Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is pleased to be joined by Gail Holland, who is here to talk about her new book “Love Each Day: Live each day so you would want to live it again.”
Gail Bernice Holland is an author and award-winning journalist who has worked on newspapers and magazines in Britain and the United States. As a staff writer and interior designer for “Home” magazine in London, England, Holland furnished a four-bedroom house for the Ideal Home Exhibition visited by Princess Alexandra, a member of the British Royal Family. After immigrating to the United States, Holland was a feature writer for the “San Francisco Examiner” newspaper, editor of “Connections” magazine published by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and a staff copywriter for the stores Joseph Magnin and Gump’s, California. She has also worked in the movie industry and written radio commentaries, including winning awards for her writing and editorial work.
Tyler: Welcome, Gail. I’m pleased for this opportunity to interview you today. First of all, with all of your writing and newspaper experience, what made you decide of all the topics out there to write this book “Love Each Day”?
Gail: I wanted to write a book that offered uplifting stories, a book that could inspire readers to treasure and enjoy more days in their own lives. As I explained in my book’s introduction, a famous quotation suggests: “Live each day as if it were your last.” I don’t like that quote because if you truly thought it was the last day in your life you might not go to work or tackle other routine tasks. Therefore, in my book, I present a new challenge to my readers: “Live each day so you would want to live it again.”
Tyler: Can you tell us how you found the inspiring stories included in the book?
Gail: As a professional journalist, I have been interviewing people for over thirty years and have many contacts. For this book, I felt it was important to offer a wide variety of stories from individuals in different careers, with different lifestyles. This is why I included a story by a bus driver, a teacher, farmer, musician, police officer, lawyer, doctor, tugboat captain, and many other professions. I also interviewed a few famous individuals, such as professional baseball player Huston Street, comedian Johnny Steele, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the sixth astronaut to walk on the moon, Nicole Branagh, a beach volleyball player who participated in the 2008 Olympics, George Zimmer, founder and CEO of the Men’s Wearhouse, and Dr. Burton Richter, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
When I initially telephoned these individuals and asked them what day in their lives they would like to live again, practically all the people I contacted said it would take time for them to think about this question. I felt this was a positive reaction because the stories they eventually told me weren’t superficial. Each person ultimately described a slice of his or her life that offers readers’ insights into different lifestyles, what is important to other people, and what offers satisfaction and happiness. I also want to emphasize I didn’t ask the people to write their own stories. As the author of “Love Each Day” and as a journalist, I conducted the interviews and then wrote each chapter. However, to add diversity, I wrote some stories in the first-person narrative and other stories in the third-person.
Tyler: There is quite a diversity of stories here—can you tell us a little about the variety of the stories as well as what you think ties them together?
Gail: I am well aware that happiness doesn’t depend upon how much money you have in the bank, what you do for a living, or whether you are single or married. However, the tie that binds us all is love—the ability to love others, to love ourselves, and to love life. The intent of my book “Love Each Day” is to show readers different lifestyles and different ways to love one’s life. As I wrote in my book: “We all share a common yearning for joy and happiness, for a day enriched by love, for work that rewards us with personal and professional satisfaction, for cherished moments with friends and family, and for any day we can enthusiastically celebrate and treasure life itself.”
Tyler: Do you have a favorite story in the book, and if so, will you share it with us?
Gail: I enjoyed writing all the stories in my book. I am being honest when I say I don’t have a favorite one!
Tyler: Were all the stories positive ones—stories of happy days, or did anyone want to live over a day he or she regretted so it could be different?
Gail: Yes, all the stories are positive. I specifically asked each person I interviewed to describe a day they enjoyed and would want to live again. As I explained in my book’s introduction, “Although it is not possible to literally replicate certain days, when we push the replay memory button and focus on what gave us pleasure in the past we can gain an understanding of how to live more fully and joyfully in the present.”
Tyler: Our reviewer, Paige Lovitt, commented upon how many of the stories take place at work, which surprises me since surveys today show so many people are dissatisfied with their jobs. Will you tell us a little of why these work stories stand out? Is it because the people have jobs doing what they love?
Gail: There are fifteen stories out of forty chapters that specifically focus on a workday, such as a day in the life of a police officer, and a day driving a school bus. I was delighted that these individuals chose to describe a workday because their stories reveal that many people do enjoy their jobs. After all, this book would be boring and not realistic if I only wrote about people having fun at the beach or savoring a life of leisure.
Tyler: Gail, did you leave your own story out of the book? May I ask you whether you’ve thought about what day in your own life you would live again, and if you could tell us a little bit about that day?
Gail: I didn’t write about a day in my own life that I loved, but I am happy to reveal a brief story. My parents divorced when I was a young child but decided to get back together again a few years later. At that time I was just eleven years old and we were living in London, England. My mother informed me we were moving to Bath, a city in SW England. I was thrilled but didn’t know how much my life would change.
On the day we arrived in Bath my father met us at the train station and then drove us to his home. There is a well-known phrase “A Man’s Home is His Castle” but I had no idea until I stepped out of the car and saw this magnificent building in front of me that a young girl’s home could also be a castle. Indeed, the place where my father lived was a real historic castle that had been turned into a couple of flats. (A flat is the English word for an apartment.) I spent the day playing with my father—when he wasn’t playing with my mother—and exploring the castle’s fairy tale turrets. It was a magical time, a day I reunited with a man, my real dad, who promised me horseback riding lessons and suddenly made me feel like a princess.
Tyler: Wow, that’s a fantastic story, Gail. I can see why you would want to live it again. Gail, what do you hope will be the feeling or benefit readers will receive from reading “Love Each Day”?
Gail: Each chapter in my book, and each person I interviewed, offers a valuable lesson about how to love life. For this reason my publisher, Modern History Press, designed a special postcard featuring five quotes by individuals in my book. These are the quotes:
FIVE WAYS TO LOVE EACH DAY
“You never know when memorable days are going to occur.” — Gary Chaison
“Nothing is more important than living a life following what you really believe in, and doing what you really want to do.” — David Darling
“Every day is precious and every moment you can either talk to your family or be with them is a blessing.” — Judy McNamara
“Take calculated risks and make a commitment to accomplish certain goals that are important to you.” — Richard Snowden
“Never defer your happiness: taking care of your own happiness needs to become a priority in life.” — George Zimmer
Tyler: Gail, what do you think makes “Love Each Day” stand out from the other inspirational books that have been written?
Gail: I think many readers will relate to this book on a personal level because they are true authentic stories. In addition, readers will appreciate the fact that several people described a fairly ordinary day that gave them unexpected pleasure.
Tyler: Gail, this isn’t your first book. Will you tell us about the other books you’ve written?
Gail: My book “For Sasha, With Love: An Alzheimer’s Crusade” was first released by Dembner Books in 1985. An updated version called “Forget-Me-Not: A Memoir of Anne Bashkiroff’s Alzheimer’s Crusade” was published by Purdue University Press in 2007. Both books described the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s disease on a family and how Anne Bashkiroff spearheaded an organization to help families of brain-damaged victims.
Another book I’ve written that explores important issues in our society is “A Call for Connection: Solutions for Creating a WholeNew Culture,” published in 1998 by New World Library. When it was first published, I received a positive review from Amazon.com. They wrote: “Holland reports on a pervasive global movement dedicated to spiritual growth and holistic concern for all life. What makes this book stand out amidst so much of the new paradigm blather is Holland’s thorough reporting. She speaks with big-name leaders—such as Jane Goodall and Archbishop Desmond Tutu—as well as everyday leaders of institutes, schools, and environmental groups. Ultimately, we find proof of a worldwide network connected by the same principles: bridging spirituality and science, saving the earth through respecting the interconnectedness of life, and creating a work life that honors the home life. Holland pulls all the pieces together by providing a massive list of names and contacts for those who are no doubt inspired to join the movement.”
Tyler: What do you think your next writing project will be?
Gail: I don’t have another book project yet, but I have several ideas for articles. I also would like to write more fiction.
Tyler: Thank you for joining me today, Gail. Before we go, will you tell us about your website and what additional information our readers can find there about “Love Each Day: Live each day so you would want to live it again”?
Gail: My website address is www.authorgbr.com. Visitors to my website can read reviews of “Love Each Day” and there is also a link to my publisher if they wish to order the book. I appreciate this opportunity to discuss ways to love one’s life.
Tyler: Thank you, Gail, for the lesson and the encouragement. I wish you much luck with “Love Each Day,” and I’ll have to think more myself about which day I would like to live again.