Our “conversation” today is with Charlie Hudson, author of Your Room at the End: Thoughts About Aging We’d Rather Avoid
… written for Baby Boomers as we face our parents’ aging, our aging, and things that our adult children should know. It’s only 150 pages because the intent is to spur thought and dialogue, not answer every question. Part I, “This Isn’t Supposed to Happen to Me,” is intense, and Part II, “Enhancing and Sustaining Quality of Life,” is a lighter tone that deals with everything from ideas about remodeling living space to having pets. If you are 50 or older, the odds are you need this book.
Writers-Editors Network: Charlie, what inspired you to write this book?
Charlie Hudson: The heartbreaking personal situation of watching a fiercely independent elderly relative become exactly the kind of helpless individual that she never wanted/intended to be.
Writers-Editors Network: Do you plan on writing more books on this topic?
Charlie Hudson: No, this is very much a departure for me since I write to entertain. Your Room, however, is the most important book that I have ever written.
How she writes …
Charlie Hudson: I have an office upstairs, although when I am stuck on a plot point or character, I often work it out in my head while I’m walking.
Writers-Editors Network: Did you outline this book first? Or just start writing?
Charlie Hudson:Your Room started as a journal as I was going through this experience. I both needed a way to vent and knew I should capture the raw emotions. Like most of us, had I waited to write my thoughts after the fact, I would have filtered them.
Writers-Editors Network: What was the biggest challenge in bringing this book to publication?
Charlie Hudson: It was very difficult to select the approach because there were so many topics to cover. Once I decided that it would be like a pocket guide rather than a complete guide, and to divide the book into two parts, it flowed well.
Writers-Editors Network: Do you have any writing rituals?
Charlie Hudson: No rituals per se, but I prefer to write early in the morning when I can.
Writers-Editors Network: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Charlie Hudson: I was in elementary school, but didn’t want to be a starving writer, so I put it off for a long time.
Writers-Editors Network: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Charlie Hudson: Food, wine, scuba diving, and reading are all hobbies.
Writers-Editors Network: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Charlie Hudson: If you’re starting out, read Judith Applebaum’s How to Get Happily Published. If you’ve been at it for a while and are considering self-publishing, do your research.
Writers-Editors Network: Why should I read this book?
Charlie Hudson: If we are being honest with ourselves, we all expect to die peacefully in our sleep after having been skydiving (or whatever) to celebrate our 80th, 90th, 100th birthday. Growing old and weak is what happens to other people. Even if you’ve been through it with loved ones, you genuinely don’t think it will apply to you. Perhaps it won’t, but the odds are against you in that. This book is as gentle as I could make it and very candid. It truly can help you face some difficult subjects. It is a book to give to yourself and to share with people you care about.