Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Interview With Author Dr. Margaret Aranda

What type of books do you write? I am a multi-genre writer: memoir, Christian living, Children's, and most recently, Women's Health & Wellness. My WIP is a Fiction book, which will be a Series.

What is your newest book about?  My newest book is a 500+ page Reference book for Women and girls, Archives of the Vagina: A Journey through Time. I wrote it for my daughter to use throughout her lifetime into old age, in case I do not live that long. It includes traditional medical topics like The First Period, how to put in a tampon, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstruation, menstrual blood as art, as well as a historical perspective. The history goes over famous names in Women's Ob/Gyn and menstruation/menopause, including Aristotle, William T. Stead, and several others. I provide information as to an individual woman's risk for uterine, ovarian or breast cancer, and whether she is at risk for these if she takes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for hot flashes or painful sex after menopause. Really, the list goes on to talk about Baby Boomer issues like Caregiving, Heart Disease as the #1 killer than all cancers put together, and why women have lost longevity vs. men. I include immunonutrition, whether menstruating women attract bear attacks, whether women can be good pilots just like men, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), telomeres, longevity, long-term care, as well as the Living Will. And there are about 10 Appendices of Resources and solutions to problems, which no doctor would leave unsaid. Being the Stanford-trained doctor that I am, every Chapter is Referenced with primarily NIH-funded papers and PubMed manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. There is an extensive Index for every major topic and manuscript author or person of historical interest who is mentioned in the book.

Where did you come up with that title?  "Archives" denotes a library of many resources, and I poured a lot of research sources for a wide array of pertinent topics and opinions. "Vagina" is used because that is one of the points of the whole book: in the 70's, women were raised to be ashamed of periods, to hide them, and not to talk about them. It is not a dirty word. It is not porn. It is anatomy, and women want their daughters to grow up with a healthy respect for their bodies, knowing that their bodies belong to them (and no one else). The "Journey" transcends time chronologically, as the reader is literally taken from the times of Aristotle, the ancient Greeks, to Victorian times, to last year's Superbowl.

What inspired you to write it? My greatest inspiration was my daughter and other girls like her, especially those girls who are being raised by a single father, and 'how' they are told about their First Periods, Menstruation, ovulation, fertilization, pregnancy, menopause, and end-of-life. No longer do children learn about sexual education in the privacy of their own homes. There are too many broken homes, gangs that simulate families, and parents that are superficially involved in parenting.

What is the writing process like for you? Once the concept of the particular book occurs in my mind, it overwhelms me and I work day and night, and night and day, and pull "On Call" overnights to research, write, reference, and index the entirety of the book myself. Only when it is done, do I rest.

What did you do before you became an author? I was the Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the West Los Angeles Veteran's Administration, holding a position as a staff anesthesiologist and critical care intensivist. I am also Board Certified in Forensic Medicine, and this level of knowledge helps me to add an additional level of intrigue to my writings.

How does it feel to be a published author? Amazing and unbelievable. Can you pinch me?

Any advice for struggling writers? Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. Co-author. Tweet. Pinterest. Google +. Your life has to become transparent, to a certain degree. People want to know "you." Let them. If you don't want them to know you, then become a ghost writer. 

Where do you see book publishing heading? Great question. Ultimately, I see all the trees being saved, with everything on eBook or Kindle. For those of us who still like the smell of the pages of a book, I see Independent writing/selling as being a choice for those who can manage the warehouse. Otherwise, to be selected by a Publisher and paid an advance? Well, that is going to become just like wearing a crown. Only a select few will be chosen.

Book publishing requires marketing, a publicist, social media, Search Engine Optimization in Google Searches, and people just 'hearing' about the writer. It's life in the fast lane, traveling and doing Speeches, Book Signings, being Inspirational, and Contributing to help people Persevere. For me, that is my gratification, as I am disabled. I have thousands of chronically ill followers, and I do not want them to be 'invisible' any more. I want to open them up like a big present with a big red bow. I want to show them to the world as the unique and beautiful individuals that they are. They inspire all of us, for all they can accomplish so much more, with so much less of a physical body than what 'normal' people have. So don't squeak and shush and look at the floor the next time you see someone with a wheelchair, a cane, or just walking slowly from the disability parking spot. Not all disabilities are 'visible.' Be grateful for what you do have, and together, why don't we go out and make a difference in this world?

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2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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