Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wowing this Wednesday with some Q & A with Arlene R. O'Neil talking about her inspiring memoir, Broken Spokes and more!

I didn't know Arlene when I first read this book but the books description peaked my interest. This heart-wrenching tale of a childhood accident moved me so much that I felt I needed to know this courageous woman. I bonded with her and her story even though we had never meant. It wasn't until later that we became friends.

Since that time we have become good friends. A friendship I am grateful for. Arlene is giving, encouraging, supportive, fierce and as loyal as a friend could be. Her story, in her own words shines bright. Every word she wrote she did it with grace and dignity. She touched me as she has so many others. 

Broken Spokes is more than a well-written, interesting read. It is an inspirational collection of the memories of a courageous child who, in spite of physical and emotional suffering, grew into a compassionate, loving and valiant woman. Crippled at age six, the author begins an odyssey which will consume her entire life. Through her sufferings, she finds a way to heal others, and in doing so, saves herself.

How about a little Q & A! I have had questions I've saving up since I read Broken Spokes. So here we go...

How hard was it for you to go back to this time in your life?
 Although emotionally draining at times, it was also cathartic. Vivid memories came to mind; some that I had attempted to suppress and some that were welcomed, warm recalls. Learning the mistakes I made in life that got me to this point allowed some healing to take place.

 I am so glad to hear that. Did writing Broken Spokes offer anything positive for you mentally? I am just asking because I know how helpful it was for me to write down my painful past.

I realized how important it is to leave the negative past in the past. I carried the negativity for far too long and it took a great toll on me physically as well as emotionally. My psychologist put it best when she reminded me, "The armor you carry becomes heavier along the way."

 What is the best thing that has happened from writing this book?

 The best thing would have to be meeting the people I have through the publication of "Broken Spokes." So many have messaged me on how my words touched them in some way, and that was my goal to begin with - to touch the reader.

 If You could go back and talk to the young Arlene, what would you say to her?
I would tell her that what others think is not important and that she does not need approval from others. I would encourage her to be who she is and not who others expect her to become.

Beautiful Arlene! Please let us know what your next project is about.

My next book will detail the past 12 years of my son's Army career from basic training to 5 deployments to war zones. My hope it this book will be used a tool for all military family members and friends in learning ways to cope with the emotional roller coaster one rides during a Soldier's journey. 

Thank you for sharing Arlene. Your book affected me greatly. I was so moved by your optimistic spirit and your great honesty. 

The brilliance of this book shows by how it hit the Amazon Best Sellers List. This highly inspirational book hit #1 in all the categories with a beautiful ranking to match.

My Review

This book really touched me. I could relate to much of the sadness even though my story Home Wrecker is very different. I think both our stories were written from the heart. I could feel that by reading Broken Spokes. This book pulled me right in and broke my heart right from the very start. I could really see this child in front of me. It was so well written that I found myself getting a bit dizzy while the story was progressing. It was a powerful story that i read in just two sittings. I didn't want to put it down because I needed to know that this character was okay. I have read some books where the main character doesn't really interest me but that was not the case in this story. There were so many lines in the book that I wanted to highlight because they were so profound. I am glad that I read this book because it moved me and made me see how lucky we are for all the blessing in our lives. It makes you realize to NEVER EVER take your life or health for granted!

Biography of Arlene R. O'Neil
"Writing is what lights me up," states Arlene R. O'Neil. "Being a visual writer, I love seeing my work come to life: to take the reader with me on a journey word by word: to touch a reader whether through laughter or tears." Her current book, "Broken Spokes," refers to broken bones, broken bike, and broken spirit. It speaks to the reader of determination, of survival, of inspiration.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Mrs. O'Neil moved to South Carolina to work on her second novel, which will relate the roller coaster life of being the parent of a Soldier on active duty. O'Neil says, "My son, SGT Tanner O'Neil, is a member of the United States Army and the joy, pride, and love of my life. After five tours of duty to active war zones, I feel the need to share my experience with other parents in hope of lessening their fears." SGT O'Neil recently returned from his 5th combat tour.
Currently Arlene lives with her two Labradors, Holly and Bruno, and her adorable pet goats, Paxton, JaeJay, Rupert, Patches, and Frosty. "These amazing characters have helped me through some incredibly difficult times and I love them dearly." 

Aside from writing, supporting her son while deployed, and caring for her animals, Arlene lives on 3 ½ acres of land that she and her beloved animals enjoy.

An author, editor and proofreader, Arlene R. O'Neil may be contacted at

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very touching story. I imagine the act of working out those painful experiences on paper would be both haunting and healing.

    Thanks for sharing this. :)