Getting Roosevelt-A Homeowner's Nightmare by Yvonne Mikell: Interview and Excerpt
Posted by Krystal Larson at 12:00 AM Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Roosevelt, an old Victorian nestled on the border of upscale Chestnut Hill and middle-class Mt. Airy, is the obsession of two people, Elizabeth Samms and Gordon Roosevelt. Gordon is a realtor who likes to flip properties. Handy man Donovan Smith helps his employer eliminate prospective buyers who do not live up to his standards. Protagonist Elizabeth Samms and her autistic son love the house and are willing to fight for it. But a stranger appears with claims to the house, will Gordon relinquish control?
Tell us about your book in two sentences?
The Victorian house Roosevelt, has three owners—past, present, and future. Each is obsessed and determined to own and live there, who will be the victor?
How did the plot for this book develop?
The original story was about my personal experiences dealing with my son’s autism. The story evolved to feature the intricacies of real estate and mortgage scams that were often the front page story of the local news.
When did you decide that you must be an author?
I did not decide, God did; if my son had not fallen under the spell of autism I would be a registered nurse. I stayed at work, never even thought about writing anything except for a letter nor did I know that I had the capacity to write. I firmly believe that he used this time to let me know my true purpose in life.
Do you see yourself in any of the characters? Explain briefly.
Elizabeth and Desmond Samms have characteristics that belong to me and my son at the time prior to our becoming officially aware that he had autism.
Any further books or projects in the pipe?
During the time I was home with my son I wrote five books, and maybe ten poems. I am editing one of them right now. As for my poems, I prefer to have them protected by copyright before publishing them on my blog.
What’s one piece of advice from you to aspiring writers?
Hone your skill. Attend writing workshops and take creative writing classes at your local college. The professor there will be very straightforward with you and tell you if you have real talent for professional writing.
Your favorite book and why?
My favorite book is the Holy Bible, that book is mesmerizing. Even though you have read it numerous times, you always come away with a new revelation.
Writer’s resources which everyone must have as per you?
Several dictionaries, thesaurus’, language translators, internet access, small pocket notebooks, pencil and separate eraser,
Your most rewarding experience as an author?
Getting positive book reviews, learning that people actually like what I wrote.
Your favorite quote about writing, creativity, motivation,
“When you write, you unknowingly tell a secret about yourself.”
Where can we find you online? How to reach you??
Quick note about promotional activities planned for the book?
Scheduling a book signing at local book stores
“Hold it, you can pull over alongside of that house,” she said, pointing at the house on the corner.
He did as requested and shut the meter off, “That’ll be $55.”
She handed him a hundred dollar bill.
“I don’t have any change,” he said.
“Well you can keep it, you get a $45 tip for being so courteous,” she said.
“Thank you,” he said.
He got out and walked around the car. He opened the door and helped her get out.
“I’ll walk you to the door,” he said.
“That’s quite alright I can make it by myself. Wait a minute, this is not my house!” she snapped.
The cab driver sucked his teeth, “Of course it isn’t! I’ve been trying to tell you this is not the 7400 block of Germantown Avenue. You belong in Cathedral Village don’t you?”
“No I don’t!” she snapped, “Who told you I belonged there?”
“Why else would an 80 year old lady be out this time of the night? I don’t blame you. When I get your age and my family stick me in one of those places, I’d probably run away too. If this is not your home where do you want me to take you?”
“No where! Be gone!” she snapped.
“I can’t, I can’t leave you here all by yourself,” he said.
“If you don’t leave, I’ll scream Simon Lucas, and when the cops get here I’ll tell them you robbed me,” she said.
“Of all the…good riddance!”
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