PJ Colando Interview

I am PJ Colando. I’m a Baby Boomer, retired and footloose. My husband is glad I didn't choose French horn lessons as I considered post-career options. I write while he watches TV sports. Writing is my elegant hobby.

What inspired you to write?
I cherish a video-like memory of my mother helping me with creative writing homework given by my beloved elementary school teacher, Mrs. Johnson. A half-dozen years ago, when retirement loomed and I reflected on interests not pursued in my life, I returned to writing. My husband is glad I didn't choose French horn lessons - I write while he watches TV sports.

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I'd written thousands of clinical reports during my career as a speech-language pathologist in private practice. Now I can write freely, without restraint, learning-and-applying rules as I go.

How did you tell your story? Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I began with blank pages and a full imagination.

I plodded. I plotted.

Say those two words aloud and note their similar sounds. Plot or plod - it's all work.

And it can be a blast!

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
My husband is very supportive. He says my 'elegant hobby' keeps me off the streets (wink-wink)

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Harnessing episodically-emerging plots into a cohesive narrative.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Freedom to explore, learn, and grow.

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
Self-confidence and satisfaction. I can hear my grandfather, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well." I've applied myself, achieved, and continue to improve.

Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
Readers Favorite silver awards, Southern California Writers Conference fiction award

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Cash to Dash Down Under, the third book in my 'Jackie and Steve' series of Americana fiction.

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Seldom occurs.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Listen, transcribe it as closely as I can, and reflect. I do not deny or defend. I want to grow.

Where did you grow up and what is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
Indiana...there are not enough pages for these memories, though see the above. Solo attention from my mother was difficult to achieve in our household.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Too many to cite...I'm not really a 'favorites' person. I relish parity.

What is your favorite show on TV?
CBS Sunday Morning

Favorite movie?
Here's a quote that may apply: "Comparison is the thief of joy."

Favorite book?
Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pat Conroy, and JoJo Moyes

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Paul McCartney

Is there a talent you wish you had?
French horn finesse

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
My first author event convened in a marijuana grower collective.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Ardent, authentic, and undeniably outgoing!