Who are you?
Good heavens, answering the question, Who are you? It is like trying to take the perfect snapshot. It’s a just frozen bit of time — where I’m standing at the moment, wearing a particular set of clothes.
At present, I am a mother, teacher, and writer who lives in Illinois. My kids range in ages from 23 to 11, so I get a wide variety of “Mom!” experiences. I’ve homeschooled all my kids — which has brought me great joy and finally taught me how to spell ‘discombobulate’ and wrangle the value of X. (Sometimes.)
I started writing as a kid — realized I couldn’t spell and didn’t know a thing about English grammar — so I decided to live life instead of writing about it.
A little over ten years ago, my husband encouraged me to write a book and publish it. Since then, my husband died of Leukemia, and writing has helped to keep me sane. (Most-of-the-time.)
Why write on Medium?
I have written and published several books and even rewritten and republished my novels (dearly hoping) to make them better. Honing my craft has been a considerable part of the writing experience for me. But selling my work is a challenge. I’m no marketer. So when the opportunity to share my work on Medium came along, I decided to participate.
I have been blessed to interact with the writers and readers here. The personal connection has set Medium apart from other platforms. It isn’t just a place to drop off my work. It is an opportunity to exchange thoughts and perspectives and has exceeded my imagination in terms of getting to know what makes excellent writing and superlative people.
What are your writing interests?
I began my first formal author experience by writing The Road Goes Ever On — Christian Themes in Lord of the Rings. (A book my husband wanted me to write. Which I did, eventually.)
After writing another two other historical fiction books, I realized I needed to improve my craft — so I took a graduate program in Creative Writing for Entertainment. I started writing Science Fiction because it allowed me to process my husband’s death — all forms of death and new life, really — through a wider cultural venue. The concept of universal experience took on fresh meaning.
Since then, I have reworked my earlier novels using a blend of Historical Fiction and Science Fiction to picture the human journey in the broader setting.
A couple of years ago, I started to write short stories because the act of short storytelling gave me an efficient way to discover my voice and sharpen my craft. Soon after, I added a weekly HeartBeats post to share my journey with others.
What do you hope to accomplish by writing?
I write to communicate who I am and who I am coming-to-be with other human beings. I have prioritized my life, so that family, friends, and community come before writing time. The most important story I want to write about is my life. How do I value the people in my home, neighborhood, and the wider world? That sharing of experiences informs and shapes me.
My writing isn’t me telling others how to live. It merely reflects my life journey.
On any given day, I may be wrong-headed, blind-hearted, or have a skewed perspective. In interacting with people in my day-to-day world, writing, offering my work to the larger world, and absorbing readers’ comments — I become a more wholly formed human being.
Can you share a highlight of your life?
Recently, I published a selection of my posts HeartBeats — Spiritual Being, Human Journey as a book on Amazon. When visiting a neighbor who is suffering from poor health, I offered her my book, figuring that she could use it to put her to sleep, if nothing else.
To my surprise, she texted me later in the day and told me that she had started to read it and couldn’t stop. That night, she texted again and said she had read the whole thing and loved it.
Ooookay. That made me feel good.
Then another friend lost her husband to cancer this week, and I dropped off another copy of the same book for her. She received it yesterday but stopped by today to tell me that she had read through almost the whole thing in one day — she enjoyed it that much.
Talk about making a writer feel good! Readers seriously motivate writers when they let the writer know that they enjoyed their work. I have tried to do the same for others.
These two recent experiences were not merely about pleasing readers or making money. I didn’t make a cent since I gave away my review copies. What mattered was that my sweat, tears, and sincere efforts made a difference to someone.
Share a few of your article links with us?
Here are some of my recent articles.
Lawry considered the long, red scratch on his face. “It’ll leave a scar — that’s for certain. Just the luck! Spiteful…
Hating Libby Lawrence wasn’t just self-defense, it was an undiluted, adrenaline high with a clean conscience. In the…
What Hope Looks Like
What Hope Looks Like
It’s cold, raining, near dusk, and I’m sitting in the back seat of my car, munching old trail mix. And why on God’s…
Do you write anywhere else?
I put all my work on my website — https://akfrailey.com
I also add a new short story or HeartBeats post each week on my blog — https://akfrailey.com/blog
Any big plans for 2020?
My plans evolve day-by-day, or I’d never survived.
I hope to write a new short story alternating with a HeartBeats article every week. I also hope to finish posting chapters to my novel OldEarth ARAM Encounter on Medium. I want to finish the rewrite of Oldearth Neb Encounter and publish it. If time and life permit, I would love to move forward on my science fiction novel Newearth — Hero’s Crime.
I plan on keeping my kids alive and well. Everyone moving forward. And, yes, for some, that does mean out of the house and into paying jobs.
I plan to take a walk and pray each day — despite whatever the weather throws at me.
I want to make a few new friends.
Can you recommend other authors in your niche?
I have enjoyed getting to know a variety of writers on Medium. I comment on their posts, and that helps me process not only what they wrote, but I better understand the person on the other side of the page.
Therese Ralston, Mike Alexander, Rolli, Mark Starlin, Mark Kolke, Henery X (long), Seriema, Dr. Mehmet Yildiz, Sal Cannon, Jody McAlister, Laurna Tallman, Sarah Drummer Dancer, Nigel B. Peck, Paul Keefe, Chris Hedges, Jonathan Greene, Alessa Grace, Kabir Mohammed…and so many more. I am blessed to read your work and look forward to reading more…
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