Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blog Interview With Author Margaret Norton

Hello Everyone! Today, I'm having a blog interview with writer, Margaret Norton, about her memoir, When Ties Break (A Memoir about How to Thrive After Loss), which also includes a Give-Away!

1. What made you want to write this memoir?

Initially I did not plan to write a book. I started journaling in 2005 at the suggestion of my counselor as a way to deal with grief I was experiencing from eight deaths the previous year. I shared this with a few people and their reaction was "that's good, you should write a book." I was working away from home and living in a hotel at the time with lots of free time on weekends. Not really knowing where all this would take me I started turning my journal into my life story.

2. How difficult was it to recall and reveal some of the tragic things that happened to you?

It was difficult but also healing. I don't think I realized the connection to all the events in my life until I wrote the book and took a good hard look back. It was difficult admitting that I had made mistakes and some of my misfortune was my own fault. I experienced a range of emotions - feeling sorry for myself, angry with myself, beating myself up, etc. It was especially hard when I wrote about my children and having to come face to face with the reality that my decisions had also profoundly shaped their lives.

3. Did you have to get permission from the people in your life who you included in your book?

I struggled with this for a long time and sought the advice of several published authors. Since I was writing my story I did not ask for permission from anyone but I did change everyones name. People that know me will know who I'm talking about. I did this out of consideration to the people in my book. Even though I was writing my story - which often involved them - I was very aware that some of them did not want their story shared with others. By changing the names people that knew them could read the book without knowing who I was talking about. I wasn't trying to get even with anyone and I didn't make anything up. In fact, I left some things out that I felt were just too personal to share with the whole world. It has generated some interesting conversation from my family and friends.

4. What are some of the major themes you explore in When Ties Break?

Divorce, Adultery, Step Parenting, Single Parenting, Death, Grief, Abuse - physical, emotional, financial & sibling, financial loss, loss of faith in God and family estrangement.

5. How long did it take you to write it?

I wrote the book in six months but then spent one year revising and editing it.

6. What are some of the struggles you've had to overcome in your life that led you to write this memoir?

The struggles that I've overcome are the major themes listed in question #4. Those were all big, major events but I think the real struggle for so many years was to find, understand and like myself. I was insecure as a child, married young to an abusive partner and suffered terribly from low self esteem. As my self confidence increased and I learned how to set boundaries and take care of myself the struggles changed. In some ways they became easier. When I was younger I took everything personal - it was all my fault because I was a terrible person. Now that I'm older my perspective is totally different.

Tuesday, August 3rd was the official release date of Margaret's book. It is available from Amazon, major book stores, from her publisher or autographed copies directly from Margaret.

Attached is the link to Tate Publishing which will take you directly to Margaret's book.

This is a very exciting time in her life, which I can totally relate to!

A little more information about Margaret.  When she lived in this area she was a member of Saturday Writers, which is a marvelous writers' group, and not only because I'm also a member! Now that she lives in North Carolina, she has joined several groups:

Writers' Group of the Triad, Editorial Freelancers Assoc, NC Writers' Network, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and Story Circle Network.

Margaret states: "Being a new writer I'm eager to meet as many people in this field as I can and soak up some of their knowledge."

Below are numerous ways to contact Margaret.
Margaret Norton
Personal Life Coach, Writer, Speaker
314 956-2588
To schedule your FREE Consultation
call 314 956-2588 or email me at

Follow me on Facebook, too!

** Okay, here's the part about the "give-away".  Everyone who leaves a comment or question for Margaret, will be placed in a random drawing to receive a PDF file of this book! I started reading it right after I downloaded it, and I can assure you it is a great read! I couldn't wait to read more of it. I've also been told that PDF files of books can be read in some e-readers such as Kindles. Who knew?? Not me!

** Let's do the time for comments and/or questions from Thursday, August 12th at 12:01 am, CDT, until Saturday, August 14th at 12:01 am, CDT.  I'll do the random drawing and announce the winner sometime during the day on Saturday.

I'm very excited for Margaret and I've never even met her! Margo Dill asked if I would like to do a blog interview for her and I agreed. I'm so glad I did, because just from e-mailing back and forth with Margaret (after we got the e-mail goblins to go away!) we've learned that we have quite a bit in common!

Don't be shy! Please leave some comments and/or questions for Margaret!

"Life gives us many chances to start over again, like a cat with nine lives." -- Margaret Norton


  1. After reading your completed book, and being able to take some time to reflect on all the experiences you've had, is there any single event (that was in your control) that you would have changed, even though you know it would have led you down a different path?

    I guess a shorter way of saying it is 'if you knew then, what you know now', would you change any decision you made?

  2. That was a cool interview and the knowledge was awesome. I enjoyed it Becky.


  3. What an uplifting attitude! I looked at--and enjoyed--Margaret's website, but I'm still wondering if she could clarify what a life coach is and how it differs from being a counselor or an occupational therapist?

  4. This was very interesting. I am looking forward to leading her book. It sounds like I have been through very similar experiences as the author, except for all the deaths.

    Thanks for writing this post, Becky.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. i always love those author interviews. For some reason, it just feels like there are things in common between all writers

  7. Hi Becky,
    The interview looks great. Thanks, Margaret, for the honest answers and look into your life. Memoir writing has to be hard to expose yourself to all your readers!


  8. Posted by Author:
    June, I would not marry husband #2 again. There were red flags I should have heeded.

  9. From the Author:

    Chatty, Thanks for commenting.

  10. From the Author:
    Tammy, Counselors for the most part try to help you fix your problems. Often going back to childhood, or to one dramatic event. Emphasis is on cure. An occupational therapist typically aids victims of accidents or sickness – help the person relearn life skills such as eating, dressing, etc.
    Both of these are members of the medical community. Life Coaches are not usually connected to the medical field. They play the role of helper, encourager, mentor, motivator, etc. We don’t try to fix our clients but rather help them make needed life style changes. Hope this answers your question.

  11. From the Author:
    Joy, I don't feel like my experiences are unique, though I think I've had my fair share of hard times. I'm hoping that my readers will find hope and encouragement from my words.

  12. I think it's great that Maggie got herself involved in new writer's groups so quickly. I need to do more of that. My own writing experience has been pretty solitary.

    So my question for Maggie is...How did you go about networking in your new area?


  13. Dear Margaret: Congratulations on your interview and your book. Have your family members been able to be at peace with you after all the life happenings? (I hope that is not too personal a question.)

    Take care and Becky, thanks to you for the interview, too. Susan

  14. Great interview and it makes me very interested in reading this book. I am dealing with many issues myself...mostly why at 60 I'm divorced three times and without a loving life partner. Is it me??

  15. Memoir-writing has an incredible capacity not only to heal, but to free-up brain space. Several years ago, I wrote a series of essays that were linked so as to create a memoir. When, after putting it away for quite some time, I read through the pages, the thought I kept having was: "How did I remember that?" An Aha! moment: I remembered it so that I could someday record it, and once I had "downloaded" the memory, I didn't NEED to remember it anymore. For painful memories (blessedly, I've not had a lot of those), I imagine the process is especially healing. Congratulations to Margaret for taking the journey.

  16. This is really awesome, Becky! Congratulations on your interview opportunity. It was a great read and very informative for those just beginning their book-writing journey.
    I took from Margaret that she basically worked on her book on the weekends. That is comforting to hear b/c everywhere you turn you are being told that you have to write every single day - and sometimes that just isn't possible (especially for me - the mom of two little ones).
    Thanks again for sharing and great job!

  17. From the Author:

    Sue, I started looking for new writing groups by searching the internet. I was surprised at how many groups there were to pick from. Then I emailed or called for info. Most of them were willing to let me visit a time or two before joining.

  18. From the Author:


    Thanks for asking. I'm sure it's a question a lot of people wonder after reading my book. In hind sight I probably should have added something about that in the epilogue. I had started to make peace with my family before I ever starting writing but unfortunately when relationships are severely damaged things are just never the same. I am on very friendly terms with everyone in the family except my sister. She did not want me to write the book. I'm giving her space and time at the moment. Our mom died four months ago and she's taking this much harder than I am.

  19. From the Author:

    Linda, I hope you'll buy the book. I think we have much in common. If there's something wrong with you there's also something wrong with me. I will be 60 in Dec, I've been divorced three times and I'm likely facing the rest of my life without an intimate partner. I'm trying to take my own advice - don't ask why, don't look back and know that God is in control. I think there are many other women like us and that we have to learn to meet our own needs and find satisfaction in other things besides relationships.

  20. Great interview, Becky!

    Margaret, your book sounds like it would be very interesting to read. I imagine though it was difficult to write, that it was well worth it. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  21. Great interview, Becky, and congratulations, Margaret!

    I think writing is wonderful therapy. Many times I have written letters to people I am angry with, and never sent them. Sometimes it just helps to get the bad feelings out.

    Good luck with the book!


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