Wednesday, June 8, 2011
by Cathy B Stucker
What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
I have written a series of hilarious religious satires with a spiritual message. My latest book is entitled Babes in Bucksnort. It is about a naughty nun who teaches classes in Advanced Holiness.
Once again the unconventional bourbon-swilling, chain-smoking nun will spin hilarious tales about the residents of Bucksnort while she tests the will of a reformed prostitute who just happens to be her Reverend Mother.
But there’s trouble brewing in the Snortlands.
The town busybody crusades to stamp out “the gay menace.” That’s when she brings Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead and his Born Again or Burn Forever Disciples for Jesus to town to do the job. It will be an uphill climb when the closet doors of many gay people burst open.
In between laughs, Sister Mary Olga dispenses nuggets of wisdom during her Holiness Classes. The bottom line is that everyone is welcome in Sister Mary Olga’s classes. Join the diverse cast of zany characters for a joy ride that will tickle your funny bone until it aches.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am the creator of the Sister Mary Olga Fortitude series of religious and social satires. As will be the case with Sister Mary Olga in my next book, I am a recovering alcoholic. I also happen to be gay as are several of the endearing and humorous characters within my novels. I speak from my own experience. I have possessed all of the foibles of my cast of characters, including those naughty, nasty, and nice. I am socially-minded and spirituality is the most important ingredient in order for me to maintain a happy and successful life.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have always loved to write, but I didn’t begin to write full length novels until five years ago after I had taken an early retirement. That’s when I had an inspiration. I remembered the characters of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude and her friends which I’d developed in order to entertain a colleague of mine while I’d been working as a social worker. I thought to myself, I bet I could write a book about these crazy characters! That’s when I sat down and I wrote The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude in a little over a month. The thing was, I had more ideas…so I wrote another. Amazingly I still hadn’t run out of ideas! Over the course of the next four years I have written eleven novels in the series and I have no plans to stop as long as the characters continue to inspire me.
How did you choose the title?
I maintain that we are all children of God. That is where the name Babes comes from. Bucksnort is the name of my fictional town in Wisconsin.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
While I received much positive feedback from some traditional publishers, they didn’t want to publish the book. Consequently, I chose to self-publish it. My reader reviews have been ecstatic. I hope to obtain a traditional publisher for the next book in the series which is entitled Have A Heart.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Although I have always loved to write, I never dreamed I would have a career as an author. I retired from many years as a social worker. Then I started by writing my memoirs. Following that, I wanted to write more. That’s when I remembered the zany characters I had developed in order to entertain a colleague of mine. I realized that I could write a book about them. One book led to another and I now have a successful career.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I discipline myself by spending many hours each day. Then I spontaneously create my crazy characters and the outrageous situations in which they find themselves involved. It is all a matter of waiting for the inspiration to come. Then I am off to the races.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Of course, I had created many of the names when I had entertained my colleague. Otherwise, I just let my imagination lead the way. I try to make the names as funny as the scenarios of my books. Many of the names suggest characteristics that my characters possess. It is all great fun.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that inspiration is the key to successful writing. When it’s not there, I simply shift gears and write articles for my blog. As for writing and publishing both, my mantra is to never give up. Dreams do come true.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
No! I believe that everything happens for a reason and that it does no good to have any regrets.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I love to read funny books and spiritual books. I love the books of Armistead Maupin who has been an inspiration to me in developing my own series. I also appreciate the zany humor of Carl Hiassen. As for spiritual authors, my favorites include Anthony DeMello, Eric Butterworth, Deepak Chopra, and Eckhardt Tolle.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
The next book in my series is already written and awaiting publication. It is entitled Have A Heart.
Sister Mary Olga is always getting into trouble with her Reverend Mother, a former prostitute. Among a cast of zany characters is a gay cowboy, the town prude and busybody, Priscilla Bunhead, and her hatchet man, the Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead and his Born Again or Burn Forever Disciples for Jesus. Billy-Bob will be put to the test by an eccentric woman named Cherie Amour who channels a spiritual entity named Ruth. His own past in a closet of shame eventually catches up with him.
Sister Mary Olga finally has to face the music when the Mother Carmen Burana sends her off to Holy Happenings Rehab. Upon her release she joins a twelve-step program called Alcoholics Unanimous while the bawdy Randy Cowboy joins a similar program called Sex Maniacs Notorious.
The book builds to a close with one surprising climax after another. Its strength lies in its original, outlandish humor. The characters, with their hilarious names, are archetypes of the universal human condition. We all have our foibles. This book is designed to make its readers laugh out loud as they look at their own.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Keep perfecting your craft and never give up hope.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
My books will appeal to anyone who has an open mind, a zest for their spirits, and loves to laugh. They will especially appeal to gay and lesbian readers since many of the deliciously dysfunctional characters within the book are gay. Recovering alcoholics will embrace the outrageous situations encountered by the booze-loving Sister Mary Olga and her Advanced Holiness students. “Recovering Catholics” who do not agree with everything the pope holds to be true will embrace Sister Mary Olga’s unconventional views on Christianity.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
They can visit my blog at http://bestsatireseriesofthedecade.blogspot.com/
They can also visit Amazon.com to look at my rave reviews and to purchase the book which is also available in kindle format.
My Facebook fan page is located at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davis-Aujourdhui/138584429540046