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Fun • Sexy • Intense • Hot • Compelling • Thought Provoking, and So Real you may find it Shocking, even Disturbing.
Inspired by an episode on Oprah from years ago that dealt with men addicted to porn, a dream, and information from 8 women‘s lives, Portrait of Our Marriage, is a story you don’t want to miss. Nicky, embarks on a journey to find herself and become her own person despite the legacy of a domineering father and an emotionally—and often physically—distant husband.
Reminiscing events from her life, she looks at pictures and remembers romance, falling in love, marriage, and family.
This is the story of one woman’s life as her husbands interest in pornography becomes an obsession that ultimately changes both of them.
Although this is a fictional memoir and only one woman’s journey, many women today deal with this issue in silence, feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
What would you endure for love?
TR: Barbara! A very gooooood morning to ya! How are you?
BH: Hi Thomas….I’m doing great…thanks so much for having me over.
TR: Ah. It’s my pleasure, trust me. So, whaddaya say we kick things off? How old were you when you wrote your first piece?
BH: Works for me. I began writing when I was eight, of course back then I wasn’t serious about writing but it was one way that I expressed myself.
TR: Who’s serious about writing at eight? It shows you were interested, though. What did you write?
BH: It was a poem, which then for me became a song that I would sing.
TR: Cute 🙂 How did you come about sitting down and writing a story?
BH: When I was young I was always making up stories and poems about people, animals, nature, and objects. We had once lived where there were no sidewalks and when we moved to where there were some, I thought the sidewalk was such a wonderful thing. I began thinking what the sidewalk must feel like. LOL! So I wrote a ‘What am I’ poem from the sidewalk’s point of view. I wish I’d kept it, as it was kind of cute. I remember it had points about listening to everyone’s conversations, having cracks and lines as it aged, wearing trashy clothes when people dropped their trash on it, and how it felt when it wasn’t groomed properly and weeds and grass grew wildly about.
TR: You know…that’s just pretty darned brilliant for an eight-year-old. I’ll just bet you wish you still had it. That’s very cool. So, hat have you written since then?
BH: I’ve written poems, short stories and songs over the years and they were shared with friends. In the 1980’s I began playing around with an attempt at writing a book for children. After several rejections I gave up. It wasn’t until years later that I was inspired by a show I had seen on TV, and then even more years passed before I decided to get serious about writing. Those years of work culminated in my recently published, first book.
TR: Another late bloomer to the publishing world. Good for you! Now tell us, what was the inspiration for “Portrait of Our Marriage?
BH: The full title for my book is “Portrait of Our Marriage: Memoirs of Love, Family, the Internet, and Obsession”.
I use the pen name Martha Emms, in honor of my mother and aunt. My inspiration for this book came to me years ago as I was watching an episode of The Oprah Show. It was an episode where they were discussing men who were addicted to porn. As I watched the show I thought that the man looked normal, not like he could be addicted to anything. That evening I had a dream and it was like watching a movie. It was a story being told by a woman who was dealing with her husband’s addiction to porn. It wasn’t like he was a pervert, but the changes escalated over their years of marriage. I kept having dreams and would see different scenes play out. Later I watched another episode on The Oprah Show and this time Joel Osteen was her guest. He talked about how we get messages from God and sometimes our thoughts are ideas that we should listen to. That God wants us to succeed. He didn’t say that verbatim but that was the gist. Since I continued having the dreams I thought maybe it was a message that I should tell the story, write it from the woman’s point of view. And so began my book.
Research online showed lots of information for men but very little about how this issue affected women or from the women’s point of view. So needing more information and having no money to pay a professional, I dropped off little notes asking women if they’d had any experience with a husband or boyfriend who was addicted to porn. I placed these notes, along with contact information, in stores putting them on top of women’s personal items and clothing. It was chancy and I honestly didn’t know if I’d get any responses. But thankfully, I did! I used information from eight of the responses I received. The information they shared was very emotional, giving me an insight to how this issue can affect women in ways that I previously had no idea about. I believe their sharing helped me to create a very real story. Even though this is in many ways a romance novel, it is not the typical one as this is a real to life romance with all the good, bad, and ugly.
TR: I have to say I”ve never heard a story like that. That’s ingenuous…and you know, it’s a great point. Most of the effort involving addiction involves finding a cure, and ignore the folks around the addict. Very fresh approach 🙂 Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.
BH: The story is a fictional memoir that is for mature readers only.
The main character, Nicky, embarks on a journey to find herself and become her own person despite a domineering father and an emotionally—and often physically—distant husband. Reminiscing events from her life, she looks at pictures from her past. She remembers the romance, falling head over heels in love, the heat and passion, getting married, and having a family. She knows who the man was that she married, and she doesn’t want to lose him. But as she faces her life she must decide how much she can endure to keep things together. She questions her own belief system against what the media promotes as acceptable. Ultimately her husband’s interest in pornography has become an obsession that affects their marriage.
The story is entertaining, fun, sexy, intense, thought provoking, and dramatic. It is so real, taking you behind closed doors into a forbidden world that couples often hide and most books will not explore. This story will touch your heart and shock you. It is the journey of a marriage in the techno age. The struggle of their love versus addiction and how the choices they made ultimately changes and destroys parts of who each of them were.
It is available through:
Amazon print http://tinyurl.com/c7mgdpm
B & N http://tiny.cc/dggskw
TR: Whew. This isn’t for the faint of heart, is it? Provocative, indeed. Now, is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
BH: Ideas come to me at all hours and places. I have to write them down as they come often. I wish I had several writer clones to help me, that would be a wonderful gift
TR: I’ve wished for that myself, time to time…Now, I know you’re an indie writer. What made you choose independent publishing?
BH: I chose self publishing for several reasons. The main one was so that I had final say over what went in my book and what would be cut. Timing was another issue. I believe my book is perfectly relevant for what is happening today. Plus I knew if I had to go through submissions, rejections, and then wait the length of time that it takes to get printed going with a traditional publisher, it might take years before my book would ever be read.
TR: True on all counts. I have to add that your subject matter is a little edgy for a traditional publishing how. Yet another reason it’s fortunate that indie publishing is around. So tell us, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
BH: I would think the most important element in an author’s platform, regardless of genre, audience, and a writer’s following, is their belief in their story. The hunger, their zest, and their love, for their work.
TR: Well said. It’s not believable if the writer doesn’t believe it. Okay, what mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
BH: Well, I hired a professional editing, and proofreading company and the editor was awesome. I would continue to use professionals to help with those areas in future novels because of their importance. One of my big mistakes was as I worked on my book I did not think ahead about marketing or social marketing skills. I would recommend for every writer to get a jump on that before their book is released. Talk about a rude awakening.
TR: I know, right? You’re far from the first to make that mistake. So, do you have an idea for your next book?
BH: I have two that I am working on now. One is another adult themed book that deals partly with my experience of being in a coma and the other is a family story dealing with pets. Thank you for your consideration Thomas. I really enjoyed our little talk!
TR: Barbara, it was a pleasure. Your book sounds fascinating, and I wish you all the best with it – and your future writing, as well. Take care 🙂
Okay, folks. If there was ever an explosive subject for a book, you just heard it. Whew…and “Portrait of Our Marriage” is on the shelf right now. What, you haven’t gone yet? Go!
Tune in Saturday, when I talk with Emily Guido and her fantasy series, “The Light Bearer”.