Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Author Spotlight-It's Easier to Dance

Annie Laurie Harris, the oldest one of her ethnicity who lives independently, was born with cerebral palsy. She has defied the odds and challenged the medical prognosis since early childhood. She continues to live a full and active life in her 6th decade. After achieving her Master's Degree at Penn State University in 1985 she worked as a counselor and advocate for those with a history of chemical dependency. In 1990, she was recruited by the prestigious World Institute of Disability to be the Assistant Director of the first HIV/Disability Project. Her grant writing expertise is second to none as private foundations funded her innovative research projects again and again. Since returning to her home state of PA where she lives near her beloved alma mater, Ms. Harris continues to be involved in her community and avidly supports the Penn State athletic program. Once again,her love of writing helps to supplement her income. Her groundbreaking memoirs, It's Easier to Dance, is provocative and thought provoking.

1. What inspires you as a writer?   What inspires me is a sincere hope that the reader’s life will be enriched or inspired in some way.
2.  When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?  When I saw the “proof” copy of my book.  I’ll never forget that day!
3.  What is your writing process?   Initially,  I just want to get a story down on paper where I can actually see it written.  Then I edit with my reader in mind.  For instance, when I wrote the chapter titled Feminity , I thought about how it felt to be a young girl with cerebral palsy and  all  the questions I had that no  one seemed to be able to answer, or, perhaps, wanted to avoid.  I wanted to answer those questions for young girls with cerebral palsy going through puberty and becoming young women.
4.  Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?  My mother, by far, is my favorite character.  Some people may only choose to see the violence and mental instability, however, she is present  in every chapter and continues  to influence my life almost every day.  Her belief that her disabled daughter would one day be educated and care for herself despite no confirmation from physicians amazes me to this day.  Until I was born, she didn’t step out of her assigned role as a woman of color for her time in history.  However, she fought for me as only a mother could.  She was a true visionary and I try to live by the values she instilled in me.
5.  What are you currently working on?  Since  t takes enormous effort for me to type, I work in my head long before I sit at my computer.  I think in images and ideas, then words come.  There’s a “knowing” when it’s time to actually commit to paper.
6.  Any upcoming events?   I’ve been invited to Scranton, PA to do a presentation and book signing.  I am currently negotiating a date.  I am taking a vacation in December which  I need!
7.  If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?  Maya Angelou.  She speaks at least 7 languages..  I really enjoy t raveling and knowing people of other cultures so I wish I could speak many languages.    
8.  Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?  Be your best self at any given moment AND be open to change!  Try not to resist this for it is a certainty in life! 
9.   Where can your followers find you?  The best place is to find me is on my website  or send me a message
10.              Any last words?   I am available to make professional presentations at conferences and/or small groups.  Fees are negotiable depending on group size, travel, lodging, and expertise of audience. I also have an amazing Give-away for a Kindle Fire HD.  I hope you all will enter.  It is a great contest. You can find it for sure on
Thank you very much for this interview.  I have enjoyed answering your questions.

Omegia Keeys:Wow it's not often I'm at a loss for words. Annie you have an amazing story and I wish you all the best. Please inter the raffle below. 
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