1. How did you come up with the title?
It was after midnight on New Year’s Eve, and I had just gotten four…count them, f-o-u-r tickets for a variety of reasons after being pulled over by a cop. All minor issues, but still not how you want to start off a new year. When we got home, my husband felt bad and drew me a hot bath, lighting candles all around the tub. Our goal before bed was to come up with a new family saying for the year, which was an annual tradition.
Exhausted, and finally in the bath, I leaned my head back when suddenly my husband pointed at me screaming, “Oh my God, you’re f*****g hair is on fire!” And it was. After dunking my head under the water and checking unsuccessfully for burn traumas, we had a good laugh. That year, our family saying was “Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire”.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My message is simple. There are millions of people living with neurological conditions that are simply existing; trying to fit in with a world and population where most won’t, or can’t bend their idea of normal; and at the same time, assume that normal is something everyone aspires to be. Living as someone other than your true self is my idea of torture, and that’s what most people want from us so they can feel comfortable. I wanted to be the voice that said, “You’re damn right we aren’t normal! We’re AMAZING! We’re WACKY! We’re GENIUSES! We’re bearing millions of gifts for the world to enjoy and you can’t see that –all you seem to notice is how often we lose our keys!” To be fair, it is pretty ridiculous how often we lose our keys…and phone, and wallets, and cars, and children, but still…geniuses.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
That depends on your version of “realistic”. It’s a memoir and every word of it is true, but even I can’t believe some of the stuff that goes on in that thing!
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I can’t even think about it, because that just opens up a big can of “things you can’t change” worms. I like to think that the book came straight from my head as it was intended to be received. That allows me to keep moving forward instead of spinning my wheels second-guessing myself. Nothing makes me more depressed than stagnation!
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It would take less time to list the things that weren’t hard! The discipline it requires is brutal, but even worse than that for me is the focus. Trying to write consistently every day was an almost painful process. You should see me just trying to write a grocery list! And then the editing process…don’t even get me started. I’ve read that book a minimum of forty-seven times. I like my book, I really do, but I don’t want to read ANYTHING forty-seven times.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I’m probably sort of a poser when it comes to being a writer, because the only thing I know how to write about is what I’ve personally observed and experienced in my life. It’s already sorted out for me, but a fiction writer…wow. That takes talent. You have to come up with a beginning, middle, end, and in-between that not only makes sense; it has to be entertaining AND unpredictable. The work that must go into developing and then portraying the story and characters…it blows my mind. For a big-picture person like me, the thought of those details are both mind-numbing, and hugely impressive.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
This is going to be a weird, conflicting answer, but that’s kind of how I roll, so here goes…I had no idea that I was decent at writing until about four years ago, yet I’ve known my whole life that I would write a book…it wrote itself daily in my head. I used to write poems when I was a teenager to deal with my emotions, but I never showed my work to anyone. I actually got my degree in Broadcast Journalism and still didn’t know I could write! It wasn’t until I wrote an article about dealing with depression that I got really positive feedback and thought “Holy S**T!” – I’m actually good at something?” That’s when I got serious. I desperately wanted to be good at something.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I can’t really commit to a favorite, but I can read anything by Eric Weiner and go to my happy place, which is really impressive, because I don’t see that place very often. It’s funny that I use the term happy place, because my favorite book by the talented Mr. Weiner is Geography of Bliss. In Bliss, he uses quantitative and qualitative research to determine the happiest country in the world. It’s like brain candy for the right and left side. On one hand, I’m getting all of these facts that I love to gobble up and re-spew to unsuspecting by-standers. On the other hand, he immerses you in the people, sights, smells, culinary delights, habits and thought processes of cultures around the world. I lose myself in his words. As a human, he’s vulnerable, yet allows himself to be open to any and all experiences. I find that brave and heartwarming.
9. Tell us your latest news.
I’m really excited to announce that I am now the parenting blogger for AdditudeMagOnline.com; an impressive and important resource for those with ADHD. Those who know me well are slightly nervous that I’ll be giving parenting advice and frankly I don’t blame them, but my kids still have all of their fingers and toes, so I figure, what the heck?
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes! I saw something the other day that I think is a really important message to spread. It said, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.” Pass that around, please.
About the Book
Did you know that if you forget to pay a speeding ticket you WILL get arrested—in front of your kids, the neighbors—the dog—and anyone else who happens to be there? True story. And the thing is, Stacey Turis has a million of them, and she imparts these and other nuggets of wisdom to offer others suffering from ADHD some hope in knowing that they are not alone.
A belly-laugh inducing romp through a life so convoluted and chaotic you know it has to be true, Stacey Turis’s debut gives a voice to the genius yet tormented souls suffering from giftedness, ADHD, or a combination of both (a condition known as twice-exceptional) who are too afraid to speak.
Chronicling her life journey from a state of self-loathing to one of self-acceptance, the stories flow timelessly, always incorporating the resulting lessons and reflections gleaned from each adventure. Including both the tragic, stomach churning details of a horrifically abusive time in her childhood to comic adventures such as deciding to dye her hair plum the day before an important presentation to a bank only to have it turn out purple, her life has never suffered from a dull moment. Though she often thought Karma was the reason she found herself in so many “pickles,” a friend explained to her that when you put yourself out in the world more than anyone else, it’s really just a matter of statistics. Lucky for Turis and the rest of us, putting herself out there all these years allows us all to look at life through her pair of less-struggle-more-sass glasses.
With over three hundred million people suffering from ADHD worldwide and experiencing many of the same debilitating symptoms, Turis’ goal is to share her experiences so that others afflicted can rid themselves of the shame of hiding their behavior. A rip-roaring and bracingly honest look at a twice-exceptional life, Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire: An Absent-Minded Tale of Life with Giftedness and Attention Deficit—Oh Look! A Chicken! turns the rational on its head in a rollicking depiction of a life that seems to be constantly going off the rails.
Publisher: Bohemian Avenue Press
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Buy Link: Amazon
About the Author
Stacey Turis is an adult living with ADHD and giftedness who earned her degree in broadcast journalism from Wichita State University. She co-produced and hosted a TV show for a FOX affiliate before pursuing a career in advertising, then graphic design, then market research, then photography, then IT, then acting, then...
In 2006, she became certified to teach Yoga but didn't, then founded pawsforpeace.com, an online, holistic pet-health site, with an iPhone app called Dr. Shawn's Natural Pet Therapies to match. In 2010, she developed a course to teach families how to live more natural lifestyles, which she taught for about a month. She then started a Facebook page called ADHD - Tales of an Absent-Minded Superhero, for wacky folks like herself. That is still exciting enough to hold her interest. She has, through the years, unsuccessfully started twenty-seven businesses but can't remember most of them.
She lives in Texas with her husband, two kids, a dog, three cats, and eight goldfish. Stacey now spends her time speaking to groups of those same kinds of wacky people, where she’s not afraid to stop in the middle of a speech and ask “What was I talking about?”
Links to connect with Stacey:
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