Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 17th with Books for Women by Women with Chana Wilson

LET'S WELCOME Chana this morning
with a question and answers to her book! 

Q&A with Chana Wilson, Author of Riding Fury Home

  1. What led you to write the book?

When I decided to become a therapist, it meant I had to go back to college to finish my bachelor’s degree before grad school, but my dilemma was that I had a terrible writer’s block.  I asked myself, “What about writing scares you?” and what leapt out of my mouth was, “That the truth might come out!”  That truth was all the realities of my childhood that I had to keep secret because of stigma and shame.  So, I took a creative writing class where I deliberately wrote those stories.  In class, we did short free writes, and sweat would be pouring off my body.  Then, we had to read out loud what we’d just written.  The first time, as I read a story of one of Mom’s suicide attempts, there was a potent silence.  Afterwards, I could see how moved my classmates were, and some of them shared hard stories of their own.  The shame ebbed away as I saw that my very intimate, vulnerable stories resonated in others, and became a story larger than just my own. 

I put my creative writing away for years and wrote academic papers.  When my mother was ill with cancer, she said, “I’m going to lick this thing and live to write a book about my life.”  When she didn’t make it, at first I thought I was writing her story for her, but I soon found I had to re-inhabit the story myself, and explore my own narrative.

2.    What is the meaning of the title of your memoir?

Riding Fury Home has multiple meanings.  One theme is a child’s suppressed rage at her fragile mother.  My mother attempted suicide and was committed to a mental hospital when I was just seven, and there was no room to express my need for her and my grief at losing her.  My father and the doctors said that she needed me, so I had to be very good to her.  All that discounting of self led to a deeply buried rage.  To ride that home is the journey of working through the hurt and anger between my mother and me to come to some forgiveness.

I was also crazy about horses.  In the chapter titled “Riding Fury Home,” my mother takes me to a rodeo where Fury, a horse from my favorite TV show, is making an appearance.  My mother had developed a driving phobia, so we lurch down the road with her sweating and cursing at the wheel.  At the rodeo, I’m completely entranced as Fury, a wild black stallion, races around the arena with no rider, looking so beautiful and free.  But as we drive home, I’m ripped from reverie by my mother’s driving, and I feel hatred for her for ruining my happy dreaming.         

3.    What would your mother have thought about the book?

Writing the book after my mother died gave me a certain freedom.  If she’d been alive, I would have had to push myself to be fully honest in spite of my fears of hurting her.  I think some of it would have been hard for her to hear, because the book went deeper than we’d gone.  We would have had to go through another round of processing the impact of her being unable to mother me in my childhood.  But I believe that it would have been healing for us, and in the end, she would have welcomed that process.   

On another level, my mother was my biggest booster, always proud of my accomplishments.  Purely in her “mom” role, she would have cheered wildly for me as an author.  She would have backed my writing the book, because as a therapist and feminist, she believed in revealing complex human truths.  That I acknowledge in the memoir the profound gift of her love and mothering of me later in life would have thrilled her.  And she would have been delighted that Riding Fury Home pays tribute to her resilience and zest for life. 

This book will be gifted today! 

Members of the Perseus Books Group | Distributed by Publishers Group West

Twitter:  twitter.com/moonguides | twitter.com/sealpress 

                                       We Love our Sponsors..

A huge thanks to the following sponsors for offering up some very heartfelt presents for the month of December... Besides the featured Authors book each day, we will have weekly PRESENTS of the following..

From top to bottom.....Pellon is gifting 2 pillows, 1 batting for a throw, some  pillow stuffing, and some wonder under  to  2 winners who stick with Pellon!

Aurifil is gifting 4 boxes of large threads in a variety of colours to 4  lovers of threads....

Bag Lady is gifting 5 assorted frames for coin purses to 1 coin purse lover!

Reliable Corporation ( you can see close up here) is gifting 2 Sensor Irons to 2 quilters who love to iron.

Purdy's Chocolate is gifting 4 large boxes of chocolates...( I did not even peak under the wrapper, so I am not sure what is there )  to 4 lucky chocolate lovers.

Andover Fabrics is gifting 4 beautiful assorted fat quarter bundles to 4 fabric lovers...

And Seal Press will be gifting the book that is featured each day!

 Our whole month of December we cheerleaders will be celebrating all of YOU, who have been
with us for years. To our  new followers,  we will welcome you with all the warmth we can muster....

WE hope you will be visiting us and leaving lovely comments for all of our guests who have
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It will be a very special month....

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With warmest blessings from our cheerleading TEAM...

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( p.s. stuck at airport, flights cancelled, big storm, sorry for not replying to all messages these
past few days...trying to get everyone home lol)  WE will be resuming to our regular programming of blog hops very soon....


  1. The 'shame' themes certainly speak to the broken parts in me. I bought 'dancing at the shame prom' over the weekend, and will be looking into getting this book, too. I am grateful to you for bringing these important voices to our attention!

  2. wow...a compelling red, for sure...on the list it goes.

  3. This book looks interesting. Thanks for the giveaway. Hope everyone gets home ok.

  4. This really looks like a good one! thanks for the giveaway!
    Evin5 at aol dot com

  5. Relationships with our mothers are always so complex, so this book looks like a good read.

  6. This story of relationship, hurts and healing sounds like a must read. I'm sure there is something we all can relate too. thanks!

  7. This book too sounds like a good read. Relationships with Mother's is quite complex. Looks like I can relate to some of what she writes about.

  8. Wow. What a courageous woman. This is definitely a book for my reading list......if I don't win. :-)

  9. Your book sounds like it was right from the heart..would like to read it..

  10. It's such a conundrum ... I think an author's most compelling works are often the ones that are most painful to put down into words. I'm sure that Riding Fury Home is no different! :)

  11. Not everyone could write a book like this.

  12. This book sounds like a fabulous read.
    Thank you Chana for writing it, so much courage on both your parts.

  13. I definitely want to read this book. My mother suffered from depression, and although I don't know of any suicide attempts, I do know many times she was not able to function. It is comforting to read someone else's story and how they coped, knowing relationships with mother's can be difficult in the best of circumstances and coming to terms with my own relationship with my mother. I miss her.

  14. I think book sounds like a good read. Growing up I had a very difficult relationship with my mother until the very end. the 20+ years without her allowed me to look back and understand why things were the way they were and make sense. I'd like to read this author's point of view.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. I've almost bought this book twice in the past. THis time I think I will. It sounds like something that would help me understand the people around me who suffer with similar problems. Fortunately, they are not family members, but there are children involved who need to be understood.

  16. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

  17. Sounds like another thoughtful and thought provoking book by a talented woman author. Keep up the good work.

  18. Wow, what a sad childhood Chana experienced. It breaks my heart the pressure that was put on her after her mom's suicide attempt.

  19. What a great interview. I've almost bought this book a few times,,now I definitely will.

  20. Chana experienced more than any young girl should have to endure. Another book for my reading reading list.

  21. Sometimes all we have left is our stories... looking forward to reading this one.

  22. Learning about others helps us examine our lives and our children's experiences. Thanks for sharing this one.

  23. Sounds like a wonderful read, definitely looking into this one! Thanks for sharing with us~

  24. Mother-daughter relationships are very complex, to say the least. This book sounds like a good read.

  25. I can relate to the author and her story. Her book can be cathartic to others. My mother also made several suicide attempts. She slowly slipped into mental illness and died from complications of MS. I never saw her after my dad put her in a care center. She was not allowed visitors. I loved my mother and I know that somewhere inside herself she loved me and my brother and sisters. It is still very sad.

  26. Rosemary B here:
    Well, this looks like quite a story here. My mom is still alive and she drives me nutty, but I love her so much. I cannot imagine having to put your mom in the mental hospital as a kid. how sad
    I have missed commenting on several of the past book reviews, but I have read all of them. Elisabeth Eaves book looks very good too.
    Thank you for these lovely reviews!

  27. Chana was very brave. Telling others of the dark secrets is a very hard thing to do. Thank you for sharing another great book. jbechosend at sbcglobal dot net

  28. you have got my intrest in this book as well. thanks sew much for sharing some insights with us
    in stitches

  29. I would love to read this book as it sounds like she had a life a lot like I did. I have never told a lot of my secrets

  30. Bless you for the courage to write the book as you did...you speak for so many who are unable or unwilling to take the risk. Thank you again, Samm, for another great possible read!

  31. Wow, how difficult and freeing it must have been to write this book. Thanks for the review :)

  32. Chana's childhood is so totally different then mine. I love hearing stories of survival and success. These early relationships definetly mold us, for good and for bad. Sounds like an interesting and inspiring story.

    Thank you and all the Sponsors for the amazing giveaways and the chances to win.


  33. The front cover sold me........this is how I felt the last few days but I am getting my WORDS on ..


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...