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More of Interview with Thomasina Burke
“It isn't your first meeting, getting married, or making love. It is the strength to do the hardest thing imaginable to ease the suffering of the one you love at the darkest moment of their life.” That is one of my favorite quotes from your book. What inspired you to write those words?
I LOVE that sentence. Sometimes when I look at it I can’t believe I actually wrote it. One weekend at the cabin, my husband, Annliza, Kelly (wonderful friend who formatted the entire book and cover for me) and myself were trying to figure out what to do for the back cover. Annliza was thumbing through the book and said, “I think you should use this quote on the back cover.” As a nurse, and in rescue situations for the fire department, I have experienced the end of life for many patients. Anything you can do to ease their suffering, to comfort them and make it as painless as possible, is the most important thing you can do as a caregiver. Remember, as I was writing that I was also having to watch my sister fade away, and I think the countless foot massages, head rubs, and book readings that I gave her were a comfort even after she had lost the ability to communicate. She had us all there with her at the end, and afterwards I remember my big sister Vickey gently placing rose petals on Kelley, and we held hands and formed a circle of life around her. There was some positive energy there that day, and it is a cherished memory.
There were so many parts of your book that made me cry. Where there any parts of it that made you cry while writing?
Oh my gosh, yes! In fact, I was writing the scene in which Matt dies at a desk at summer school. It was a really slow day, and I thought I would put off the inevitable and just get the death scene over with. As I was writing it, I was sniffling and crying and a co-worker came up and asked, “are you alright?” Then I had my husband read it, and the big softie had tears streaming down his cheeks. That is when I knew that I had nailed that scene. Most often, the section that people feel is the most “real,” and well written, is that chapter.
Amusingly enough, neither of my daughters will read the book because they think I killed off their father!
What was your goal in writing this book?
I truly just wanted to get it out of my head, onto paper, say that I had written a book, and been done with it. I never, ever, in my wildest dreams thought that it would actually get printed and that people would enjoy it. I didn’t do all the things that people suggested; taking writing classes, working with mentors, joining groups, so I thought that naturally meant that the final product wouldn’t be something viable. It has far exceeded all of my hopes and dreams. I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me that people are coming up to me, with tears in their eyes, giving me big hugs and telling me “Your book changed the way I look at life.” So many people have said that they are going to start living their life for the “now,” making memories in the present, because life is so finite and you just never know…..
When did you first realize that you were meant to write?
I don’t think I was meant to write; I think I was meant to be a nurse. However, this is something that has brought me a lot of joy and unexpected pleasure.
Have you written any other books? If so, what are they?
No, but I definitely have Magic Bridge Part II already conceptualized and partially mapped out. I think Bridgette is just too good of a character, and so many people have asked what happens to her, what she does next, that I feel I owe it to her to continue on with her journey. That renegade Bridgette has taken on a life of her own!
Once you started writing this book, how long did it take you? How much research if any, was involved?
It took about five years from that first discussion on the Crown King road, to holding my first copy in my hands.
What new doors has your writing opened up for you? Were there any opportunities that you had never considered before?
I have made so many new “friends” from all over the world, especially through my efforts with the Save Vernazza fund. People that have travelled there, fallen in love, enjoyed the wonders and beauty, are all sharing their stories with me. I don’t know what other opportunities are going to open up, because so far, everything that has happened due to the book has been such a wonderful surprise for me. I am open to anything; now that I have conquered all of my fears (mostly). I’ll try anything once!
I received my copy of Magic Bridge free from the author. If you would like you own copy of this wonderful book, I have provided an Amazon link for it below.
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