Eileen Doyon’s series is Unforgettable Faces and Stories. She has released six books, Dedications: Dads and Daughters/2013, Keepsakes; Treasures from the Heart/2013, Best Friends: Forever and Ever/2013, Pet Tales: Unconditional Love/2014 listed on Amazons Best Sellers list, Letters To Heaven/2015, also listed on Amazons Best Sellers list, and most recent, The Second My Life Changed Forever. Her books deal with death and other life-changing events.
Bonnie Ferrante: Welcome, Eileen. First, I have to say how courageous you are to write about topics that are so personal to you. Could you tell us about your series, Unforgettable Faces and Stories. How do you go about collecting these stories? Do you interview these people personally or do they send you letters? Is it difficult to find them or do you have more than you could ever use? How do you choose which ones will go to print?
Eileen Doyon: Hello Bonnie, thank you! It is my pleasure to be here and to share. Unforgettable Faces and Stories is a movement……we are a community of readers and storytellers…YOUR story told by YOU. We give everyday people an opportunity to tell their own story about a particular theme. It is their own words and their own storytelling platform of how they want to share. Sometimes I will speak with people on the phone prior to them participating/writing I tell them about myself and my mission and answer any questions that they may have. As we grow and get the word out there both through social media and just meeting people every day, and through referrals, we network with people to participate. Referrals played a big part on my most recent book. The decision process to choose which stories are printed has been streamlined and has worked for us up to this point.
Ferrante: After the loss of your father, you channeled that grief into your second book, Unforgettable Faces & Stories: Dedications: Dads and Daughters (Daughters Remembering Their Dads Who Served in the Military). This book seems to have touched a deep chord with the public. What kind of feedback have you received?
Doyon: This book was so dear and close to my heart. My dad was everything to me. I wanted a tribute to him and this was the theme. He was a Marine and fought in WWII and was at Iwo Jima. I wanted other women to feel the power of tribute to their dad. The feedback was and has been incredible. That is what made me come up with the idea of continuing with different themes and run the series. People were touched, healed, helped in the grieving process, and it just made them feel good. On the reading side, people thought about the loss of loved ones in their own life and warmed their hearts as well.
Ferrante: That’s wonderful. Your latest book is The Second My Life Changed Forever. What was your goal in writing this book?
Doyon: My goal for this book was this……we as people in this journey of life have one second situations that change our life forever whether positive or negative. What an incredible learning experience for us all that everyone in life goes through something. We are not out there by ourselves and things just do not happen to us. It is life…..it shows readers that they can move forward in a negative situation, gives them hope, inspiration, and makes them feel not alone…on the positive note with that one second, it truly inspires people to take notice on the signs that are put in front of us sometimes and we just have to go for it and trust our gut.
Ferrante: Which of your books was the most challenging to write? Why?
Doyon: For myself, probably The Second My Life Changed Forever. I wrote about my mom. To be honest Bonnie, even my husband never really knew what happened to my mom. I still to this day, do not vocally tell the story. It is too painful, so I wrote it as part of my healing.
Ferrante: I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s truly admirable that you could use that pain to help others through theirs.
What event triggered your decision to become a writer? If that hadn’t happened, do you think you would have been a writer anyway?
Doyon: The grieving process for myself when my dad died triggered my decision to write a book. I do not think I would have had a desire without my dad’s death affecting me so much. It’s funny, I would ask my dad a question growing up and even in my adult life, and he would smile at me and say “you writing a book?” I truly believe now looking back, this is my calling.
Ferrante: Are you working on a book all the time? Do you write every day or do you spend some days reading possible stories for your book? How do you structure your writing time?
Doyon: I have several books in mind to do. My head is always spinning with ideas. I work on some of my marketing daily, as much as I can, and learn new things about social media and expanding Unforgettable Faces and Stories globally. I do have one writer from Australia. I am an early riser usually at 4:30am. I work on my social media and book ideas and networking til around 7:00am and then go from there.
Ferrante: Are you working on a new book right now?
Doyon: Right now I am working on the marketing side. I am doing a lot with video currently and love it. I have a theme pretty much secured and have a plan to roll it out starting October/November.
Ferrante: What did you learn from your first book that you would like to share with beginning writers? Is there something you did differently after that or is there something you found very successful and would always do?
Doyon: The best thing to share is just do it now! Did I know everything about writing a book and collecting stories, publishing, marketing, and everything else that goes along with it, NO I did not! But Bonnie, I learned….some things I did poorly in the beginning but my message to all is that at least I started and would want everyone not to be afraid to start, or to fail, or not to do everything correctly the first time.
Ferrante: That’s great advice.
Ferrante: If, like the newspaper or milk, you could have anything of your choice delivered to your doorstep every morning, what particular item would you want it to be?
Ferrante: LOL. That’s probably a popular answer. What is your favorite time of the day?
Doyon: Early morning/4:30am
Ferrante: Now that’s probably not a popular answer. What event in the next few months are you looking forward to more than anything else?
Doyon: Ahhh, I wish I could tell you my plan for my rollout for my next book, but I cannot….so……I would say September 2nd. My husband is taking me to see Rod Stewart!
Ferrante: So, readers, mark that date on your calendar and keep an eye on Eileen Doyon.
Thank you, Eileen, for this candid and inspiring interview.
Note: the three random questions are from “Chat Pack – Fun Questions to Spark Conversations”.