Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Interview with Helga Stipa Madland, author of 'You're Not From Around Here, Are You?'

Helga Stipa Madland was born in Upper Silesia and emigrated to the United States with her family in 1954. She has three children and six grandchildren. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Oklahoma and is the author of academic and other books. Her husband, Richard Beck, teaches Ancient Greek at OU in Norman, OK, where they live with a dachshund and four cats.

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Can you tell us what your book is about?

My book is a memoir; hence, I write about what I can remember about my life, primarily my early life--up to age forty or so. It includes WW II experiences as a child and immigration to Canada and later the US. Also, my personal history as an adult up to my arrival at the University of Oklahoma. Being a professor and department chair for 24 years will require a separate book.

Why did you write your book?

Family and friends suggested I should write my memoir, which I call my “reminiscences.” Memoir sounds too pompous. Eventually, I succumbed.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to have a cocktail and talk to my husband Richard, who is a teacher of Ancient Greek and loves to talk. Luckily, he only talks in Greek some of the time.

Can you tell us about your family?

I have three children, daughter Kathy who is a manager in a corporation, son Mike who is a computer whiz for Oracle, and son Pat who is a pilot. They each have two children, so I have two granddaughters and four grandsons. I could go on and on about them. The kids live in Boise, Seattle and Anchorage. My brother Mike lives in Boise and sister Ingrid, a professor, lives in upstate New York.

What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?

Choose a subject that you know something about and that interests you a lot. You will probably have to do some research. And go for it!

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