FQ: The journey was so difficult that I can only imagine the amount of strength it must have taken to publish your work. So, how did the writing of this book begin for you?
GLINN-TANNER: The writing journey of What Feeds the Heart demanded talents I didn’t possess at the beginning of its conception over twenty-five years ago. I never learned to spell or read as a child—much pain resides in the fact I didn’t learn as other children did. In my forties, the manuscript spent more time under the bed and in the closet than in daylight. Yet I never let its importance die. Through the process of obtaining my degrees and a few 12 Steps programs, I grew as a person and writer. I uncovered/rediscovered an inner strength that lay hidden from my abusive and neglected childhood. (Higher Power/Power Greater than). A decade ago, I tried to procure an agent, believing I wanted to be published traditionally. That didn’t work, so thank goodness for Atmosphere Press, who offered me a chance during one of Twitter’s #PitMad days.
I always drew and scribbled phrases as a child, journaling, poems, letters never sent. I had many notebooks of ramblings that were thrown out when I left my mother’s house at age sixteen. Nearly thirty years later, in the mists of beginning my AA degree in English and Creative Writing, Bill Wallis, English Professor/English Department head at Valley college suggested I take a few of the old and newly written vignettes, discover an encompassing theme, and create a book similar to House on Mango Street; I still cherish Sandra Cisneros’ book. I continued my education and received two bachelor’s and one master’s degree when I utilized newer vignettes, poetry and photography as my Master’s 150-page thesis.
FQ: At the start of this process, did you believe this book would end up to be a cathartic experience for you? Did it alter or transform your life in a way that made you better able to see the good in this world?
GLINN-TANNER: At first, I didn’t know why I wrote—Maybe to release the ache inside, and later, I read to my mother when she was depressed. That experience helped me to speak my truth in a way that didn’t accuse or harm her.
Yes, healing is possible. Mom and I grew stronger in our relationship through the reading and revisions of What Feeds the Heart. She told me to write and publish everything. She wanted to see the truth in black and white in a published book. Hurt people hurt people. Unrecovered people won’t want to hear or read the pain of recovery. My life transformed for the better and made me appreciate the lessons (painful and humiliating as they were). My life’s transformation includes compassion I glean for a world that passes on generational dysfunction and the courage to love despite the inner woundedness.
FQ: What would your top piece of advice be for those going through a situation of abuse or neglect?
GLINN-TANNER: Ask for help outside the abuse, now. For myself, I realized life happened FOR me, not TO me. What didn’t kill me made me stronger, like reworked iron under the smithy’s anvil.
FQ: Is there a genre you are looking forward to writing a project in at some point in the future?
GLINN-TANNER: A new Romantic Comedy.
FQ: Along those same lines, are you working on anything presently that you can tell people about?
GLINN-TANNER: I have three other manuscripts, some professionally edited, that I am working on and that I’d like to publish. Alonia from Ganymede—YA SciFi; Across the Line—RomCom; True to the Union—time travel to 1862 Civil War in Texas. I’m also working on wearing the hat of a bona fide, de facto author.
FQ: Where did the recipes at the end come from and why did they get placed in this book?
|Author Daryl Glinn-Tanner|
GLINN-TANNER: The recipes came from my life as a child. At first, I’d written the book for middle grade / young adults, adding recipes I thought younger chefs would like to cook. I made meals for my family starting at age eight, and wanted to encourage young readers to try. Why? A reviewer suggested the recipes were stuck on randomly at the end. No, I left them in the revised manuscript in case someone wanted to create a simple dish from the past. Food, lovingly created, always represented nourishment to me. To cut any chance of nourishment felt wrong.
FQ: Many people, including myself, will want to know after reading this if Willothin still exists. Is her “creation” a part of your life now that you’ve matured? Does she help you write, perhaps?
GLINN-TANNER: Oh yes, Willothin is alive and flying. Whenever I’m scared, activated about life, I call on her. She’s like a guardian angel. When I drew her with my left hand, I knew my inner child wanted to make her real. Willothin holds aloft a bright light and points to safety, like the Loving Adult I never had as a young child. Willothin feeds the wounded child within, the child that would halt all new possibilities/opportunities because of past fears and doubts of trying new things.
FQ: Do you have websites, blogs, etc., where readers can learn more about you and your other works?
GLINN-TANNER: Website: darylglinntanner.com On my site I have a blog, photos, recipes, etc. If interested there’s space to purchase What Feeds the Heart and to leave a review as well. Thank you for asking.