BEHIND THE WORDS: AUTHOR H.M. GOODEN

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Today, we welcome H. M. Gooden, Young Adult and Children’s author of science fiction and fantasy adventures, and poetry. In her spare time, she’s a doctor……whew!

We’re excited to have you on Reader’s Entertainment H.M. First, tell our readers a bit about yourself

I am a mother of four, a full time family physician, and love writing anytime I can. In my free time (hahahaha sob) I like to spend time with friends and family in the great outdoors.

Where you’re from, where you live? Is writing your full-time job?

I live in a small town in rural Manitoba, Canada where I was born and raised. Prior to this year and covid, I was living a few thousand kilometers away in Calgary, but with all the  events of 2020, moving home to be closer to my family became something I missed more than I’d expected and now here I am!

Writing is my passion, not a job, and I do have a full time profession as a family physician that I love just as much. I don’t see that changing for the next ten years at least, although maybe when I’m a little older and more tired I may cut back to write more

How long have you been writing?

I started writing as soon as I could hold a pen, but more seriously since 2015, and my first book was published in 2017.

Briefly describe your writing day. Tell us about your latest release.

I have always loved writing magic. I find real life a struggle at times. So many things happen to people who don’t deserve it that I want to make the world a better and more magical place. I love writing something with a happy ending, although my last release in April 2021 is a narrative medicine non-fiction piece. I guess you could say I look for the magic in the everyday as well as in my nonfiction. I start nearly everyday writing a piece of poetry and have for well over a year now. If I have time, I’ll write fiction for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, but often spaced through the day in bursts where I can find a few minutes.

What inspired this book?

My current book is a collection of short stories and poetry based on my work and experiences working with geriatric patients. I have been so blessed to meet and care for   many people over the years who have impacted my life. This collection is a way to honour them and tell their stories (without breaking confidentiality of course!)

Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book? Perhaps a juicy bit of back-story, or something only you know about a character? 

Well, I can say that compiling this book has led to everything I’ve written since. Many of the characters in my fictional novels have personality traits or experiences based on people I’ve met or situations I’ve been in. I could go on forever, but maybe it’s best if  anyone is interested to hear more if they sign up to my newsletter. I’ve been known to share all twice a month  😉

What has been your hardest scene to write? Any of your books

My hardest scene is probably when I started, with the car accident that changed Cat McLean’s life and led to the world I created. I had a recurring dream as a teenager that figures prominently during her hospital stay, but I have been on that edge of losing loved ones where you don’t know which way things will go. Many tears were shed I can tell you. In my non-fiction, there are too many to name but they have been more cathartic than hard so it’s a little different.

Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? Why?

I think Vanessa. In many ways I identify with her the most. She’s outgoing and yet prickly and hides a lot of hurt behind her flippant exterior. Sometimes she can be hurtful, and that is uncomfortable and hard to do without making her completely unlikable. But on the other hand I think her character also grows more than many of the others. 

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I don’t think it is under appreciated, but it is an older book from the 1980s people may not have heard of called Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress. It still gives me shivers when I think about it, because at the time it was written it was Science Fiction. Now, many of the concepts in terms of fertility treatments and designer babies have actually happened. I think everyone should read it who works in tech and medicine because of the way ethics are interwoven into the story. Chilling and thought provoking!

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

I can whistle with my tongue, like calling a cab but without using my fingers

Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy! 

Can’t get enough cheddar chips. Or sour cream. Crunchy and salty is my Achilles heel!

And what is your writing Kryptonite?

Organization and spare time! I never can have enough!

What is the one question you never get ask at interviews, but wish you did? Ask and answer it. 

No one ever asks about how many cats I have. For the record, it’s four. Thelma and Louise, my older ladies are 13, then George my Bengal. He is very whiny. And Dusty is the baby, except she’s nearly forty pounds of Maine coon white puffball. Between the four of them, we change the air filters nearly once a month lol.

H.M.’s latest release is:: Passages: Death, Dementia, and Everything in Between

A collection of poetry about life, death, and moments she shared with patients on the voyage.

Life is full of surprises;

full of laughter, love, and losses.

This collection explores the transitions between highs and lows through poetry and prose. May you find the words on these pages as much a balm to guide you through rocky seas as they have been for me.

You can purchase Passages at various retailers:

https://books2read.com/Passageshmgooden