Mary Ellen Gambutti, author of “Permanent Home”

#YourNextBeachRead is a way to introduce you to a new author and their works in the hopes that you’ll find the next book you want to take with you to the beach, the pool, or the comforts of air conditioning.

Today’s featured author is Mary Ellen Gambutti, author of Permanent Home.

What’s your name and where are you from?

Mary Ellen Gambutti

How long have you been writing?

7-10 - Mary Ellen Gambutti author photoI’ve been writing since grammar school. How did you start?I began with poems and little stories from life. I’ve written in business; sales, proposals. During recovery from a major stroke, I began to take on-line writing courses, focusing on Memoir. My first was Stroke Story: My Journey There and Back.

Who are some of your influences?

Dani Shapiro. Beth Kephart, Natalie Goldberg, Brenda Miller for a few.

What is your book about?

Permanent Home is my collection of previously published, and a few new, stories that travel the distance from my 1950’s childhood, adoption by a military couple, my gardening career, the stroke, and reflections through to the present.

Where did you get the idea?

Initially the story telling of my stroke. In further reading of memoir, and writing short slices of life, my stories seemed to lend themselves well to an anthology.

How long did it take you to finish it?

The pieces were written and published over about two years. More pieces were written for the book, so concept through edits took another year.

Is this your first book, or have you written more than one?

7-10 - Mary Ellen Gambutti book coverStroke Story: My Journey There and Back was my first in 2016, 2nd ed 2017. Permanent Home was published Jan 2019. The sequel to Stroke Story is Coming To Terms: My Journey Continues published early June.

We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations?

Well, I’m a memoirist so I rarely work with characters other than those I know. 🙂

What’s your favorite scene in the book?

My favorite would be Permanent Home, Chapter 5: Phil’s Story. There’s so much emotion in his experiences following the moment of my stroke.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got?

Gosh. That’s a tough one. My writing experiences over the past 10 years are based on the fantastic classes, craft books, memoirs, and mentors I’ve had the pleasure to be acquainted with.

What’s the worst?

“Show Dont Tell?” Or maybe that’s just the hardest to do.

Where can we buy your book?

All can be found on Amazon.