Welcome Shirley Heintz Woodmansee to Introvert Problems! Shirley was raised on a rural farm in northwest Wisconsin, what the author calls a simple beginning. Imagination was an early part of her life, leading her to passions in reading, antiques, art, and travel. Along with the help of her beloved dog, Bear, Shirley recently penned a new biography. Read on to learn more about her debut biography, TREE LADY OF SANTA MONICA.

1.Congratulations on the release of TREE LADY OF SANTA MONICA! Describe your road to publication.

I always envisioned myself as a writer, but sometimes (oftentimes) life got in the way of my dream. I put it on my “bucket list.” After reading through Grace’s (the biography’s subject) memoir’s, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. Thus, I began to research her past and write about her story. When I had a completed manuscript, I found a local publisher who would print my book the way I wrote it.

2. Who inspired TREE LADY OF SANTA MONICA? FullSizeRender (2)

My grandmother’s life inspired me to write this book. She was one of the most vivid storytellers I knew.

3. What kind of research goes into writing a biography?

Lots of digging into detail and facts. One can’t write a factual biography without it. I looked back into family history bringing forward as much fact of place, time and year as I could, to show the reader where Grace came from. I traveled to California to see some of the many places she worked in. To Palisades Park in Santa Monica, to view her monument and the trees planted in her honor. Interviewed people who were family, friends and colleges, and gleaned newspaper clippings, articles, and letters.

4. In your opinion, is it easier or harder to write a biography of someone you knew?

In this case, I believe it was easier. I knew Grace so well, and admired her gusto in life. We wrote back and forth for years.

5. What parts of yourself come out in writing a biography about someone else?

I found that I really enjoyed researching. I loved digging into the of reality someone’s life, finding their essence as well as my own. Writing someone’s biography makes you reflect and look inward. I came out of the process better understanding myself, as well as what I want in the second chapter of my life. I will more than likely write my memoir next.

 Keep up with Shirley!

Buy the book by contacting Shirley at shirleywoodmansee@gmail.com 

McKenna Heintz

McKenna is a short story author and blogger with an affinity for all things science fiction. Originally hailing from northern Wisconsin, she has work appearing in Her Campus Roosevelt chapter, Eau Claire’s Volume One magazine, and various blogs. When she’s not daydreaming and writing, you can find her cycling in Chicago or in small coffee shops with her head in a book.

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