Bookpleasures.com today welcomes as our guest Maria Federici (Doyle), author of Obstacles...Bring' Em, a memoir concerning her horrendous accident that has caused massive brain and facial trauma as well as complete blindness.
Norm: Good day
Maria and thanks for participating in our interview.
In view of your setback, as you term it in your book, what keeps you going?
Maria: Before the accident I was a determined person, some would say stubborn, who worked hard to get where I wanted to be at different stages of my life. The accident did not define who I am. So after the accident I remained a person who was determined to get over each obstacle before me. I did reach a little deeper into myself to survive and then take on some very challenging obstacles. What keeps me going? Tenacity.
Norm: As a follow up, how has your perspective on life changed since your accident?
Maria: I have my life to live and I am going to get through it. The accident would have stopped a lot of people in their tracks but the type of person I am motivated me to face each day, and then another day.
One perspective I gained relates to how the medical profession treats patients. What troubled me most in the hospital and since is that doctors relied on their own professional knowledge and learning but did not include me in my own recovery.
Doctors need to involve
patients in their recovery. Every patient is an individual so include
them as you discuss treatments or surgeries. Don’t think you know
better than them but help them find a way through it.
Norm: What purpose do you believe your memoir serves and whom do you believe will benefit from your book? Why?
Maria: When people face an obstacle of any kind, ask questions and get ready for the answers. Once you get the answers and know what you are really facing, then fight and struggle with all your might. Try again, and again and again. I hope people who are facing obstacles that read my book will take a hard look at their obstacle and examine what they are doing to get through it.
They need to decide, are you really willing to get through it or do you just want to complain. If you are still alive, then pull your head out and live!
My memoir is a real life
story told from my perspective. It serves as an example for readers
who need encouragement in how to face and fight obstacles and never
give up. Be strong and let nothing hold you down.
Norm: How did you decide you were ready to write the memoir?
Maria: I didn’t plan to write a book right away. I got through a barrage of surgeries and rehab and treatment, and finally got to where I could take a deep breath and look back with perspective at what really happened to me.
When I started writing it
just felt good to say how I felt and what it was like for me. I was
tired of reporters interviewing other people and drawing their own
conclusions about me and my story. I wanted to get my story out so
that readers would know what it was like for the actual
Norm: How did you come up with the title Obstacles...Bring 'Em?
Maria: Immediately after the accident I was overwhelmed with surgeries and procedures and treatments and tubes, poking here, poking there, rebuilding my face. Like it was never going to end. Finally, to myself, I said – enough of fearing what was next. Each obstacle then became a challenge I was determined to overcome. I made up my mind there was nothing thrown at me that would defeat me. So bring on the obstacles. I’m ready and won’t be defeated. I am ready to face each one. Obstacles … Bring ‘Em.
Norm: What was the time-line between the time you decided to write your book and publication? What were the major events along the way?
Maria: It took me years to write my story. I don’t know that there were any major events … just interruptions. It took longer to write, of course, because I now am a person without sight and depended on others to read back to me the words I had formed because I could not just look at the page and think about what I had just written.
Norm: What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?
Maria: As I mentioned, loss of sight was a major obstacle. I would have my partner, a friend or a family member look at what I had written, read it back to me, and make suggestions on how I might be able to say it better.
Not being able to see the
progress of my writing, one completed page after another, one chapter
after another, was an obstacle but I knew where I was in telling my
story and where I wanted to end up. I would just buck up and move on.
Writing my book was, in many ways, a rehashing of experiences and
challenges I faced from the accident. If you want to write a book,
you just do it.
Norm: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Maria: Some do contact me. What I hear over and over is “Thank you for sharing your story; you are very inspiring to me.”
Norm: Any unique
ways you'll be marketing your book that is different from how others
authors market their books?
Maria: Not sure how to answer that because I am a novice author and don’t know how other authors market their books. I have not really talked to other authors. I offer my book to reviewers and hope they will agree to share their opinions about my story because their opinions are important to me.
I make myself available
for personal interviews. I have been interviewed a lot since the
accident and so am comfortable doing that. I have made talks about
the importance of safely securing a load when moving things, and have
given talks lobbying for changes in law making it mandatory to secure
loads. So when I do that, and mention my books in my talks, I think
that helps. But I don’t think this is unique. I do however have a
book publicist, Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your book?
Maria: Probably the best place is my WEBSITE. I also have a Facebook page, Obstaclesbring Em. Of course, you can just enter my book title in the search engine for amazon.com and my book will pop up with all the information there about my book and myself.
Norm: What is next for Maria Federici (Doyle)?
Maria: I really have no idea but I do know that whatever is next I will get through it, enjoy each day I have, be with the people I love, and accomplish what I am meant to accomplish.
My personal goals are shifting a bit and I am trying to be more realistic about what is next. After I get beyond my book, maybe I will take the honeymoon I never took and spend some time reflecting about what is next for me.
I suppose I could write
another book but right now I do not have any plans regarding my
writing. Right now I don’t have that nailed down. It depends on how
my life develops.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Maria: Were there any parts of your medical treatment that bothered you? Why?
I really didn’t like it
that I was drugged up all the time. The drugs did not let recovery
happen naturally as I was ready to recover. Initially I was in an
induced coma, but there comes a point where you have to back off with
all the drugs so I could have been more aware of how my body felt one
day to the next.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors
Maria: Thank you, Norm.