This week we have with us here at Gloria’s Corner
the author of Norma Jean’s Sun, Kris Courtney. I want
to welcome him here for his visit with us.
Today I will post an interview with Kris and tomorrow,
or at the latest by weeks end, I will post a book
review of his book Norma Jean’s Sun.
Kris, I’m so glad you could stop by my blog and visit.
GO: Kris, given your history of medical issues what motivated
you to become a writer?
KC: I have always known that the content of my life was
a path that I would document. I just never knew when or
what length. As the years continued, I found that my
health and the fast pace of each day gave me a sense
of limit. I wanted to complete this goal before I was not
physically able or mentally aware. Unlike Forrest, my
braces never fell off.
GO: What is your writing process?
KC: I wrote my first page when I was 13 or 14 years old.
I carried this package of paper with me through the
journey and every now and then would add more. By the
time of 2000 I had approximately 50 pages of random
accounts. I spent the next 4 to 5 years researching and
attempting to find my medical records, Doctors and what
Family history was left. Then in 2007 I consulted with a
University on what method to use. A page a day.
Since I am self supporting with limited to no funds, I self
published the artistic and un-edited release in April 2009
simply to inquire if the story had merit. Although critics
were loud about the grammar, I received strong reviews that
led me to work out an arrangement and hire Heidi Connolly at
www.harvardgirledits.com and release the Final Editors Edition
on December 15th, 2009. Her effort was exactly what the story
demanded and the content required.
GO: After so many medical challenges and overcoming them, with
your book and as a writer you face the challenge of marketing the
book for sales. What is your favorite self-marketing idea?
KC: I am apt to answer this question as a beginner. Although I
have a website host and pages that reflect my true passion of
artistic expression, my only real option is to use Blog, Facebook,
Twitter and other online media channels. A limited amount of
funds prevent my global reach at a Mass Media level to date. I’m
looking to change that very soon.
GO: What business challenges have you faced as a writer?
KC: Financial investment, without question. The expense to
research, study and prepare a polished presentable copy has been
an experience that I am grateful to have endured. The finished work
is my life, the greatest asset I will ever own. In addition, my ability
is limited by both location and knowledge. An agent would easily
offer a solution to much of this but I am yet to be in agreement with
a plan that protects my intent and future.
GO: When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?
KC: I am an Artist in both spirit and passion. The value of that
art is left to the viewer but my desire is that they are able to
pause long enough to enjoy the view. As recently as September
2010 my work has been featured on International Exhibit sites like
Coldplay, ArtofDay and Play Me I’m Yours. Although my body and
mobility is challenged, my mind is not. Although some may question
that as well, I think a little bit of eccentric attitude has been a
characteristic of mine from long ago. It is also a skill perhaps that
seems to serve me well. I heard a long time ago that “A sane man
will question his own sanity often”.
GO: What are your writing achievements and goals?
KC: I achieved my goal of being able to complete the book. When
the first sale and 4 star reviews became public without prompt or
solicitation, I had found wholeness in that effort. As for a Goal, I
would like to reach the thousands and perhaps millions of those
who suffer and survive similar to myself. It is a life of challenge
that many will say is self imposed. I agree that some is by choice,
right or wrong. But the content goes much deeper into areas our
Society has attempted to ignore. Incest, Addiction, Birth Defects
and Disabilities are real issues in my life and the history of what
takes place in American families throughout every day. Our media
wants to show only the heart tugging child and emotional reaction
to the early years of life. Then 75 years later, we look at the
Golden Years as a place of worship and despair. But in the years
between, we have scores of people who are either a victim of
imposed upon conditions or survive on a plane of life few dare to
look. I invite the conversation to engage with that part of our
lives and people who are not asking for a hand-out but simply
to be recognized for the parallel beauty. My life and family
history is testimony to the wreckage associated with that existence.
GO: Can you share some advice for new writers?
KC: Just Do It! Those words have served many well over the years
and so it was with me too. When I researched how, I was told to
simply start typing. I attempted to gain help with that effort for
obvious reasons but everyone wanted too much money upfront. I
am literally the true definition of a one finger typist. Once I started,
then the flow or order of days, weeks and years began to cloud.
That’s OK, you can arrange later. I was so hung up I think for
years on how to construct the story and in the end, Heidi was able
to polish the final release into a solid flow of information. There is
a lot of content simply because my life and history is full of events
and experiences. Be as detailed as possible, you can cut out areas
later. My original manuscript was 40 pages longer than this edition.
GO: Can you tell us anything about your next project?
KC: I have no immediate plans to write again but my curiosity is
peaked. Today, I have been blessed to enjoy the energy of
creating art, primarily original oil paintings. In that effort, I am
content and no longer seek to escape or hide from what others
would judge me to be. I am at peace with who I am and more
importantly, who I am not…
GO: Kris, if my readers wish to purchase your book, where
would they go? Do you have a Web site where they can learn
more or a blog they can follow?
KC: Absolutely, Norma Jean’s Sun is available on Amazon, Barnes
& Noble, Borders, LuLu, Google and you can order through you
local bookstore as well. I also am available for Limited Book Club
signings and private Author Parties and you can find all that
including my Portfolio of Artistic Expression at:
www.KrisCourtney.com Be sure to also Follow on Twitter & Facebook
www.twitter.com/normajeansun ~ www.twitter.com/kriscourtney
GO: Thanks Kris for joining me today, but before you go is there
anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
KC: I want to say thank you Gloria for this honor and I appreciate
your time as well. Your review and kindness in reading a difficult
and perhaps emotionally challenged book is welcomed. My life is
yet to be fully defined I feel and the content of what struggles
have carried me to this position is but a small part of who I am.
The benevolent gesture of a gentle spoken kind word and the
lasting effects of a harsh snap all have played a part in my life.
Today I am now alone and reflect many times on the question
of Why? Perhaps a better question would be why not? I pray
that the message my book offers to your readers is one of
triumph and finding comfort with yourself.
As I mentioned recently, “I fall down every week, but I get
up every Day!”
GO: Well, thanks Kris for sharing the information with my
readers. Remember the upcoming book review will be posted
shortly. Stay tuned. If you have any questions for Kris or
myself, please post them in the comments.
Have a great day!