In this week's Guest Author Interview we have the pleasure of inviting Chrisitine Hannon to share some of her experiences and thoughts.
Introduce yourself, who are you? What do you do?
I am sixty seven, retired, and residing in Paris Ont. Canada. I have three amazing children, two sons, and one daughter. I brag about my grandchildren, two, twenty seven-year-old granddaughters and a seven-year-old grandson. Ron and I married at nineteen have been married forty-eight interesting and adventurous years.
A severe, car accident thirty-four years ago (caused by a drunk driver), robbed me of my careers and left me to live the rest of my life in chronic pain. Until then I was a successful hairdresser, make up artist and a model. That was one of seven car accidents. None caused by me. Someone once said I was the unluckiest person they had ever met. Ron quickly corrected them, telling them I am the luckiest. Although in pain, I am still walking and alive.
It came as a surprise when my son in law suggested I write about my life, and the hairdressing stories I had been telling for so many years. I have been writing poetry for as long as I can remember but writing a story was foreign to me. Having received no formal training in art or writing I rely strictly on raw talents provide by God. I am hoping my stories will inspire someone to live their dreams too. I want to pass my strength on to others. I am a two-time cancer survivor and if it is in Gods plans, I will survive this third pending threat as well. Thus making it the 30th time under a surgeon's knife.
I pride myself on being a happy, positive and giving person who likes to share as much as I can with others. This cannot always be physical and I do believe laughter is contagious and I have lots of that to go around.
You started writing with poetry, do you find that creeps into your writing still?
Yes. It is amazing how partway through a sentence in a story I will stop because a word I am typing will inspire a poem or when writing a poem it will bring a memory of something that should be in my book. I have included a poem I wrote to my mother when I was very young in A Hairdresser's Diary.
As well as an author you are also an accomplished artist, does your painting compliment your writing? Are they very separate, or does one inspire the other?
To help deal with the daily pain I taught myself to paint. First on clothing, then murals, wooden pieces, shale and now on canvas. I started with acrylics and now paint with oils as well, often blending the two. Now that I paint on canvas, the answer to your question about complimenting each other is, "Yes." In my book of poetry, I am trying to figure out how one of my own original pieces of art can accompany each poem.
In a way, they are also very separate; when I am in the mood to paint, I will just start. Very often, I have nothing in my mind ahead of time. I just grab a colour or two and a brush and what happens, happens. Most times, I am amazed at what turns out. It is quite the sight to watch me paint. No matter the size of the canvas or material I am using, I need to balance it on my lap. My chronic back problems do not allow me to stand or sit without my knees slightly elevated. So I make do.
I do not have one subject. I paint abstracts, wild animals, people's pets, faces, landscapes and the list goes on.
If you had to write a biography, who would it be about?
My book is a biography of my life .But the story of my Baba, her struggles, pain and determination, when her and my Guido came to Canada to escape Ukraine which had fallen on Polish domination. With no money, and only the cloths on their backs and a handful of memories they arrived. Settling on a small piece of uncleared land, in which they built their own shelter. Also having to grow their own food, during this time, she lost two out of her four children to starvation. One of the survivors was my father .We would follow as she moved from the deep unforgiving woods to the city where Guido as a carpenter and Baba as a seamstress made a living and bettered their lives. I would have you feel the love I did as she took care of me during my unhappy childhood. Her fight with breast cancer and her love for life until she died at age 86, just the day before she had harvested her own garden for an upcoming Ukrainian church feast.
What is the most amazing thing you have seen?
Watching caesarean the birth of my granddaughter Shandra
What is your favourite story? This can be a book, film, song, or whatever.
I love the film The Notebook. It as every emotion that touches ones heart and soul.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am writing the sequel to A Hairdresser's Diary and preparing my book of poems for publishing.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can learn more.
I have been asked to write guest blogs for 2 hairdressing publications. Dates for these will be posted on my blog http://ahairdressersdiaries.wordpress.com and my website http://ahairdressersdiary.com
My book is available at Amazon in soft cover. In E book form, it is available at Kindle, LULU, for a variety of e readers. Being self-published is a rewarding, frightening and exhilarating experience. It is impossible to thank all the wonderful good-hearted, talented people out there for all their help and support, individually. May I say it here? [Michael: Of course!] Thank you all.
Many of my reader ask for signed copies so I have the books in a variety of local places as well from myself.
A Hairdresser's Diary can be found at:
Amazon: Paperback e-book
In next week's interview we'll be meeting Bev Allen.