Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Interview and Giveaway With Michael Walker, Author of Her Special Day Shoes

I'd like to welcome to Shelf Full of Books today, Michael Walker, author of Her Special Day Shoes. This is a special book for Michael, his friend Kristen and for the National Breast Cancer Foundation because the profits from this book will be split equally between them.  Michael, let's start out with a little information about yourself, and then move on to your book and the proceeds from your book.

Where were you born and where do you call home? 
I was born in Hawthorne, CA, but I call Pikeville, TN my home. Both my parents were born and raised in that small town mountain area. They went to the same one room school house (still standing to this day), complete with an outhouse. Just before my father passed away he took me back there and we walked around the grounds and inside the school building. He shared stories of his school days and how he would get in trouble from my mother passing love notes to him in class. I will never forget it. Currently I live in Hutto, Tx.

Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?
Reba. My daughters and I rescued Reba when she was about 10 months old. Since then she has been an integral part of our family, and has emotionally rescued me on more than one occasion. Reba is a Texas Lacy and is the sweetest and most lovable dog you could ever want.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Hug your Momma more; you will only have 19 years with her. Also, your father was right about a lot of things, listen to him. Stop procrastinating and just write.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was in junior high, my father got laid off from work. By day he would beat the 

streets trying to find work. By night he started writing a book he titled “Murder Incomplete,” about a hardnosed private detective named Dan Swagger – a character that he modeled after himself. I was particularly moved and inspired by this, mostly because my father had a hard childhood. He was forced to quit school when he was in the seventh grade, and then forced to work sunup to sundown on his uncle’s farm. The lack of formal or basic training on how to write did not deter my father one bit. He didn’t live long enough to see it published, but I hope to remedy that one day.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Spelling, and when to use a comma. Mrs. Walton did her best, so please don’t blame her.

Please tell us a little bit about your book.
     “Her Special Day Shoes” is a short story about a young woman who overcomes insurmountable odds during the height of the Industrial Revolution – a time when child labor is common place, when both the quality of life and life expectancy for the average person are morbidly low. Yet despite being homeless and having to care for her little brother, Rachael finds inspiration and love in the most unlikely of places.
     I wrote “Her Special Day Shoes” for a sweet lady named Sue, who won a photo contest on my website. Her daughter Rachael loves England, and specifically York, England, which is where the story takes place.

I understand that all of the profits from your book are going to charity, can you tell us more about this, and why?
     Right around the time when I first launched “Her Special Day Shoes,” I learned that a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Stage 3 means that the cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue and has invaded other nearby tissues, like lymph nodes and the skin of the chest walls. As with all families that have been stricken by this dreadful disease, Kristin and her family were devastated by the news. As a bystander I felt helpless. Of course I gave her my full support, love, and encouragement, but I was compelled to do more.
     Every penny of profit from the sale of “Her Special Day Shoes” will equally go towards helping Kristin with her personal battle with breast cancer, and to a National Breast Cancer Foundation fund raiser account established in Kristin’s honor.
      I’ve lost several family members to cancer, including my father in 2006, so this is something near and dear to my heart. I’m hopeful that your readers will be compelled to spend $2.86 to help me help Kristin and hundreds and thousands like her battling breast cancer. It also makes for a great gift to give to someone you love.

YouTube video dedicated to Kristin: click here
Kristin’s National Breast Cancer Foundation page: click here

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The Second Edition of “Her Special Day Shoes,” which is the one available now, includes some additional stories of my chance encounters with Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. As well as, a copy of an essay I wrote in college that won first place in a regional writing competition. I hope the readers will enjoy getting a little peek inside my adolescent years, but mostly I hope it warms their heart knowing that their contribution will go to a good cause.

Do you have any works in progress that you can tell us about?
     Many people who have read “Her Special Day Shoes” have commented on wanting to see it illustrated and how they wanted to read more about Rachael. I’m working on a special edition hardback version of “Her Special Day Shoes” that will include illustrations, and possibly more of Rachael and her story. The sales of this book will also be donated to charity. 
     Aside from that, I’m working with some other authors on a few anthology books that will include a compilation of short stories all focused on a central theme – pirates and music. Right now we are looking at a Dec 2013 publishing date, but I will have more details available on my blog as more details become available to me.

Art Auction
I am hosting an art auction for Kristin (and the National Breast Cancer Foundation) starting today and running through the 21st.  Click here to go to the auction.

Connect with Michael:
Book Links

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing work and letting us get to know you a little better. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments :

Post a Comment