The day author and Gutsy Living blogger Sonia Marsh received her advanced reader copies (ARCs) was a day to celebrate. So we met for lunch at The Lazy Dog Cafe in Irvine to toast the birth of her book, “Freeways to Flip Flops – A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island.” When I first met her over a year ago at a local blogging event, she told me about that Year in Belize – a pivotal point in her life and the subject of the memoir she was writing. In a nutshell, the book is about a typical family from Orange County deciding to move to an island for a year. Sounds simple? Well not quite, of course, adventure ensues and Sonia succeeds in transporting the reader not only to the island itself but into her inner thoughts so that you feel as if you were there, and you start to think, what would I have done in her place? Gutsy, huh? You betcha…
On August 30th, Sonia will be holding a book launch event at Laguna Beach Books, from 6-7:30pm. To RSVP or for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I personally enjoyed reading Sonia’s memoir and I think you will too. Here are a few questions I asked the author about the book.
MT: When you were in Belize, did you always want to write a book?
SM: “I thought about keeping a journal before our family left for Belize. One friend encouraged me to write; she said it would make a great book one-day. When I e-mailed family and friends about our adventures and misadventures, they would say, “Wow Sonia, your life in Belize is so exciting compared to my daily routine in OC. Keep e-mailing me your stories.” When you move from a comfortable 5-bedroom house in OC, to a simple life in a hut with our 3 sons, ages 16, 13 and 10, you’re bound to have stories to share. Everything was so different, from our stinky well-water—a quick cure for taking long showers—to scorpions coming out the drain, to adapting to powdered milk instead of fresh. We had no TV or electronic gadgets, except for our computers, so our family spent time talking and growing closer to one another. My friends loved receiving our updates, so I kept writing everyday.”
MT: What are some of the important lessons you learned as a mom that year in Belize?
SM: “When we moved to Belize, my kids had to find ways to entertain themselves. They would fish, swim, catch iguanas, get coconuts from the trees, and dig holes in the sand to look for water, since this was scarce.
My kids learned so much from seeing kids happy with nothing more than a coconut to kick, rather than a soccer ball, or fishing with a wire and a hook, rather than a fishing rod. They also learned from kids in Belize, that education is a privilege, not a right. That made a huge difference in how they viewed their education.
As a mom, I learned that we often try so hard to please our kids with “stuff” but that’s not what they really want. When we lived a more frugal life, we spent more time together cooking, listening and talking. I realized it’s not important to think that our job is to please our kids all the time. As a mom, I learned that each child is different, so each one learned something different from our year in Belize. My oldest learned that his family loved him enough to pull him away from a bad situation, but as a family unit, rather than send him away to school. He became less selfish and felt good about helping our caretaker’s four-year-old son learn English. He started bonding with his brothers.”
To read the full interview, you can click here. To meet the author in person, join her for the book launch on August 30th at Laguna Beach Books or check her calendar for other upcoming signings and readings.