In this Book Journeys interview, Maggie McReynolds interviews Maureen Lake, educator, health coach, and author of Being Happy, Raising Happy.
At the beginning of the interview, Maggie made a comment about how happy Maureen sounded and said it must be a common theme for her, and Maureen acknowledged that life is really good for her and it’s no surprise given that her book is about happiness in the family, specifically about raising complex, spirited children. “It’s really for moms,” she said. She explained how being a mother to these kids can mean a lot of hard work and she wrote the book to tell her own story and experience with her own daughter and how the two of them have come to be closer as a result of the book. She did not have a grandiose image of herself having success with the book, although that’s exactly what happened, but the best part for her really was how it brought her closer to her daughter. She said that if there was one thing that she would have wanted to happen in writing her book, that would be it.
Maureen opened up about the book being an emotional task for her and she was bothered by thoughts about how she would be exposing herself to total strangers and knowing that family members would be reading the book, including her daughter, once it came out. But prior to writing it, she had already been blogging and it was then her daughter was diagnosed with ADHD. She said the topic for her book kind of found her as she started writing about ADHD and how it affects young girls from her own experience.
Maureen explained how the book is helpful in suggesting ways by which mothers can reduce stress and anxiety when it comes to raising spirited children. To her, this is what makes a difference in the life of the child concerned and the family as a whole. She said the challenge can be especially harder for new mothers and emphasized their need to socialize with other mothers going through the same experience and establish a chit-chat group so they know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. The feedback that she received from grateful people who’ve read the book served as an affirmation that it was actually helpful to other mothers.
Maureen saw the book as almost like a little child that she had nurtured to grow. Just like raising a child, she found the process to be physically and emotionally draining and she admitted that at times it felt like she was being sucked into a vortex. She didn’t know that it was going to be her experience in writing the book. She compared it to riding a roller coaster wherein you get in and you have no choice but to ride it to the end. In spite of the dizzying ride, she knew she would still finish it. She said that it’s in her DNA that once she started something, she’d finish it.
In writing the book, it helped Maureen knowing that she had a scope and sequence to follow along with a timeline. She also gave time for meditation which allowed the deep memories she had used in the book to surface. In those times when she experienced writer’s block, she simply did something else and just went back to writing when she felt like it. She also did not write in a linear fashion, preferring to write in later parts, then move towards the beginning. So, it was a tedious process, but she pulled it off in good time and her efforts have paid off having people contact her and say how meaningful it was to them and how it helped them. She described it as a powerful experience, knowing that she originally wrote the book to honor her daughter and to tell her story.
Interview Transcript: Maureen Lake – Book Journeys Author Interview – August 31, 2017
DOWNLOAD THE PDF: Maureen Lake on BookJourneys Radio – Aug 31 2017