An Interview with Myrna Beth Haskell: Author
Sylvia: Welcome Myrna. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Myrna: I am Myrna Beth Haskell and I live with my husband of twenty years, Kirk, and my two teenage children Trevor (age 18) and Skye (age 16). I have been interested in writing since I was a child. I have been writing professionally for over twenty years. I specialize in adolescent and children’s development, but I’ve written on a variety of subjects, including women’s health issues and autism spectrum disorders. My feature stories have been published in magazines across the United States and Canada. My self-syndicated column, LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS, debuted in June 2009. It is published in 15 states. My first book, LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you (Unlimited Publishing LLC) is a compilation of past columns. Included in the book are several chapters that have never before been published. The book is a journey through the ups and downs of raising teenagers. Besides interviewing dozens of experts, I’ve collected hundreds of tips from parents who have written in from across the country. Some of the best advice I’ve garnered is from other parents who have experienced similar issues with their teens.
Sylvia: Congratulations on twenty years of marriage. My husband and I just celebrated twenty two years. What inspired you to write your first book?
Myrna: I was receiving a lot of positive feedback on the column, so I decided that it would be a great idea to compile the work into a complete parenting guide. There are a lot of parenting guides on bookstore shelves. What sets LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS apart is that, besides offering my own experiences about my two teenage children, there are a wealth of perspectives from psychologists, therapists, teachers, counselors, parents, and teens. All parents and caregivers can find something that will work for them…a new way to connect with their teen.
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Myrna: There is a special message in each chapter; however, the overall message is that parents need to allow their teens to grow and to make mistakes along the way. Our failures and how we deal with them are the things that make us who we are. Parents need to be there – always – to guide, pick up the pieces, and encourage every step of the way…even when their teen tries to shut them out. And, of course, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Sylvia: I agree with your overall message but of course, as parents, we want to protect our kids and it’s hard to see them make mistakes. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Myrna: Don’t get discouraged. Be sure to allow others to read and critique your work. Talk to lots of other writers. There is so much great information about the business out there, and writers and editors are usually happy to share!
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Myrna: Honestly, I am still trying to figure this all out. I believe that a writer has to get out there and talk about his/her project. It helps immensely if writers can schedule lots of author appearances to get the word out.
Sylvia: That is an important marketing technique. In addition, you have an internet presence which can also help get the word out. Why should we buy your book?
Myrna: Buy my book because you want to get some great advice without being preached to. My book is a lighthearted journey that assumes parents aren’t perfect, and that we as caregivers are in this together. It’s imperative to talk to other parents about what works for them. When you buy LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS it’s like having your own support group without having to drive somewhere!
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Myrna: I love to write at my desktop computer. I have one of those tiny, portable things….but it’s only for convenience when I travel. I like to have all my paperwork, sticky notes, and other scribbled papers with ideas within a hand’s reach. I have a peaceful, country view outside my office window which helps to inspire me as well.
Sylvia: Sound so nice and peaceful! What projects are you currently working on?
Myrna: I’m always working on my column. It goes out every month and there are new interviews and parent tips to go through with each topic. I’ve also been working on another feature piece which discusses an autism spectrum disorder.
Sylvia: Are you ever stumped to find topics to write about?
Myrna: Never! Most of my topics concern issues that arose with my own children, my friend’s children, or other students at their schools. I’ve even written somewhat about my own teenage experiences. There are so many developmental and social issues to talk about. I am also interested in special needs students and how our educational system has handled their unique issues. Recently, I wrote a piece titled, “Girls on the Spectrum” which discusses females with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Myrna: Believe. Believe in yourself and your dreams. If you wholeheartedly believe in yourself, your confidence will shine through, and others will want to share in your enthusiasm.
Sylvia: Thank you Myrna! Please share your social media and book contact information.
Myrna: My pleasure. To purchase LIONS and TIGERS AND TEENS: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you and for more information about my book and other works:
- Publisher’s website: http://www.unlimitedpublishing.com/haskell/
- Myrna’s website: http://www.myrnahaskell.com/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/myrna.haskell.7
- LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/myrnahaskell