Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Tuesday

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.

For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Part Two of the interview that began yesterday:

How long did it take you to complete the book?

My agent, Andrew Stuart, and I began working on the proposal in September 2006. HarperOne acquired the book and my editor and I began advancing the concept in March of 2007. The final draft was finished that September. I had a number of stories about my relationships with my girls in hand that I had previously written for my blog, and I’ve been in correspondence with many of my readers for several years. Together those sources gave me a lot of content to get started with. A number of good people, including you and Fatherville.com, published my request for stories and dads from all over responded. Still, I wrote three versions of the book in six months to get it just right.

In your opinion what are some of the biggest challenges that fathers and daughters face?

Reflecting on my own life I’d have to say my biggest challenge raising girls has been managing boundaries. For instance, when must you stop kissing on the lips and holding hands in public? When are they too old to sit in your lap and when will they be old enough that they will want to do that again? It is a fine balance, deciding when to treat your daughter like the little girl in pigtails you remember so well or the woman she thinks she is, indeed the woman she is becoming. Take my youngest for example – she wants to pierce her navel and threatens to come home with a tattoo, to express her maturity and individuality she says, yet she throws herself on the couch everyday and laughs her head off watching Hannah Montana. Is there really any wonder why I am confused all the time?

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t read very much. Having said that, though, I love John Irving and most of Ernest Hemingway. David McCullough is my favorite biographer/historian and for laughs I reach for anything David Sedaris has written.

Who are your heroes?

My maternal grandfather and my father, men who worked their fingers to the bone to care for their large families.

Are you living your dream?

Absolutely. I first thought of writing a book when I was fourteen years old. Ten pages later, I gave up. However, the idea of writing stayed with me and I took a stab at it again in 1998. Four years and sixty-two rejections later, my first book was published. I’ve written another 19 since.

Since you have kids of your own--what are your greatest aspirations as a father?

Honestly, as a father I have only one aspiration – to be remembered fondly by the girls. Everything else is duty, obligation and privilege. Something I got from my granddad and dad, I suppose.

To help readers get a better understanding of your book could you briefly talk about some of the differences that dads and daughters experience versus dads and sons. What is this unique bond that you write about?

I don’t have a son so I can only answer this question based on conversations I’ve had with dads who do. Men live vicariously through their sons, repeating the things they once enjoyed in their own youth or making sure the son gets to do the things the dads missed out on. Fathers of sons very often have a “boys will be boys” philosophy and with that comes an indulgence in boyish mischief. On the other hand, fathers of daughters can’t sleep for their fear that boys will indeed be boys. I admire dads who have both daughters and sons; theirs is a challenge I’m thankful I don’t have to deal with.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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