Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Memoirs and More with Nan Sanders Pokerwinski #memoirs #lifestories

 

Memoirs and More--4th Wednesday of the Month

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. 

I am excited to have my good friend and talented author, Nan Sanders Pokerwinski today to tell you about her memoir, Mango Rash: Coming of Age in the Land of Frangipani and Fanta. She was my guest in October 2019 on release day for the book. 

Thank you for returning to be my first memoirist for the Memoirs and More series, Nan! And thank you for offering a digital copy of Mango Rash to a lucky commenter. Leave a comment to be eligible to win a digital copy of Mango Rash. Deadline for entry is Sunday at 10:00 pm EDST.

Thank you for inviting me.

Congratulations on the many 5-star reviews and outstanding awards the book has received.  Well-deserved.

☑ First place in the memoir/nonfiction category of the 2018 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Awards
☑  Finalist for the Northern Colorado Writers Top of the Mountain Book Award 
☑  The Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards (twice) 
☑  The 43rd New Millennium Writings Literary Awards
☑ ☑ ☑ 

What spurred you on to writing an entire memoir, Nan?

I started writing about my Samoa experiences (which form the basis of Mango Rash) when I joined my first writers’ group in 2004. I’d always struggled to convey to anyone who wasn’t there at the time what it was like living on a tropical island as a teenager in the 1960s. I began writing my Samoa stories as a way to explain not only what the experience was like, but also why it made such an impression on me—something I’m not sure even I fully understood until I started writing about it.

I think one of the unknown perks for writing a memoir is the eye-opening revelations we gain by viewing life through the lens of time. 

How long did it take from first draft to finished manuscript?

I finished the first draft of the manuscript within two years but had to set it aside for a number of years, due to my workload and other circumstances. I kept submitting individual chapters to my writers’ groups and to writing workshops, however, and filing away all the feedback. Eventually, I was able to make time for more concentrated work on the manuscript as a whole, and I spent a year or two revising it, drawing on all that feedback I’d stockpiled. So I guess you could say it took 15 years from start to finish, but it was really only three or four years of active work.

☑ ☑ ☑ 

Mango Rash: Coming of Age in the Land of Frangipani and Fanta
by Nan Sanders Pokerwinski
Memoir
MANGO RASH: 
COMING OF AGE IN THE LAND OF FRANGIPANI AND FANTA
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski

BACK OF THE BOOK:

Moving to a South Pacific island from small-town Oklahoma, sixteen-year-old Nancy Sanders trades cruising Main Street in search of tater tots for strolling sandy shores with islanders who serenade sharks and feast on sea worms. With a dash of teenage sass, MANGO RASH chronicles Nancy's search for adventure—and identity—in two alien worlds: the tricky terrain of 1960's adolescence and the remote and rapidly-changing U.S. territory of American Samoa. In spite of palm trees and ocean breezes, island life is not one big beach party, Nancy finds when she clashes with her parents over forbidden boys, discovers double standards in the expat community, and cowers through a hurricane.

Like Nancy, readers of this unforgettable memoir will fall in love with Samoa's lava-rimmed beaches, frangipani-laced air, and open-hearted people, who face adversity with grace. And just as Nancy does when her own health crisis thrusts her into a very different kind of unfamiliar territory, readers will draw strength from fa'a Samoa: the Samoan Way. In language as lush as the island landscape, MANGO RASH enchants, entertains, and, ultimately, inspires with its message about embracing and learning from other cultures.
☑ ☑ ☑ 
Click these links to order your paperback or download Mango Rash now. 


ABOUT NAN:
Author Nan Sanders Pokerwinski

Nan Sanders Pokerwinski is a former science writer for the Detroit Free Press and the University of Michigan, whose award-winning work (under the byline Nancy Ross-Flanigan) has appeared in numerous other magazines, newspapers, and online publications. 

Click here to visit Nan's blog, Heartwood, which focuses on creativity, connection, and contentment.


When she's not writing, Nan takes photographs, makes collages, and wanders the woods around the West Michigan home she shares with her husband Ray Pokerwinski.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

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Thanks!
Be sure and leave a comment to be eligible to win a digital copy of Mango Rash. Deadline for entry is Sunday at 10:00 pm EDST.

13 comments:

  1. Hey, JQ, and nice to meet you, Nan. I'm going to have to try your book. My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed in Puerto Rico while I was in 7th through 10th grade around the same time as you. Not as remote as you, but certainly made an impact on who I am. I've shared. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marsha!
      Nice to meet you, too. I'll bet your experience in Puerto Rico had some similarities to mine in Samoa. Something like that really does influence your life. All my friends who were in Samoa at the time I was say the same thing: It was unforgettable and formative.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. I would love to experience living in an exotic location like you and Marsha enjoyed. Thanks for stopping in Marsha!

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    3. I can see now that living in Samoa had its challenges for our parents, but for us teenagers it was idyllic.

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  2. This sounds fascinating. And talk about two different worlds. Wow.
    'Lo, Cuz:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS fascinating read. I love how she wove the changes in the Samoan culture within how Nan was changing in her life.

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    2. You can say that again, Sandra! Different as different could be. Although in some ways the experience taught me about how much the same people are everywhere.

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  3. This sounds like a great book. Two years to draft it! That's a labor of love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes,you can tell Nan spent a lot of time on this book. Her descriptions of Samoa are poetic and her little asides, like Tangee lipstick and White Rain conditioner, really add flavor to the reading of the era.

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    3. And lots more years devoted to honing my craft. It's been a process, for sure, and I'm still at it.

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  4. Congratulations to Jacqui Murray. Winner of Mango Rash. Enjoy!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Jacqui! Hope you enjoy reading Mango Rash! And after you do, you might enjoy reading excerpts from the travel journal I kept on my 1986 return to American Samoa -- 20 years after I had lived there. I'm posting them on my blog: https://www.nanpokerwinski.com/blog. Six installments so far, and three more to go.

      Also, you can find a slide show of people and places mentioned in Mango Rash, as well as a playlist, a recommended reading list and other goodies at https://www.nanpokerwinski.com/blog.

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