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It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview with Eileen Haas, author of Along Came A Stroke

Author’s Bio: Eileen Haas was a writer, editor, copywriter, and
creative director at the likes of House Beautiful, The Sharper Image, J.
Walter Thompson, Wells Fargo Bank and more. Then along came a stroke, and
everything changed. It was a long, hard, road to sort of recovery, but she had
lots of good epiphanies along the way, as well as lots of adventures. The
stroke turned out to be a blessing in disguise in a lot of ways. Including some
discoveries about how to recover that no one ever tells you. Except Haas does
in her book.


Deliah Lawrence: What inspired
you to write your book?

Eileen Haas: So many things
inspired me. The realization that what doctors tell you to expect isn’t
necessarily what will happen, but other things will pop up that you have
absolutely no idea how to deal with. Also, the notion that a stroke is an
opportunity to have a new life, even if you liked the old one.


DL: What is your writing process?

EH: Many people have asked me
how I write. Maybe this is a terrible example, but I’m not disciplined. I write
when I feel like writing. I don’t see the point in forcing yourself to write if
you don’t want to. Frankly, I’d rather watch a good movie.

But sometimes thoughts, sentences,
stories just pour out of me, and I have to get them down. That’s when I’m really
cooking, and writing is a pleasure. I have learned to be patient and wait for
those times to happen. They always do.


DL: What do you think makes a
good story?

EH: If you can’t wait to read
what will happen next, it’s a good story. Knowing in advance what’s going to
happen will make me put a book down. Forever.


DL: Is there any particular
author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

EH: Who hasn’t been
influenced by Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time? What an
imagination! She taught me that anything is possible.


DL: If you were hosting a dinner
party, which three authors would be your dream guests and why?

EH: Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Gilbert,
and Alice Walker. They’re all from the south (Tyler wasn’t born there but was
raised in North Carolina) and would instantly have something in common.


DL: What tips would you give
aspiring writers?

EH: Don’t listen to what
anybody tells you. Never give up your love of words. Don’t get too attached to
the way you wrote things down. There may be a better way to say it, and you’ll
find that way.


DL: What do you like to do when
you’re not writing?

EH: I love to cook, travel,
read, take my dog on long rambles. Not necessarily in that order.


DL: What are three things you
can’t live without?

EH: Good friends. Dogs.
Music. Great books. That’s four!


DL: Would you like to share an
excerpt from Along Came A Stroke?

EH: Sure, here you go.


Breakfast With Idiots


I am having breakfast in a room full
of idiots. Some are drooling into their yogurt. Others are scarfing down eggs
and bacon. An attendant, who must be assigned to me because she always pushes
my wheelchair, coaxes me to eat.


“Have some more,” she urges as she
pushes the Special K towards me. You must be kidding; I think as
I obediently eat another spoonful.


I look around the breakfast room at
my fellow stroke survivors. All wear the same stupefied expression. How in
the world did I get here,
their expressions seem to say. I couldn’t
possibly be one of them, could I? The men look angry. The women look confused.
They are all ages, from all walks of life. Just last week they were artists,
teachers, carpenters. This week they are—what, exactly? A group of idiots?


I remember one man—dark-haired,
mid-forties, mad at the world. He swept his entire tray off the table with a
crash and informed the entire room that he was going home later. Because this
place was terrible. A young woman was sitting in the corner, staring at
the things in front of her—milk, cereal, a banana, concentrating hard and
trying to figure out what she was supposed to do with them. She was so pretty.
And part of her brain had obviously been damaged.


These were my new compatriots, God
help me. I hated them at first, then developed a fond respect for them. They
were survivors. They were brave, brave people.


DL: Where can readers learn more
about you and purchase your book?

EH: Reader can learn more

DL: Thanks so much for being
here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your


EH: It’s my pleasure.

It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview With Eileen Haas, Author Of Along Came A Stroke &Raquo; Eileen%20Haas%20Book%20Cover%20Alt%2010 17 22

 It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview With Eileen Haas, Author Of Along Came A Stroke &Raquo; Eileen%20Haas%20Pic%2010 17 22

Originally Published on

Deliah Lawrence Attorney, Author, Blogger, Workshop Facilitator

Deliah Lawrence is a Maryland-based attorney and award-winning author of two romantic suspense novels (Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back) set in Baltimore. She’s also a blogger and workshop facilitator who writes poetry and short stories.

When Deliah isn’t writing, you can find her reading a book, indulging in her addiction to investigation discovery shows; or painting her yet-to-be exhibited oil artworks of landscapes, portraits or whatever else comes to her creative mind. Constantly on the go, she is also a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland and Sisters in Crime.

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