The girls at WGR are pleased to welcome multi-published author Marsha Casper Cook to our website today. Marsha, thanks so much for granting us an interview!
1.) Marsha, it looks like you are a very accomplished author with experience in writing screenplays, children’s books, romance novels, and memoirs. What is your favorite area of writing and why?
I enjoy writing so much that it doesn’t matter what project I’m working on at any particular time. I do however have a problem that I’m sure most writers at one time or another go through. Whatever project I’m working on is probably not going to be as good as my next project. I think for me that might be a form of writers block. Shortly thereafter, I make up my mind and focus. Once I focus I keep reminding myself that I will make it better when I do a rewrite.
2.) Your book, Sala: More Than A Survivor, chronicles the life of a remarkable woman. Please tell us how you happened to meet Sala, and what she is like in real life.
I met Sala several years before I wrote her story. We met at a health club on the track. Sala had always talked about her life as we walked. She talked and I listened. She had no idea I was a writer, but the fact that she was a Holocaust Survivor made me realize her life was so different than anyone I had ever known. Sala is a wonderful speaker and a very intelligent woman. She sometimes feels that she has not had the education that most of us in the United States have had. That is where she is wrong. She has been through more than most, which is why when she is a speaker at Holocaust Museums and schools, her lecture is one that causes the room to become still. A pin could drop and you would hear it. Young and old enjoy her truthful and captivating experiences. I have noticed that when the audience leaves the room they have a look on their faces that always astonishes me. Her message is well taken and always the same. Life is to live and whatever trauma we may have to face, God will give us the strength we need to go on.
3.) Sala’s story, dealing with her time spent in a Nazi Concentration camp, was troubling for our reviewer to read. Was it a difficult story to write?
It was very difficult to write. I had no idea how horrible and terrifying it must have been for a young girl to endure until I interviewed Sala for her memoir. I cried during the interviews. Sala was so very strong and I admired her strength as she told me her story. In fact, there were days when I wanted to stop, but I kept on going knowing in my heart that this was a story that had to be told. Sala would hand me a Kleenex and we would continue.
4.) Please tell us about some of your other books.
I have written three children’s books that were so much fun to write. I had worked in the medical field for pediatricians for several years before I began to write. I loved hearing laughter from children, so I decided to write poems that would be fun to read out loud. I knew the children’s market was tough, but I continued to practice until I got it right. I still get excited when a mother or father comes up to me and tells me how much their son or daughter enjoyed one of my books. Once you get the attention of a child, it’s the greatest incentive one could have to continue on. They say laughter is the best medicine and I think they’re right.
On the other hand when I wrote Love Changes, which was my very first try at writing, I knew that I needed to research and come to an understanding as to why a mother would not want to raise a child with special needs .I volunteered at a school and helped serve lunch and share in some of the free time activities of special needs children. I became emotionally involved almost instantly. I finished the book but never did understand how that could be possible. Writing Love Changes changed my life and for the longest time my character remained a part of me. I learned how to love every moment of my life and to care deeply for everyone close to me. At that time I never thought I was to become a caregiver for my mother after her stroke. This experience prepared me to become good at it and never sorry that I was dealt that hand.
5.) I noticed on your website that your screenplay, Romancing Gracie, is currently pending production. How exciting! Please fill us in.
There are so many different production companies ready to look at scripts hoping to make the best picture of the year. Selling a screenplay is very difficult, but not impossible. Getting an option to make a movie is very exciting, but sometimes it takes years to get a project off the ground. That’s where my script is at right now. We hope that it will happen, but there are so many variables in movie making all we can do as writers is keep writing and hope the options we receive turn into a well written movie that audiences will enjoy.
6.) Your company offers many services to both aspiring and established authors. What can you tell us about Michigan Avenue Media?
Michigan Avenue Media is trying to break new ground. There are so many wonderful writers out there that will never have their books published. The next best thing to traditional publishing is self-publishing. We try to help new writers create their books. We will coach them if needed. We will help them edit their book to make it look professional. My advice to unpublished writers is that a self-published author has a good chance of networking to get their story out there. It’s always better to have a property to show. A book is rarely thrown away, but pages stuck in a drawer will eventually be thrown out by someone. Books usually move from location to location and may somehow land on the right desk and become a best seller or a movie.
7.) When you get a break from your busy writing schedule, how do you like to spend your free time?
I love to see movies and get involved in conversations with people. I learn about life through others words. I especially enjoy conversations with men and women older than myself. It’s always been interesting for me to hear stories about how it used to be. I have always realized that no matter how old one gets, they have life experiences to share.
8.) What new works by Marsha Cook can we look forward to?
I am now working on a new screenplay and a novel.
9.) Where can we get the latest updates on you and your books?
As soon as I have new information about myself or my clients, I post it on my websites.
10.) Thanks again for visiting with us today, Marsha. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Yes, I have one message. Please don’t stop writing. It would be a shame to miss the next best seller or the next Academy Award movie. If I had given up years ago, I never would have had any of my books published or screenplays optioned for a movie. Dreams do come true, mine did.