrative to involve the many insights — large and small — culled from my experience and research, giving each character, black and white, the opportunity to express their unique reactions to the unfolding plot.
My hope is that this story, these characters; their struggles and challenges, will help illuminate the conflicts and disparities endemic to our divided society, and, by doing so, shift thinking and open eyes, particularly and candidly, amongst white demographics still struggling to understand the nuances and complexities of that divide.
And I believe fiction has a unique power to achieve those goals in ways that may be more accessible and emotionally driven than non-fiction (I discuss that in Truth Finds Its Story: The Illuminating Power of Fiction). Just as To Kill a Mockingbirdaltered and affected my point of view, my hope is that The Alchemy of Noisewill become one of the books that inspires productive conversation and discernable change on the topic of race.
Did the actual results align with your expectations?
Given the early trajectory of my book’s journey, its greater impact remains to be seen.
But, hopefully, as the book’s influence expands, it will become the focal point of book clubs and discussion groups, inspiration for candid debates and cross-cultural education, leading to an actual “movement” toward more productive alliances between black and white communities. Hopefully, it will open doors to a wider range of opportunities for me to talk about and disseminate its message, in settings where members of my racial community are open to shifting their views to grasp realities they’d dismissed or hadn’t been aware of, and members of the black community are receptive to clarifying and illuminating their perspective in ways that have tangible, educational impact.
What moment let you know that your book had started a movement?
Though the specific progress of my book as a “movement” is still aspirational, the sense of resonance and acceptance of my perspective from a growing and global audience began when articles at HuffPoststarting going viral; when requests were made for excerpts to be included in books or other articles; when essays were shared by academics using them as teaching aids, and I was quoted in the works of other writers. Comments, emails, and social media posts additionally contributed to my awareness that a chord was being struck, that many wanted to discuss and debate issues now being explored in my book, that many shared my concerns and commitment to changing culture.
It willtake some time to build momentum for the book, garner the attention of readers, media, and influencers eager to spread its message. Right now, I simply want people to read, enjoy, and be moved by the story. As for its greater impact, I can only offer that I intend for it to start a movement, one that promotes a more intimate, honest, and unvarnished alliance between black and white participants looking to create methods and educational curriculums that tackle — in every way possible, and with new and innovative ideas — the persistent and pervasive issues of prejudice, privilege, profiling, and inequality.
What kinds of things did you hear right away from readers? What are the most frequent things you hear from readers about your book now? Are they the same? Different?
One comment from an early reader, an author named Laura Nicole Diamond, particularly touched me: “The Alchemy of Noise is a modern American love story that asks if love can bridge the distance between two Americas… her characters Sidonie and Chris (and the loved ones in their orbit) stayed with me like old friends whose success I am rooting for, but is in no way guaranteed in a world where skin color may be destiny.”
There was something about the sadness and insight of her response that encapsulated the thrust of the book’s narrative, and will, hopefully, be one of the reasons readers want to talk about why that is, and how that reality can change.
But it isa story that will strike readers differently depending on their racial makeup and life experiences. Much as many black readers responded positively to frank discussions of racial disparity in my op-eds, so have many to the narrative framework of my book. Others in the black community expressed wariness, even resentment, about a white author taking on this particular story, concerned about cultural appropriation and the authenticity of depictions and perspective.
On the other side, some white readers have been surprised, stunned even, by the unflinching depictions of violence and harassment depicted in the book, many stating that they were not as aware as they might have been about the microaggressions and “little cuts” of presumption and prejudice that are endemic to the lives of people of color. One white reader remarked, “I see it on the news, but I can’t say I realized it was so pervasive and systemic.” Again, as is the naivete of white privilege.
What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book?
Because I was aware of the current concerns about white writers including characters outside their cultural demographics, but still believing this was my story to tell, I was committed to making the book as authentic, sensitive, and realistic as it could possibly be. Beyond my interviews and research, I reached out to black “sensitivity readers” to confirm that I’d achieved that goal. The person I most cared about was the woman I’d interviewed years earlier, Regina McRae, but quite frankly, I was initially terrified to give her the book. She is someone so clear on the mission, so committed to justice and equality, a person who suffers no fools and will bluntly lay it on the line without hesitation or kid gloves, I feared it wouldn’t pass her muster. But I knew she, of all people, was my litmus test. And after reading the book, she wrote:
“Every character was authentic. Sidonie and Chris have great depth; they’re real-life people, and I wanted them to overcome, for their love to prevail. The plot line was great as well. The microaggressions, the hidden and overt racism, the passive-aggressive low-key racism — it was all in there, all very plausible and realistic. The book is a sort of Racism 101, an eye-opener for allies.”
An eye-opener for allies. That is exactly the movement: opening the eyes of those ready to help change the narrative.
Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?
As I mentioned earlier, being a white author whose story includes a black male protagonist, with depictions of his life and the characters in it, has been met with degrees of consternation by some. During the early phases of the book, several agents were frank about the fact that fear of cultural appropriation would prevent them from taking it on, despite stating it was a book that was “important,” “serious” and “well-written.”
There have also been demurrals from some in the black community, who, not having read the book yet, still expressed preemptive suspicion about the story’s authenticity and rationale coming from a white author. When one of my sensitivity readers posted about it on her Facebook page, several in her community responded, “We don’t need a white woman telling our stories.” When I got into conversations with some of them, it was clear there would be a measure of resistance, which I understood, given the bigger picture, but my answer was and will always be, “read the book first, then tell me what your arguments are.” I’m hopeful that particular resistance evolves as more doread the book.
But, given this era of identity awareness and the demand for greater diversity in all aspects of culture and media, I absolutely agree that we need more doors opened for every kind of voice, something that is not proportional as of yet. But I also believe we achieve that by expandingopportunities for diverse, marginalized voices, not by censoring the voices of fellow artists.
Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?
There is something deeply intimate about reading, about sitting meditatively with yourself, enveloped in the words, thoughts, and ideas of another person. Reading creates an autonomous environment free of intruding opinions… outside those you’ve invited in by virtue of opening a book. It forges a one-on-one relationship between you and that writer and what they’re communicating, allowing you to think, feel, have an epiphany, be inspired, even get outraged by what you read. That kind of intimacy can burrow into the thinking of receptive readers, triggering responsive emotions, in ways that group activities and more external experiences of art and education can’t always attain. It is saidthat reading impacts the neurons of the brain in a way that “doesn’t only figuratively put you in someone else’s shoes, it literally does that through the biology of the brain.” Meaning, the act of reading has a powerful ability to stoke empathy, the key element to creating a movement.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?
Though my status as “bestselling” is, as of now, still aspirational, I’ll answer the question from the perspective of it being an intentional goal!
There are obviously the basics: learn the craft, apply discipline and organization to your work and workflow; demand the highest professional standards in every aspect of your process, yours and others, and be relentless in the quest to dig deep and polish heartily.
But the most essential habit to cultivate, one that results in the kind of work that warrants “bestselling” status, is faith and trust in one’s own voice.
I’d finished my first novel. At this point, it had been years in the making: countless painstaking drafts, arduously content-edited by two editors of estimable talent; read and critiqued by a team of skilled advance readers, copyedited, proofed, formatted, designed with utmost professionalism, and, to my mind, ready to go. As a last step, one I hoped would offer “inside perspective” to bolster its chances for success, I hired a well-respected literary consultant (who’d been an agent) to read it and offer advice on how best to proceed, confident she’d find the book in good shape, and willing to offer marketing tips.
She hated it. She didn’t like the female protagonist or the secondary characters. She didn’t like the plot, the voice, the heart and soul of the book. She basically suggested a page-one rewrite.
My head exploded.
Her take was so far from any perspective I’d received on the book prior, so completely at odds with every other note and critique, I was stunned. And it wasn’t, as I assured her, that I was an amateur being defensive and proprietary about “my baby.” No, I’d taken prodigious (and often brutal) notes and critique throughout the decades of my professional writing career — from producers, directors, managers, agents, editors — and was well versed in the navigation of that particular gauntlet. But I’d never had anything come close to this experience. What was I to do?
I thought long and hard about her comments, I sat and re-read the book, and ultimately came to this conclusion: I didn’t agree with her opinion. Was she moreright than me? Did she know something I didn’t, have a better grasp of what this book should be, what it should say; how it should say it? Did her opinion deservemore regard than my own? Though I was terrified to reject the advice of someone of such literary gravitas (whose opinion I’d paid for), I knew in my gut we were simply two very different people with two very different, subjective opinions. And while I honored hers, my own was my priority.
I stuck to my guns, released the book as it was, and was gratified by the awards and reviews it garnered from enthusiastic readers and editorial writers; even now it’s being used as a teaching tool in a UK writing program.
Would she change her mind if she read it again? Probably not. But the lesson was clear to me: trust your own voice. Know when to listen, when to act upon critique, and when to reject it. Your voice is the one you’ve got, the one that got you there; that channeled your ideas into print. Have faith in it. It speaks well of you.
What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career?
The most prevailing challenge of any writing career is rejection, in all its many forms. The “I thought you’d hit this out of the park and you didn’t” rejection, the “sorry, you didn’t sell enough to keep stocking you,” rejection; the one-and-two point star reviews on Amazon rejection. Even the relentless rejection of those in the commercial marketplace: agents, publishers, reviewers, readers. Rejection comes at you from every angle, in every configuration, and you cannot enter the arena without knowing it’s unavoidable, and having a strategy to endure, transcend, even accept it.
One of the lessons I learned was to never assume rejection means you didn’t succeed. If that sounds oxymoronic, let me explain:
After writing several spec screenplays, I was fortunate when one I’d co-written with a friend went into production and was made in the early 90s. We had a couple of names attached, we co-starred; I wrote and recorded three songs for the soundtrack… it was undeniably a coalescence of my artistic skill set and I was excited for its future. We were invited to the Seattle International Film Festival, a big honor, and the day before it premiered, the biggest critic of the biggest Seattle newspaper slammed it. Beat it to death. He was petty and cutting in ways you don’t always see. I didn’t want to leave the hotel, fearing strangers would throw tomatoes as I passed by.
But when I got to the premiere, which, I discovered, was sold out in one of the biggest theaters in town, the audience literally cheered and yelled in support of our characters throughout the film; when it ended they roared in approval… it was exhilarating. Afterwards, as I was getting coffee at a local spot down the street, a young woman approached me. “I saw your movie today,” she said shyly, “and I wanted to tell you that it made me feel like I’m not alone.”
That was its own success… rejection can’t touch that.
Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers needs to know if they want to spark a movement with a book?
1. Get inspired: Pay attention to what really sparks your reactions, elicits your emotional response, makes you angry, or excites you with possibilities. In my case, the experiences I’d had, followed by the deep dive into social issues via my op-ed work, made clear to me that I wanted to pursue the topic of racial conflict and reconciliation, resulting in The Alchemy of Noiseand this ensuing conversation.
2. Define your mission: Be clear about what your goals are in writing your book. For me, it was the decision to focus my novel on specific issues surrounding race, ones that I particularly wanted to illuminate with the intention of provoking thought, stimulating empathy and awareness, and, hopefully, awakening a new level of authentic understanding.
3. Design your creative and marketing strategy: Decide the style, genre, tone, and character of your book that best serve the effect you want to create, the readers you want to reach, the impact you want to have. Construct your writing and marketing plans with those answers in mind. For example, I originally intended to notspecifically reference my past relationship as an inspiration for the story, but as I strategized about how to effectively convey whyI was the person to write it, and how I was able to authentically depict each of the characters in my book, black and white, I realized I had to define my credibility in order to support the mission, particularly in the face of trending concerns about whose voice gets to tell stories of race.
4. Maintain your passion and commitment even in the face of doubt and criticism: There will always be someone to tell you your idea is flawed, you’re approaching it the wrong way; you need to shift your thinking, change your format, present it in different way. They may be right, but… are they? This is where honoring your own voice comes in, as does honoring the passion you had when first inspired to write your book. The trick is balance: review any worthy criticism, analyze your own doubt, make pertinent decisions, then continue to move forward with clear, unequivocal commitment to your mission.
5. Learn to love marketing and do it well: Every writer knows the days of “just writing” and leaving the pavement pounding to others are long gone. Whether social media, blogs, websites, published articles, podcasts; whatever gets your name, your book, and your mission out there is on you. Even if you hire a publicist (and you should), you must be a hardy collaborator in all marketing steps along the way. Surprisingly, this remains a bugaboo for many authors, but it’s something that not only assists in the sales of your book, but has huge impact on the advancement of a movement. A tip? Talk, share, and post as much about other people’s work, the articles you enjoyed reading, the cute thing your dog did today, as you do about your book. You’ll find people are far more interested in your work when they also get a glimpse of your life and personality. And the creative generosity of promoting the work of artists you love is always a good-will measure (and usually a reciprocal one!).
The world, of course, needs progress in many areas. What movement do you hope someone (or you!) starts next?
Yes, there are many, many areas in which progress is needed, but when I look at the most troubling issues of the day — gun violence, sexual assault, xenophobia, bigotry, LGBTQ discrimination, misogyny, child abuse, even the destruction of our planet — the thread of each comes down to a most basic human failing: lack of empathy.
We hate what we don’t know and haven’t experienced, particularly if acceding to the hate of others. We abuse those we can hurt and overpower if we ignore their pain. We discriminate when we refuse to get inside another’s experience to grasp their journey. We dismiss, denigrate, demean, and diminish because we’re bereft of contact, interaction, relationship, or awareness of someone outside our demographic. We destroy because we are blind to our connectedness.
There are already many “empathy initiatives” out in the world and even in some schools, but I feel there needs to be a more basic, primary application of its tenets starting from childhood on. I’d like to see early-education programs designed and implemented in all school curriculums, focused on every aspect of empathy toward creating rapport and basic understanding of every religion, race, class, ethnicity, orientation, and background. Once empathy is firmly established in the emotional, mental, and spiritual DNA of a child, their evolving approach to the world — people, animals, the planet — will emanate from a perspective of affinity and compassion. That can only bode well for every ill the world suffers.
Empathy is the antidote to everything.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook Writer’s page: https://www.facebook.com/lorrainedevonwilke.fans/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00K2ZOLSA
Rock+Paper+Music blog: https://rockpapermusic.com
Thank you so much for these insights. It was a true pleasure to do this with you.
Thank you for inviting me to participate! I’m honored and delighted to share my perspective.
About the author: Sara is an author and writing coach with a private practice in Chicago. She has appeared in Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, The View and Katie Couric. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tri-Quarterly, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, IO Literary Journal, and Psychobabble. Her first book Bringing In Finn was nominated for ELLE magazine Book of the Year. www.saraconnell.com