Monday, May 17, 2010
Interview with Author Anne Bradshaw
"Anne Bradshaw has collected a smorgasbord of FHE ideas to delight any and every family. From foil dinners to teaching scriptures and songs -- this book is full of ideas to make family time the best it can be. Ideas come from families worldwide, a sampling of ways to love those that love you the very most!" - Amy Freeze, Fox News Chicago.
I’m so excited about this interview. For those who may not know the term FHE, it means “Family Home Evening.” What is Family Home Evening? It’s special time you spend with your children, where you teach them good principles, play games, have fun, and sometimes argue. Hey, no family is perfect!
Anne, please tell us about your new book, “Famous Family Nights."
It's all too easy to quit when things don’t go right, but after reading stories from parents whose children are now grown, and from children… now parents themselves, I'm all the more convinced that quitting is a sad choice. Learning how most of them struggled at times, and what happened as they persevered, was a revelation that had me punching the air and grinning. Some stories are so funny, while others are tender. Many include great ideas. Many share long-term results.
In addition to prominent names, I included many talented people who were less well known and struggling to make their way in their chosen profession. I love anything that is a win/win situation, and this book is just that - participants, readers, publisher, author - we all win. The entries are not only from entertainers and artists, but also from achievers in the world of sports, business, and service to the community.
At this time, we are all concerned about our children traveling the straight and narrow path, hoping they won’t go astray from our teachings. Where did you get your ideas for this very timely book?
The ideas in "Famous Family Nights" are written by LDS personalities from several countries, taken from real life experiences. Many of the stories are hilarious, many are serious, but all are anecdotal and help us realize how very human we all are, no matter what our position in life.
I love the fact that it's taken from real life experiences. Do you use an outline when you write or play it by ear?
When writing fiction, I use a rough outline, and then let the story unfold. Sometimes the outline changes, and that’s okay, as long as there is a riveting beginning, exciting middle, and a believable and satisfying ending.
George Dyer, an International Opera Singer, wrote about your book, "After reading the first few stories in this book I let out a sigh of relief and a chuckle as I realized my family really wasn't so dysfunctional when it came to family home evening experiences after all! It provides wonderful ideas, and also helps us realize how important family time is to our children - whether they know it or not." I love this quote. Tell me your thoughts about this review.
Yes, I also enjoyed reading this from George. I thought he hit the nail right on its proverbial head. Most of us tend to feel our family nights are the only ones in the whole world that aren’t as perfect as we would like. But we all have challenges with which to work (some more than others), and following the advice of Prophets by consistently providing this family experience—no matter how it turns out—will bring promised blessings in the end. One of the major blessings is the building of warm and loving feelings that last a lifetime.
What does your family think about your writing and are they supportive?
Our children have long since left the family nest, but yes, they are supportive. Some of them even read and critique my manuscripts. When our oldest grand-daughter’s picture appeared on the cover of a previous book, “Please, No Zits! & Other Short Stories for LDS Youth,” it was fun hearing her tell her friends about it. Many of them didn’t believe her at first when she said her grand-mother wrote the book. I had to write on her Facebook page as proof.
Now that's what I call real support: reading and critiquing your manuscript. Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
The real me loves collecting recipes, the majority of which sit in boxes, unused. Why? Because I’m a lousy cook. I invariably manage to do something wrong and the delicious looking dish ends up bland, burned, or looking disgusting. Thank goodness for crock-pots. Throw everything in, cook for hours, and dinner is edible . . . most of the time.
Now we all know the real you! Being a lousy cook is just fine as long as everyone is well fed and you have your reliable crock-pot. I love it! And besides, it’s a great way to inspire husbands to help out in the kitchen. Right?