Today, I'd like to welcome Linda Naseem, author of “Nothing” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
I was born an Army brat in California. (I’m still pretty much of a brat, but no longer Army.) I worked for 34 years as an RN (in jails, AIDS units, West Africa) while I was raising my kids. The kids are grown (I have seven grandchildren, the lights of my life!), I’ve retired, and now I have time to seriously do what I’ve been dabbling at all my life: write.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
1. Would you break the law to save a loved one? …why?
I could see myself running traffic lights to get a sick child to the hospital. But if you mean things like lying in court or taking someone out of the country to escape punishment for a crime they committed, no. (Although, strangely enough, I was accused of that once when I tried to cross the border into Canada with my ex! But that’s another story.) Everyone should take responsibility for their own actions.
2. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
We are all alive! But truly living means finding joy in every minute, having the wisdom to know your own heart and the courage to follow it, and focusing your energies on things other than yourself, like doing volunteer work, and not spending your life trying to “keep up with the Joneses.”
3. What motivates you to write?
Writing is the way I hold myself together. I understand the world better when I describe it on paper, and the stories I write help me to come to terms with the events they portray.
4. Why do humans want children?
I think we have an inborn drive to procreate---that sex urge is strong, isn’t it!---to keep the human race going. But just because someone can create a baby doesn’t mean they’ll be a good parent. Parenting is a tremendously difficult job and requires a lot of support. It is easier if the pair who’ve made the baby love and respect each other.
5. What was the biggest challenge to creating your book “Nothing”?
The biggest challenge was all the details involved in writing a novel---character descriptions need to match throughout the book, a timeline has to be followed to a certain extent, etc.etc.
6. What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That there is always more to learn, and everyone you meet, no matter what their age or background, can teach you something—even people who don’t speak or understand your language.
7. How did you come up with the title “Nothing”?
The original title was “Dumpster Diamond”, which will make sense when you read the first few pages. I changed it to “Nothing” because that is the value the addicted character gives to himself.
8. How do you handle personal criticism?
If I think it is justified I will ponder it and see if I can make the issue better. If I think it’s unfair I will try to understand why the person said it. If the person is angry, however, I tend to get angry myself, and then everything goes south pretty quickly. Something I have to work on.
9. Why should people read your book?
We have become nonchalant about drug use. It is so widespread now---it has invaded every country and every level of society, and younger and younger children are getting involved. I purposely made parts of this book awful, so readers will understand the unhappy mind-set of an addict. More laws will not fix the problem. I think we have to re-examine our child-rearing practices. Many children need help; for example, meth users often have untreated ADD (it helps them focus). Children must be taught respect and they must be respected. Parents have to work as a team: a home with competing parents doesn’t produce happy kids. There is a lot more to be said, and I have touched on some of it in the book.
10. Why is there something rather than nothing?
“Something” is creation, it is everything. “Nothing” doesn’t really exist: it is the absence of “something.” If there were no “something” I wouldn’t be here to answer this question and you wouldn’t be here to ask it.
Thank you Linda :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “Nothing” on
I came home from work early and found him with his pregnant girlfriend.
I didn't have a clue how to put my pieces back together.
One day I looked up from my desk and there he was.
The person who could help me.
I didn't know it at the time.
My first instinct was to run.