Barbara Deming Interview Excerpts:
Barbara Deming is an author – a storyteller extraordinaire! …
… Her most recent self-published book is Pink Poodle Pie (Other Tales of How Women Get Even), a short story anthology that her interview, further below, centers around.
…Anyway, Barbara started out writing as a young girl – a tomboy girl, who climbed a tree and sat on a branch to write in a Chief writing tablet. Growing up in Texas gave her a wonderful southern voice [writing style] often used in her writings. That southern voice remains, even though she’s lived for years in California.
Besides writing excellent short stories, Barbara writes poems, essays and articles, and she publishes the bi-monthly Christian newsletter Soul Sisters. She is a speaker and a writing instructor, and very much into volunteering her time for community services. Barbara stays so busy with volunteer work and traveling, that I often wonder how she finds time to write and submit. The woman amazes me!
More Interview Excerpts:
SPORKETTE: Personally, how do you relate to the mentally and physically abused female characters in Pink Poodle Pie?
BARBARA DEMING: I was one of those women, married to an abuser, both physically and mentally. Though I have used a touch of humor in some of these stories, this treatment is epidemic around us and, in most cases there is nothing to laugh about. I, of course, didn’t handle the abuse the way these women did, but maybe deep inside I wished I had. LOL!
SPORKETTE: Do you think any of the stories in Pink Poodle Pie could negatively influence some women suffering an abusive relationship, and why or why not?
BARBARA DEMING: Wow, what a question! I would hope they wouldn’t choose to actually commit some of the ‘get-even’ tactics I wrote about. Please, don’t, Ladies. There are so many other legal avenues available today that I didn’t have. (I did have a co-worker who had a mob relative offer to have my abuser ‘taken care of‘ but decided my children needed me out of jail. LOL)
On the contrary, I would hope some of the stories would give abused women hope and the courage to get out of such a relationship, to move on, to become the woman within them waiting to bloom.
SPORKETTE: Of the nineteen stories in Pink Poodle Pie, which did you most enjoy writing, and why?
BARBARA DEMING: How can I choose one? Can I do more (enjoyed for different reasons) if I keep it short? (LOL)
‘Pink Poodle Pie‘ was so much fun to write and surprised me when two people became involved in ‘getting even.’
‘Bad News‘ came from my association with residents of a retirement home where I teach, and offers a glimpse of jealousy at any age.
‘Flying Brooms and Courage‘ touched me emotionally as this mountain woman learned to take out her revenge, and then offered forgiveness to her abuser. If I had to pick one, it would be that one.
SPORKETTE: If a woman confided to you that she was being physically abused in a relationship, what would you suggest she do?
BARBARA DEMING: I would tell her to get out, disappear, find a woman’s shelter, or leave town. Don’t let him sweet talk you with ‘I’m so sorry. It will never happen again.‘ Yes, it will…over and over. I waited much too late and almost lost my life at the hands of my abuser.
SPORKETTE: What is the overall ‘message’ you are attempting to relay to readers of Pink Poodle Pie?
BARBARA DEMING: Although these stories have a bit of revenge, mayhem, humor and joy, I hope the overall message to women is that no one has to accept abuse, mental or physical.
No matter what you have been told, you are worthy, you are special, and you are precious to the people who count, and to God.
Barbara Deming lives and writes in San Marcos, California. She is a poet, novelist, memoirist, lecturer and creative writing instructor. Barbara is the author of three books and has over three-hundred published poems, essays, articles and short stories. She is currently working on a novel and a poetry chapbook. When not writing, Barbara and husband, Ray, enjoy gardening, reading, and traveling.