Weekly #MotownWriters Feature, Cathie Higgins Weir, Author of I’ll See You Later

 

 

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Where are you from?
Kalamazoo, MI

Tell us your latest news?
Sold six books at a lung transplant patient/donor picnic.

When and why did you begin writing?
Two years ago. First and only book (so far) self-published December 2017.
In 2008 I underwent double lung transplant surgery at the University of Michigan Hospital. It was a
difficult and painful procedure, but I used humor to survive. It’s now 10 ½ years later, and I’m doing
great.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think in the 6th grade. Our teacher would put a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post picture in front of
us and we would have to create a story from the picture. I always received A’s for my work.
I worked in the theatre and I wrote the bios for the actors for the programs. I also owned a murder
mystery company and I wrote all of the scripts.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Friends would ask me about my surgery, and I really didn’t like to talk about it. It was one of the most
difficult times of my life. And I really couldn’t tell everything in one sitting, so I put it all down in a book
so people would know the whole story. AND . . . many are very surprised at what I went through.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Many people have said how raw and honest my writing is. “I could hear your voice.” “It was though you
were sitting next to me telling me the story.”

How did you come up with the title?
My father was 59 years old when he died from complications due to emphysema. When I was diagnosed
with the disease at age 56 I was terrified I only had three more years to live. Three months before the
double lung transplant he came to me in a dream. In the dream, I was in the hospital. He came over to the
bed, gently took my hand and said, “I’ll See You Later.” With the emphasis on “later.” It was so real that
I saw him, felt him and heard him, but he had died 37 years before. I interpreted the dream to mean not
to worry and that I was going to be just fine.

Is there a message in your novel memoir that you want readers to grasp?
I express how important it is for organ donation, and that it doesn’t matter what age you are. At this time
in this country, 114,000 people are waiting for some type of organ transplant. If my donor hadn’t been
available, I would probably be dead by now. Many candidates do pass before organs are made available
to them.

I also express how important it is to become your own advocate in the face of medical situations. I belie
the fact that doctors and nurses know everything. I encourage readers to know when to say no to medical
situations or procedures, and to trust what their body is telling them. If they feel something isn’t right or
isn’t going to benefit them, then, by all means, they need to speak up. And if they can’t do it on their own,
hospitals have patient advocates to do it for them.

How much of the book is realistic?
It’s ALL realistic. My true experiences.

Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Yes.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Who Moved My Cheese, Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow, The Artist’s Way, When Bad
Things Happen to Good People, Diary of Anne Frank.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Anne Frank.

What book are you reading now?
In between books.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Katherine Stone. Young Adult Fiction. The Reappearance of Tom Ferris and The Arsonist. (Michigan
author).

What are your current projects?
None for writing.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The theatre where I worked.

Do you see writing as a career?
I’m 68 years old and retired, so I’m not looking for a career.

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If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I forgot a couple of things that I would insert. Like the fact that my mother was a girl scout leader and to
this day girls who were in the troop tell me how much they loved her.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Sixth Grade.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
None.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I wanted everything to be perfect the first time so I would dwell on a sentence or paragraph. I finally
learned to let it go and just write and come back to that sentence/paragraph later.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Agatha Christie. I love her mysteries. And when you think about the time she was writing, she was pretty
dicey. Way ahead of her time.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. Not yet.

Who designed the covers?
I did.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Same as above. I wanted everything to be perfect the first time so I would dwell on a sentence or
paragraph. I finally learned to let it go and just write and come back to that sentence/paragraph later.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Patience.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t feel like you have to write the book all in one day. Write down whatever thoughts come to your
mind. Have paper and pen/pencil handy at all times. Let the characters, in fiction, speak to you.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope that after you read my book you’ll sign up to be an organ donor. 10% of the proceeds for the sale
of my book go to The Gift of Life.

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About book

https://amzn.to/2CmEBNQ

As an accomplished actress, Cathie Higgins Weir has seen many strange things in her thirty years on stage, but ten years ago she encountered an amazing sight while waiting for a double lung transplant. Her father appeared to her in a dream.

This ghost simply told his daughter, “I’ll see you later.”

The phrase would both haunt and comfort her during the demanding times ahead. As Weir recounts in this new memoir, she had been diagnosed with emphysema at fifty-six. Her father died at fifty-nine. She was terrified she only had three years to live.

Was her father’s appearance a warning? In the hilarious, harrowing adventure ahead, Weir would learn the truth.

Weir’s memoir isn’t merely about her personal fight with emphysema but expands its scope to look at the realities of organ donation, the importance of being your own medical advocate, and the bonds that connect donors, recipients, and their entire support networks.

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Book Excerpt

Excerpt of Book URL (optional) – set this as a pdf or blog post.
 Okay, that didn’t just happen. It was a dream. Wasn’t it? No, that was real. It felt real. The machines churned laboriously. The faint light became dimmer, the dreary walls seemed duller. 
 
He entered the room dressed in his off-the-rack suit from Sears. But wait a minute, something wasn’t right. He never dressed up. What was happening? 
 
He walked over to the bed, gently took my hand. “I’ll see you later,” my father said. But it wasn’t with words . . . telepathically? Even though I saw him, I heard him, I felt him, I knew it couldn’t be real. My father had been dead for 37 years. 
 
He passed away at the age of 59 due to complications from emphysema. When I was diagnosed with the same disease at 56, I was terrified I only had three more years to live.

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MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Writers’ Block: Local Authors and Writers Speak Out – Kalamazoo Public Library

Thank you for enjoying Cathie’s interview. Please support her by purchasing her book, leaving a review AND sharing this post

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If you’d like to be a featured author of the week, please go to:

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Categories: Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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