Today we welcome Becky Povich.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Becky Povich: I’m semi-retired, been married almost 35 years and have two grown sons. I work part-time and absolutely love my job. My husband and I have a beagle/mix named Charlie which we adopted from a shelter last year. He is nine years old and pretty much rules the roost! I’ve always liked to take photographs and recently acquired a Canon and am having a great time wandering around my neighborhood taking pictures of the fabulous fall foliage. I also like to make greeting cards and mail handwritten letters. I love to read and have ever since I can remember. And most of all, I love being funny, goofy and making people laugh.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written?
Becky Povich: So far, I’ve only written one book which took me almost 10 years to complete! It is From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More, published in November 2013.
Book ‘Em: What are they about and why did you choose to write them?
Becky Povich: It’s about my memories from early childhood up to almost present day. It really began when I thought my estranged father was dying. After getting back home from seeing him in the hospital, I felt the need to sit down and write about him and my childhood. It was one of those magical times when the words just flowed. That story landed a part-time writing gig in a local newspaper, and was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce & Recovery in 2008. A writer was born!
Book ‘Em: Do your books have a message?
Becky Povich: My memoir doesn’t really have “a message,” but readers have told me it gave them insights about events in their own lives. I not only share happy times, but also the sad, upsetting points in my life. I’m who I am today, a mostly happy, optimistic woman because of my experiences and how I got through the difficult ones.
Book ‘Em: Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Becky Povich: Just the one book: nonfiction. But I have publications in five Chicken Soup for the Soul books, other anthologies, journals, and newspapers.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Becky Povich: Although it’s been four years since I published my memoir, my work in progress is rather weak. I have plenty of reasons/excuses, but let’s just say “life got in the way” during the past few years. (I have, though, been writing a few essays/narratives, hoping to find a home for them in another anthology.)
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Becky Povich: Wow, that’s hard to answer. Many of my memories were difficult to actually “put out there” to share with others, and I was also concerned about some family members’ reactions to a few parts. I was fascinated that as I wrote certain parts, I began to see some of the underlying forces that had been going on which I hadn’t realized at the time. It was very therapeutic.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Becky Povich: Research wasn’t necessary! Memories were vivid in my mind for many years and I scribbled them on scraps of paper, napkins, backs of envelopes…anything I could get my hands on when thoughts crossed my mind. Over the years I just kept stashing them in an 8 x 10 envelope, telling myself that “One of these days, I’m going to write my memoir.”
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure?
Becky Povich: A difficult question and too many to list, but here are a few authors: Judith Ryan Hendricks, Michael Lee West, Robert Brault, Maeve Binchy, Elinor Lipman, John Grisham, Rebecca Wells, Haven Kimmel, Elizabeth Berg, Susan Bono, Faith Sullivan, Fannie Flagg, Ann Hood, Sara Lewis, A.E. Hotchner, Sue Monk Kidd, David Sedaris, Michael Lee West, Mitch Albom, and Philip Gulley. And books to read for pleasure: anything by David Sedaris. I love it when reading a book makes me laugh out loud.
Book ‘Em: Is there an author that inspires you?
Becky Povich: Another difficult question. Many authors inspire me, but I was privileged to have not only one best-selling author mentor me while I wrote chapters that began to resemble a book, but several: Judith Ryan Hendricks, Robert Brault, Michael Lee West, and Philip Gulley.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Becky Povich: My husband, old friends from grade school and high school, current friends, family members, writer-friends, etc. Nobody tried to discourage me…at least to my face.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Becky Povich: I’m not sure about my strengths, but what delights me the most is being told I write in a conversational style; that readers feel like we’re great friends, talking over a cup of coffee or their drink of choice.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Becky Povich: While writing my memoir, I never had a routine, strict or otherwise! I’m one of those “seat of the pants” writers. I can only write when I feel like it. I don’t and never could write every single day. I’ve tried, but nothing made me feel more like a no-talent writer than sitting at my laptop, staring at my screen, and nothing happening.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Becky Povich: In five years I see myself as the author of two books (hey, it took me 10 years to write one!)
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Becky Povich: If you feel you want to write something, anything…a short story, a poem, a newspaper article, a book… no matter what your age, Do It! And find a local writing group that is encouraging to ALL writers.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Becky Povich: Telling me that it made them laugh, made them cry, made them realize some things about themselves, made them come to terms about some things, and that they can’t wait for me to publish more books!
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Becky Povich: From the chapter: The Tupperware Queen of Tacoma, Washington
“… the district manager Tupperware lady, Ruth, was doing the presentation. Then she did her spiel about how we could make money and get lots of free Tupperware if we joined her team. Why in the world I thought I could do that— I have no idea. Obviously the real me was either in denial or hiding inside, longing to come out and show herself. Whoever I was at that moment, I signed up.
Ruth came with me on my first couple of parties. She also picked me up on her way to the weekly Monday morning sales meetings. It was something like I’d never seen before. A large roomful of Tupperware ladies, and a couple of Tupperware men, were whipped into a selling frenzy in a very short period of time. There was whooping and hollering and awards handed out. It was quite mesmerizing. I even received a crown-shaped pin, made from rhinestones, because I had a big dollar party. After my first meeting, I was ready to go out and conquer the Greater Tacoma area. That is until I got back home, walked through the front door of our little apartment, and my real life smacked me in my face. I was just a housewife and a mom, and I really loved being that person. But I wanted to succeed, and I also wanted to sell enough to be able to keep my demo Tupperware products. So one day, I got up the nerve to do one of the things the sales meetings promised would work: cold calling from the White Pages. Every time I even considered it, my knees got weak, my stomach felt sick, and my hands got clammy; but that day— I knew I had to do it. Opening the pantry door, I pulled out the large Seattle/Tacoma White Pages and plopped it on the kitchen table…”
Web site: http://www.beckypovich.com/
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Becky Lewellen Povich Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000841807284