I'm a self-proclaimed hippie chick that enjoys living easy with my husband and four cats. As an artist, I'm always looking for a creative outlet to express myself, 'The Gifted Ones' is my latest creation in self-expression. "I'm just a chick with a story...everyone has one, this just happens to be mine."
IAN. Please tell us about The Gifted Ones.
LV.The Gifted Ones is my journey, my coming-of-age story, with a huge twist. Set in the 1970's-1980's, in a small midwest town, where dreaming was meant for sleeping and minds were closed as tightly as the closets.
Through a chance meeting of a classmate, I suddenly found myself on a path I had no idea even existed, much to the dismay of my very Catholic family. My story covers six years of self-discovery...my struggles, my euphoria, my love, my loss, and everything in between! It's raw, honest, and frank. I'm out to get the message across that everyone has the right to love. Plain and simple.
IAN. How long did it take to write the book?
LV. The rough draft (very rough) took less than two weeks! But it would take two years before I was ready to publish-both mentally and physically!
IAN. What inspired you to write The Gifted Ones?
LV. Actually it took the death of my mother in 2005. I noticed I still held a lot of pent-up anger towards her (and others), so through intense self-discovery (and a lot of beach walks) I started to put the pieces together-the how and why's of it all. But not until I put the story, that I held secret in my head for 30+ years, down in black and white, did I make the connections that released me. Through my writing I was able to finally put it all into perspective, to forgive and move on...for good!
IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?
LV. Once I started, I couldn't stop! My 'purging' ruled my world, so I wrote every minute I could, most days into the wee hours of the night-sleeping, eating, socializing, and living took a back seat!
IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
LV. I let my memory and my need to purge flow through my fingers...if I remembered it, felt it, I wrote it.
IAN. How is The Gifted Ones different from other memoirs?
LV. Like I say, everyone has a story, especially when it comes to the infamous 'coming of age' tale, but in mine there is a twist that not everyone has to deal with. I'm raw, honest and out to get my message of acceptance to the world. It's different, but at the same time it speaks to everyone.
IAN. Is The Gifted Ones published in print, e-book or both?
LV. You can get The Gifted Ones in print through Amazon or Createspace. All ebook versions are on Smashwords, and Amazon carries the Kindle version too.
IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
LV. My main message, especially to parents of teens, is ACCEPTANCE! It's the one thing we all have in common - we all want to be accepted. If we don't get that, especially from our own family, it changes who we are.
IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?
LV. Amazon.com (print & kindle version)
Smashwords.com (all ebook versions)
Createspace: www.createspace.com/3538123 (print only)
IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
LV. I never say never...there might be a sequel or perhaps another 'life lesson' still in my head. I'll cross that bridge when I feel it needs to get out of my head! As of now though, just concentrating on getting my message (and book) out there.
IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?
LV. www.thegiftedonesmemoir.blogspot.com - for all info & teasers!
The Gifted Ones by Lisa Vaughn
From Chapter 5: 'THE Year'
The topic soon turned towards me, as I complained of feeling like I had a fever. Maybe I was coming down with something - our faces just inches apart. Selina leaned toward me, her movements slow and smooth, as she quietly asked if I knew the only true way to test someone's body temperature? I swallowed hard while she continued to explain. “A true reading of a fever could only be felt by putting your lips on the person's forehead”, she said. I stared at her with wonder and fright, as a strange feeling washed over me. Something was different. I noticed her whole demeanor had changed. Was she about to play a joke on me, or was she being serious? Something crucial was about to happen, I could sense it. I instinctively laid there, my breathing becoming shallow, as I quietly waited. She leaned towards me, proceeding to do what she had just described. Surprisingly, I felt her thin lips pressing onto my forehead. Time literally stood still. There were no outside noises, no outside thoughts, no outside world. Hell, I don't even think I was breathing at this point, but I was certain my pounding heart was loud enough to blow our cover. It was just her and I, in a cold barn, with her lips on my forehead. My eyeballs as big as plates by then, I'm sure. Slowly, she moved down the bridge of my nose, her lips touching me in small, even increments. A lifetime seemed to have passed before I felt her lips touch mine. A dizziness swept over me as my world fell even more silent. My “fever” taking on a whole new meaning.
There we were. My best friend, my idol, my mentor - with our lips pressed together! We stayed in that position for what seemed like forever, neither of us making a sound. Each carefully calculating the other's next move. I surprisingly didn't have the urge to move, get upset, or even put a stop to what was happening. Maybe this was the moment I had been waiting for, but didn't know it? It just felt right to me. Perhaps she was testing me? I certainly didn't want to fail. Instead of freaking out, I surprisingly kissed back, and she instinctively followed my signal. Our fate was being sealed, yet we had no clue of the monstrosity of this moment....