Glenna Mageau is a multi-award winning author, speaker and coach. She writes page-turning suspense/thrillers and heart-connecting nonfiction. Her passion is to empower and inspire women to overcome the hurdles holding them back and to embrace their gifts and talents. Her goal is to help women thrive going into old age, living in the true essence of who they are as well as feeling loved, connected and knowing the life they lived mattered.
Glenna's latest book—Do You Know Your Mom's Story? 365 Questions You Need to Ask Her—is a way to get conversations started between mom and child.
If I could do it all over again, I'd ...
... start way sooner in believing in my writing. I'd have taken feedback as a way to grow my writing and not feel like it was lacking. It took me a long time to understand and to accept that when people gave me suggestions to do with my writing it was their opinion and I needed to take what I could to learn from them and ignore that which didn't help.
I used to think that when I finished writing a book that it had to be good the first time or it was crap. I've now learned that the magic happens in the rewrites. Now, I get so excited when I get to the stage of the rewrites because that's where I know I'll pull the story together and bring it to life.
When I get stuck in a part of my story/book, I ...
walk away from it for a while. I leave it alone for a few days and then in my mind I'll play 'what if'... what if she was to... what if he couldn't... what if she could... I really look at who my characters are and then I throw them into crazy scenes to see how they'd handle them.
I then look at what makes sense for that person and the story. If they are going to do something outside the norm for them how do I build that into the story to make it believable. I just 'play' with my characters and my story and I let the ideas flow. Then when I've got something that I think would really grow the story I play with it to see where it will go and then I write like mad...
What does your writing routine look like?
When I am writing a book, I get up in the morning (early), I grab a glass of water or a cup of tea and I sit down and write. I don't look at anything else, I simply sit down and write. I take a few moments to re-acquaint myself with where I'm at in the story and where I'm going, then I start writing.
I usually write for a couple of hours but it all depends on how well it is going. I don't edit as I'm writing a book but I will make notes of things I think might not work, or need something more to make it believable or just something more to make it exciting. When I stop writing for the day, I will write myself notes of where I think the story needs to go, things I should consider moving forward or whatever comes to mind.
When I am writing a book I will keep up this routine of up early and writing for a few hours, which I do 4 to 6 days per week, depending on the week and I will do this for a few months until I am done draft one. I don't tend to put specific deadlines on a book, other than giving myself about 6 months to get it written, do the rewrites and send off to my beta team for feedback.
What are your favourite writing tools/resources and why do you love them?
Scrivener is brilliant. I absolutely love it. It took me a while to learn it and I almost gave up but now that I 'get it' I think it makes writing so much easier and allows me to be way freer with my writing. I don't have to write my book in order and I can easily move chapters around, keep all my notes - characters, plot, research, images, mind maps, layout, etc. - all in one place. Love it.
How do you know when a story is working well?
Because I feel it. I am right there with my fiction characters as they laugh, cry, get scared... and I am right there in my nonfiction seeing it in action, seeing someone reading and using it. When I can imagine my story coming to life, I know it is going well.
Tell us about your most recent writing project and what inspired you to write it.
Do You Know Your Mom's Story? 365 Questions You Need to Ask Her came about for a few reasons. I had thankfully had 'The Talk' with my mom a few years before she passed so I was able to learn a lot about her journey and why she'd made some decisions she'd had. I have a lot of her information but it is scattered so I wanted to put it in one place.
Also I have been interviewing women over 80 who back in their day stepped outside the norm - they worked or got educated. So many of them had not shared their story with their children and I just felt that was sad that this woman's life was not known by her family. I truly think all women should be telling their story but especially moms.
I also know that many older women do not feel their lives have mattered. And sadly there can also be a rift between elderly mom and adult child. My goal with this book was that this would be a way to get those conversations started and hopefully to mend, grow and heal the relationship. Hopefully it will also help moms see their life in a whole new light and know that their lives mattered.
What do you love and what do you find challenging about the publishing process?
I'm Indie published. I actually pulled my first suspense/thriller from a traditional publisher. I like having control and say in what and where and how my book will look, be marketed, etc. I love seeing the story come to full life — through the editing, the formatting, the book cover, all the steps to uploading... It gets to be a lot and I forget each time how much work it is but I still find it exciting.
I think the challenging part is just keeping on top of it all and timing everything — the release date, doing the marketing, getting it published in paperback... It all takes a fair amount of time and planning.
Learn more about Glenna at...
About Glenna' latest book...
What do you really know about your Mom? Do you know what her hopes, dreams and desires were? Did she live them?
Your mom is so much more than the woman who raised you. She grew up in a time very different from yours—there were different beliefs, habits, and ways of doing things. Your mom has seen a lot in her life, getting to hear her journey will help you to understand her in a whole new light. Now is the time get to know her and to document her life. The only way to find out about your mom's story is to ask… because one day she won't be there anymore.
When we reach old age we should know our lives mattered, that we mattered, that we are loved, happy and feel connected.
This book offers a way to start conversations between you and your mom—in particular, elderly mothers. It is a guide which provides questions to ask, as well as how and when to ask them. Use this as a way to grow, heal and/or mend the relationship between mom and child; preserve this woman's journey through life and in particular her role as Mom. Her story is her legacy to you.
"…insightful questions with thought provoking examples and explanations…" Christine Jackson
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xo Donna, Eileen & Crystal