Coffee for Roses ...and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening by C. L. Fornari
|C. L. Fornari|
I’m delighted to be interviewed by you and appreciate your interest in my book, Coffee for Roses. Here are the questions you asked and my answers – feel free to use them as you need.
- What inspired you to become a writer and how has it changed your life?
I love this question because it allows me to tell the truth: I never intended to be a writer. Although I’ve been a gardener since early adulthood, I was an art major in college (didn’t graduate) and for several years worked first as a fiber artist and later as a graphic artist doing photo-generated collage. All I wanted to do was to go into my studio and make stuff.
In the early 1990’s, however, I was frustrated because my work was going so far and then no farther – I’d get a gallery show but they wouldn’t offer another, or I’d sell a line of greeting card designs but the company wouldn’t do a second run. About this time we moved to Cape Cod and being a gardener I looked for a book on gardening in this region. There wasn’t one, so I decided to take photos of area gardens, talk to Cape gardeners, and propose doing a book about it to publishers.
A regional publisher responded that they couldn’t afford a full-color book of photographs but would I like to write a book of general garden advice? I decided that if a publisher asks if you want to write a book the answer should always be “Yes.” And so I wrote my first book, The Cape Cod Garden, and I’ve been a writer ever since.
- What is the most exciting part of being a published author?
There is something wonderful about the physicality of a published book. But writing is also similar to other creative ventures where the satisfaction comes not as much from the end product as from the process itself. Figuring it all out is most of the fun for me.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
Since the process is what’s interesting to me, I’m a person who’s always moving on to the next project. I have several ideas that I’d like to pursue including a book about annuals, one about creative garden crafts and perhaps something about gardens and foodies. My new blog, Coffee for Roses, goes in all of these directions so I’m hoping that future books could do the same.
- Who are some of your favorite authors and did they have an impact on your writing?
The name that comes to mind is Anne Lamott. Her non-fiction writing is honest, from the heart, helpful and funny. She is an inspiration because I want to accomplish those things in my own writing as well.
- What are some of your favorite flowers, plants or trees?
My favorite plant? Whatever I looked at ten minutes ago.
- What was your biggest gardening mistake?
Oh dear…how to choose. I guess I’ll talk about the latest mistake, which was a case of plant lust and out and out greed. Toward the end of winter I saw a landscape planted by a man who specializes in snowdrops (Galanthus) and I wanted some, as quickly as possible. So when I saw an ad on the local Craigslist for snowdrops for sale I jumped at it.
The price was dirt-cheap (pun intended) since the person selling them was digging plants from her yard. I was so greedy to get some large clumps of this stylish bulb into my garden quickly that I ignored my own advice. As I wrote in Coffee for Roses, pass along plants often come with pass-along problems. I bought and planted the snowdrops…three or four weeks later I realized that these clumps were infested with bishop’s weed and another invasive plant!
I ended up digging up the snowdrops and the sprouting problems that came with them, and throwing them all in the trash. Now I have to remain alert for any of these weeds sprouting in the future because I know that a single seed can grow years after you’ve transported it into your gardens.
- Besides gardening and photography, what other hobbies do you have?
I still love to work with visual images as I did when I was doing graphic art. These days it’s done with Photoshop. I do collages using Photoshop to relax at night. I also enjoy cooking, which is pretty much the same as making a collage except you can eat the end product.
- Do you have any specific advice that you want to share with our readers?
Don’t be afraid of work. Our culture values ease, but many things in life that are worth having take effort. Frequently the gifts and treasures come as you work to get something done. A low-maintenance garden? Why on earth would anyone want that?
- Have you thought about writing a gardening book for children?
No but I’ve had an idea for a YA book that is something I might proceed with. Or not.
- How can readers find you online?
My general website is www.GardenLady.com and I blog at www.CoffeeforRoses.com . My Facebook page is The Garden Lady and my twitter handle is @thegardenlady
Disclaimer: Loving Heart Designs received a complimentary copy of Coffee for Roses by C. L. Fornari through St. Lynns Press.