Journey Through Fire and Ice
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What is your book about?
My memoir Journey through Fire and Ice takes place in 1964 when as a young bride I accompanied my husband to Kivalina Alaska. Kivalina was a barrier island 83 miles above the Arctic Circle. We lived with the Inupiaq people and participated in all of their daily activities. We lived a life of challenge, adventure, and ultimately a tragedy which changed our life forever. Despite this we ultimately became stronger people. I learned after my husband’s accident not to believe in fairy tales and happy endings but instead became a woman of strength ready to face the next challenge.
What inspired you to write your book?
I felt I had led a life that was very unusual for a woman who was married in the sixties. I wanted to write about the time I spent there, how I learned to love the village and its people and ultimately to tell a story about two people who against the odds became stronger people. I wanted to inspire my readers to do the same.
What is a typical day like for you?
I often write for about two hours a day, but I read a lot, try to exercise as much as possible, and spend quality time with my partner.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
As far as my writing is concerned, I love the creative process and the stimulation I get from it. However I most enjoy spending time with my partner and with my children and grandchildren whenever possible. I am hoping to get to my summer home in Canada when the border opens. I enjoy kayaking as well as golf when I am there. I photograph and write as well as the place gives me a great deal of peace.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
The Glass Castle, Where the Crawdads Sing, The Nightingale, The Great Alone, The Snow Child, Becoming Nicole. It is so difficult to choose favorites because I have read so many books. If I don’t like a book after 100 pages I won’t finish it. There are too many books to read without plowing through one that I don’t like.
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
If you are a writer, keep on writing. Join the nonfiction association which is a great group to belong to. Look for other avenues as well. Make friends with other writers and find a group in your city that likes to write. And remember your best day of writing might be tomorrow.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
People have been most surprised after reading my memoir that I was able to persevere. Many women said they would have been on the first plane home. Before I published my memoir, they couldn’t believe I had actually skinned a seal or survived a camping trip in the 35 below weather when our tent burned down.
What’s next for you?
I am writing a children’s story at the moment which is being illustrated by my God daughter. We have a publisher who is interested in it. I would also like to produce a coffee table memoir with the pictures we took in Kivalina. I would love to return to the village so I could photograph it as it is now. It has changed from a village of 150 people to one of 450 and is about to relocate because of climate change.