Interview with Author Merrie H Reagan

Hello reader, 

thank you for joining me today on the blog. Today I have a special guest, an author I had the pleasure of working with last year. Merrie H Reagan graciously hired me as a proofreader for her book Life Flashes: a Memoir

I am happy to share with you all more about this book today. First, see below a cover of the book, what it's all about, and then follow this link to the book's Amazon page. Next, enjoy a series of questions I have asked Merrie and the thoughtful answers she gave. 



About the book: 

Life Flashes: A Memoir, comprising nearly 119,000 words, is a genre-bending combination of diary, memoir, biography, and spiritual commentary written across a fourteen-year span by the author based in Cohasset, Massachusetts. The book folds snapshots of history, pop culture, and current events of the period into the author's private reflections, family moments, and personal philosophies creating a story that functions as both a contemporary guide and time capsule for future readers.

The lengthy narrative pace is truncated with short diary entries and quickly changing topics, which tend to keep the reader from losing focus. The author's decision to avoid using possessives is unique as a literary tool. Although readers may find that the style is awkward to read at first, the flow feels more natural as the book moves on. The work is sprinkled with tasteful, non-offensive humor and heartwarming and wholesome anecdotes. The book is suitable for readers ranging from some young adults to seniors.

Merrie H, Reagan portrays key moments of historical record that happen over the course of the fourteen-year period of work. Hurricane Sandy, the shootings at Newtown, the historic Obama and Trump presidencies, and the COVID-19 outbreak do well to support and bring into context the various personal recollections and musings of the author. There are moments in which Ms. Reagan discusses personal musings about various topics, including relationships, current events, politics, religion, spirituality, psychology, and alternative medicine. Notably, she presents the ideologies in an innocuous, gentle and objective manner. In doing so she encourages readers of the book to examine personal ideologies in a similar manner and in turn form constructive decisions surrounding these matters.


Q & A:


  1. When did the writing process for Life Flashes: A Memoir begin and at what point did you think, "I should publish this?"

Three years after I started writing a diary in 2007, I began believing that the work could become a book. Am not fully sure why this development occurred. I do know that I had become impassioned with writing and completing the work, even though I did not know how or when this would happen. Had I known in 2010 when I decided to eventually publish the book manuscript that the work would not be completed for another eleven years, I probably would not have completed it.  This circumstance is a good example of why one is often not advised about when something will happen.


  1. What has been the easiest part of the process of writing and publishing a book and what has been the hardest? 

 There is a flowing of ease and difficulty in writing, editing, and publishing a book. One does not know when flowing or difficulty will occur.


  1. Do you have a favorite (or a few favorites) story from Life Flashes?

There is no personal favorite story or chapter in Life Flashes. In every story or chapter that I generally enjoy there are aspects of the story or chapter that are not especially interesting. In every story or chapter that may not be exciting at some point there are a number of places in the story or chapter in which written material becomes surprisingly curious, entertaining, or saddening. Writing Life Flashes: A Memoir helped me to realize that love of any person, place or thing is not based essentially on compatibility with a person, place or thing. How one expresses love for a person, place, or thing is influenced by compatibility.


  1. What advice would you give to someone who wants to write a book about their life?

Establishing and re-establishing a cooperative, respectful and good humored relationship with God, no matter where the relationship originates or how one experiences God, radically improves writing quality. This is fact, not judgment.

Devotion, discipline, and determination are keys to writing a well-written book whether or not the book is published. Once the purpose of writing becomes proving self-worth, rather than expressing passion for living, which includes acceptance of suffering, writing quality and productivity deteriorates.

Someone whose name I do not remember once wisely advised, “Do not ever write anything that you would not want to read on the front page of a newspaper.”

It is important to be respectful of people about whom you are writing, reading audiences, and self. Not doing so diminishes author credibility, offends writing subjects, and turns away reading audiences.  Regularly re-reading what written material in order to clearly discern whether or not written material is appropriate and accurate is good and advisable.  


  1. Of all the places in the world you have yet to visit, what is one place you want to go?

England, Ireland, France and Italy. By birth, I am of Irish, English and French-Canadian descent. For a good while, I have experienced being Italian by adoption. Truthfully, we are all a little of everything we see in others, no matter where others live or what others are doing.


  1. What was the last book you read and what did you think of it?


Ordinary Grace and This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. These are fast moving, superbly written books about mid-western life experiences.  During one winter weekend during which I was reading This Tender Land, I read two hundred pages in two days. Hardly able to put the book down, I was mesmerized with divergent and relatable experiences about which Mr. Krueger writes. I have recently begun listening to “The Bible in a Year” podcasts by Fr. Mike Schmidt. These are short readings and explanations of each and every chapter of the bible which are simple, informative, and inspiring; until I began listening to the podcasts, I did not envision any possibility that I would be able to understand in part, the full story of the Bible.   


  1. Reading Life Flashes can teach a lot of readers about life regardless of age and background because you write in such a way that allows the reader to feel as if they are right there with you. What has writing Life Flashes taught you about life?

 Writing Life Flashes: A Memoir has assisted me with rediscovering that without establishing and continually re-establishing a relationship with God when one has wandered away from God, one cannot fully develop. One can experience happiness, which is fleeting. Only God can teach each and all persons how to be content, or at peace amid all triumphant, tragic, and in between triumphant and tragic experiences.


 8. Is there anything you would like to add or you think would be beneficial for a reader to know? 


Am hopeful that Life Flashes: A Memoir is a work that people will want to read fifty years from now. And as a little boy who was consistently cheerful though he was ill and could not walk once said, “God bless us, Everyone.”  


Thank you for reading be sure to take a look at Life Flashes: A Memoir or leave a review for the book if you have already read it.