Friday, March 21, 2014

A Bit of January in March

Hello all who venture here! I hope everyone had an absolutely top shelf week!

It has been a fascinating bit of time on my end. It was a week full of adventure, intrigue and a woman who tried to hide a chihuahua in her bra.

I never thought I'd hear someone utter the phrase, "No ma'am, we know you've got a chihuahua in your bra because it's staring at me and it just barked."

What can I say? Some girls just have all the fun.

I am extremely excited, however, because the guest for this week's blog post is first-time author Gail Chumbley!

Now, for those who have read "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" the name Gail Chumbley might seem rather familiar. That is because Gail Chumbley was my 10th grade history teacher, and it was in her class that I unceremoniously passed out due to a Benadryl mishap. (I'm sorry Mrs. Chumbley, I didn't take Benadryl for four years after that.) If you want the full story, I'm afraid you will have to read my book.

Aside from being a respected and well-loved teacher and absolute history buff, Gail has also written a book due to be released next month titled "River of January." Gail was nice enough to take time out of her busy schedule and answer a few questions for inquiring minds on her new work (and she didn't give my questions a failing grade!).

And a spiffy cover, I might add.
1. What motivated you to start writing?  

The short answer would be, I didn't have a choice. The story of Helen and Chum, the protagonists in the work were fighting to burst out.

2. How would you describe River of January?  

The book is a work of creative non-fiction.  The characters are actual, lived their lives fully for nearly the entire stretch of the twentieth century.

3. This is your first published work of fiction, are you excited?   

Well, actually the book is non-fiction.  Creative non-fiction is such a new area of writing it is easy to assume fiction.

4. What was the inspiration behind the title of your book?  

My protagonists, though both Americans, met and fell in love in Rio de Janeiro.  The name is Portuguese for River of January.

5. What was your favorite part of the writing process?  
Great question.  Writing is such hard work that I'm not sure I've enjoyed myself until after the session is over.  I would think crafting words into something beautiful was gratifying.

6. You taught high school for decades (and were excellent at it, I might add), what was your favorite part about teaching? 

You, and the rest of the kids.

7. What advice would you give teachers just starting out in the profession?  

Become acquainted with students as more than desk dwellers. Maintain high learning standards, know your material, and be prepared to work hard.  Oh, and laugh a lot.

8. If you could play a game of checkers with any American president, which president would you choose?  

Lincoln, of course.  He would tell his famous stories and we'd have a good laugh.

9. When will your book be out and where can interested readers find a copy?  

The book should be available by April 1.  No joke.  The website, still under construction can be found at 

I'll forward speaking dates on my Facebook page.  Keep your eyes open.

Don't forget to follow Gail Chumbley on Twitter!

This week "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" received yet another 5-star review! Andy Peloquin writes, "It's an absolutely hilarious read, and worth every penny." See the full review here.

As always, feel free to follow my exploits on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads!

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