Author Nancy R. Poland: Appreciating resilience shown by caregivers

Author Nancy R. Poland

Remarkable Caregiving by the author Nancy R. Poland is a compilation of the lives of six caregivers who ventured on the path of caregiving and came out from the other end as better and wiser.

After the release of the book, we, at Vowelor, had an exciting conversation with Nancy about her writing. But, before we continue with her interview, here’s a little something about her:

About the Author: Nancy R. Poland

Author Nancy R. Poland

Author Nancy R. Poland is from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota which is otherwise known as the Twin Cities. She debuted as an author with the book ‘Dancing with Lewy’ which chronicles her experience as a caregiver to her father who suffered from Lewy body dementia.

Her experience as a caregiver made her realize the effort and resilience it actually takes to be one. Thus, she started her own company, Nancy R. Poland Connect where she helps caregivers connect with resources through multiple means.

Further, Nancy shared her life, writing journey, inspirations, and more interesting things about herself. Here are all of his interesting answers:

Tell us about yourself, your family, your occupation, passions, etc.

I have been married to my husband John for over forty years. We have two adult sons, and they are both married to lovely women.  I am currently employed as a Contracts and Compliance Manager for a non-profit, but I will retire at the end of 2022.  I have written two books and speak about caregiving. I am passionate about helping people learn about caregiving and working to educate them on how to take steps to avoid a crisis before it happens. As a volunteer Community Educator for the Alzheimer’s Association, I can educate others both virtually and in person. I also love to read, and travel and my husband and I watch detective shows in our spare time.

When and where were you born and bought up?

I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., a state in the North Central part of the U.S.  Minneapolis and St. Paul are called the Twin Cities; I have lived in this area all my life. Yes, it gets quite cold in the winter here! (We are next door to Canada.)

What were you like in your childhood? Any good memory you would like to share?

I was raised by both my parents in the suburbs and am the third of four sisters.  We were active in our church, and I was a good student, although I was introverted. I have great memories of traveling with my family; we especially liked to visit our grandparents on both sides.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement till today?

Raising our sons, and being grateful they turned out to be loving, responsible men.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?

I dreamed of writing a book my whole life but never figured out a topic. My dad was diagnosed with dementia and passed away six years after his diagnosis. It was difficult on our family, and our relationship as father and daughter was deeply affected. I decided to write my first book, “Dancing With Lewy” to tell our story, and to help other caregivers know they are not alone.

Which writers inspire you?

As a child, I read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s and Louisa May Alcott’s books. I imagined myself writing stories similar to what they wrote. I admire classic writers such as Mark Twain and Charles Dickins. You could say I like a good story.

Writing is stressful at times. How do you relax your mind?

I will write intensely for three to four hours at a time, then I put it aside and disconnect. I’ll go for a walk, do something around the house, or watch a show on T.V.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Do not wait so long to write a book, I wish I had started when I was younger.

What kind of books do you like to read personally? What are you reading currently?

I like mysteries, historical fiction, and biographies. I am currently listening to The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate on audio, and I have been reading Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn. I also like certain self-improvement or educational books, that help solve people’s problems.

If you could have been the original author of any book, which one would it be and why?

Dr. Aaron Blite wrote a book called When Caregiving CallsGuidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative.  It is based on his years of research and experience as a caregiver, as an owner of a large home-care company, and as a leader at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I would have liked to have had his knowledge when I wrote my books, as he is a brilliant writer on the topic of caregiving, yet he has the ability to speak to everyone.

How is your day structured; do you have a special time to write or is it pretty much random?

I usually write during the day on Friday and Saturday, as I work Monday – Thursday. If I have a deadline, such as my monthly newsletter, or something I am submitting, I will write at other times as needed.

What or for whom do you write for; is it for the readers or yourself or something else entirely?

While I did not think I wrote my first book, Dancing With Lewy, for myself, I found the writing was cathartic, and I found a lot of healing as I told the story.  My second book, Remarkable Caregiving, was written to help other caregivers.  I do a monthly newsletter, write blogs, and have written for other situations, and I mainly do it for others.

About the book: Remarkable Caregiving

Remarkable Caregiving is a collection of six stories that will leave you amazed as you’ll move forward with the experiences and emotions of people who somehow found themselves being caregivers. A must-read book for everyone, it makes readers realize the unfathomable resilience, courage, self-control, and empathy it takes to stand by someone and take care of them.

What genre is your book? What draws you to this genre?

It is part self-help, and partly biographical.

Was there something that made you write this book?

I finished my first book Dancing With Lewy in early 2020, and it was published during the pandemic while I was home due to the shutdown. Having learned about the writing, editing, and publishing process, I decided I could write another book. I had the idea to interview other caregivers, so I could share their stories and inspire others.  I interviewed most of the people virtually (other than one in-person) and was able to finish the second book, Remarkable Caregivingin early 2021.

What makes ‘Remarkable Caregiving’ stand out in this genre?

In Remarkable Caregiving six caregivers found themselves in unplanned and difficult circumstances. The caregivers included parents with children with disabilities, adult “children” with aging parents, and a man with a life-long friend who developed Parkinson’s disease.  Each of these caregivers found innovative solutions, demonstrated courage, and showed the true meaning of love in the face of difficulties.

Why do you think a reader should pick this book over anything else?

In our world today, there is so much heartbreak and division. Remarkable Caregivingdemonstrates the best in people, it will give readers hope in humanity. The book also contains practical ideas, a checklist about home care, and other information to help caregivers to be successful.

The book has themes like courage, resilience, strength, empathy, and all that it takes to be a caregiver to someone. What were the hardest and the easiest things or ideas to incorporate?

It was difficult to hear about the painful times the caregivers went through. The storytellers were so honest with their emotions, and often the person they cared for died at the end. There were also good outcomes, and people freely shared how much they loved the person needing care.  Some talked about how their faith got them through the difficulties, which was an inspiration.

Is there any memorable experience you’d like to share throughout the writing process of ‘Remarkable Caregiving’?

There is a story about young parents who found out their infant son had Down syndrome and leukemia within a 24-hour period of time.  The child nearly died, and the fact that he is still alive is miraculous. Their story is so inspirational; they still raise funds for children with cancer, they educated their community about students with disabilities, and they found a unique solution for their son’s living situation when he became an adult.  The story will leave you hopeful and deeply moved.

Future Plans

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Currently, I am focused on issuing my monthly newsletter, blogging, and developing educational materials for future and current caregivers. I am looking into writing for periodicals and improving my social media presence.

Are you working on your new project? What will be your next book about?

I am working on developing materials for training purposes on caregiving. Both my books have questions that can be used by book clubs, and I have developed resources for faith communities to utilize the books to teach about caregiving. I’d like to expand these resources.

I do not have any specific plans now for another book. However, when I wrote Remarkable Caregiving I used the subtitle The Care of Family and Friends with the thought I could write subsequent books about similar topics such as Remarkable Caregiving: Nursing Care or Remarkable Caregiving: Immigrant Caregivers.

What does success mean to you as an Author?

To sell a sufficient number of books to recoup my financial investment, and to know I have made a difference for people.

Do you prefer self-publishing or traditional publishing and Why?

I chose a hybrid publisher, which worked well for me.  Because hybrid publishing requires an investment on both sides, there is an extra commitment for the author to succeed. My publisher was so helpful, they coached me through each part of the publication process, designed my cover, and are still available when I have questions or need information.

One lesson that you’d like to pass on to young debut authors.

Keep writing, whether it be fiction, historical stories, poetry, or more. Try different types of writing and vary the genres. Take classes and study writing. If you keep writing you will find what you love, and you will be successful.

Your opinion about Vowelor.

Vowelor is different from other companies that just try to take advertising money. They are invested in my success, offer a variety of services, and provide a timeline of activities. They also keep me on track, which is appreciated.

Want to know more about Nancy R. Poland? Connect with the author on Facebook and Instagram.

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