Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Fun ~ Interview with Nick Wilford

As you all who follow my blog know I've been helping cyber friend on Fridays. Most recently it's been Nick Wilford in his campaign to taise money for Specialty college in Scotland. I thought it might be fun to interview him here so y'all understand a bit why I've been pushing and touting his efforts. So without further delays here's Nick.

Andrew and baby brother 2009

Murphey Saga- Why did you decide that writing a book was the best fund raising idea to send Andrew to college?

Nick- It might not necessarily be the best idea to raise cash, but I thought it would be something different that people could get on board with both as readers and writers. I hope it will snowball and get bigger and bigger, as opposed to a noe-off event. Also, writing is pretty much all I know, and it seemed a shame not to do something involving the fabulous talents of the writing blogosphere!

Murphey Saga- I understand that Andrew has exceeded all expectations, what will he be studying and what does he want to do after college?
Andrew at 7 hrs old

Nick- He definitely has exceeded expectations, he has come such a long way and we’re bursting with pride for him. There are a lot of things he could do at college - he loves music, for example - but he’s chosen a film-editing course where he will have Eye Gaze technology enabling him to work with elements on screen. He’s great with computers! The technology in general at the college far outstrips what’s available in Scotland, we hope Andrew will be able to use it in the same way someone like Stephen Hawking does. And we hope all these things will add up to let him go on to a career in the film business.

Andrew & Mum 2010
Murphey Saga- What are some of the profound problems Andrew faces?

Nick- Andrew has struggled with communication in the past, but has really worked hard to overcome that and now can express himself very effectively. As a little boy, he would fly into a rage, but now he’s totally laidback and easy-going. The most profound problem he faces these days is one of posture, an ongoing issue. Andrew’s right hip tends to turn in as he sits, giving him a “windswept” position, and he takes muscle relaxants with his legs. He has had several operations, and pins in his knees, but the most recent surgery seems to have gone really well. They cut tendons and he had plaster casts on for three months, and he’s still wearing splints when he lies down, but his legs are now straighter than we’ve ever seen them and his posture is fantastic!
Andrew & Nick 2009

Murphey Saga- Will you do another book for this cause? As I understand it, the response was overwhelming for the current book.

 Nick- I’ve definitely thought about this and I’d love to do a book every year. The course is three years long and we’ll need to fundraise all the way through, so that’s three more books. Watch this space!

Andrew and his sisters 2011
Murphey Saga- Aren't you kind of putting all your eggs in one basket by depending on book sales? What else is being done to send Andrew to college?

Nick- We have all sorts of fundraising events going on. In our local area, in the last six months we’ve had a Race Night, Ladies’ Night, sponsored cycling run, Family Fun Day and Fayre, and my wife is running an online business selling wax warmers - wickless candle with no flame and no mess - that has taken off in a massive way. Andrew’s dad and I also have an opportunity to do a bungee jump in the summer. We have collecting tins in local businesses, and the local paper is following our story - I was featured on the front this week to publicise my physical book launch on Saturday. We’re also looking at the wider picture by lobbying the Scottish Government to build a dedicated specialist college here. Andrew’s mum and sister recently appeared at the first Carers’ Parliament in Edinburgh to advocate on this issue, on behalf of young people with complex needs which just aren’t being met. That was broadcast online, and my wife was also recently interviewed by a national newspaper on the online petitions she’s running to build a specialist college and stop carers being charged to access services.

Andrew on speed boat 2009
Murphey Saga- I understand you are an author and don't depend on other people's writing, what do you write?
Nick- I’m experimenting with genre at the moment. I haven’t found my niche and don’t know if I will! My first two novels were thrillers, then recently I wrote a YA dystopian for NaNo which I’m currently editing. Short stories can be anything - they used to be contemporary tales focusing on one character’s dilemma, but I wrote a paranormal for my anthology, and a romance for another blog hop. I’ve had four of my older stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. I’m going to collect these and some others, maybe some new ones, in a collection - actually, I keep saying this and I need to get on with it!

Murphey Saga-  If my readers what to contact you how would they do it?

Andrew’s blog: On the Road to College
Twitter: @NickPWilford
Facebook (not on there much though so it’s not the best way to contact me!)
Email: mcwilfo(at)gmail(dot)com

Grab your copy today of Overcoming Adversity

A collection of seventy moving and uplifting original pieces - real life, flash fiction, and poetry - about battling against the odds and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. The contributors include Amazon bestselling authors Alex J. Cavanaugh and Kyra Lennon, and the cream of upcoming talent.

The anthology is part of a fundraising effort to send the editor's stepson, Andrew McNaughton, to a specialist college in England. Andrew has cerebral palsy, and is a remarkable young man with a promising future. However, the free further education options offered in his own country of Scotland will not challenge him and allow him to progress. In order to access the education he deserves, Andrew will have to pay exorbitant fees, thus creating a situation of discrimination.

Help us get Andrew to college by buying a book that runs the full gamut of human emotions, ultimately leaving you inspired and glad to be alive. Whatever struggles you are going through, our sincere hope is that this book will help.

Murphey Saga- List of fabulous authors they can find inside-

Nick- This is quite a lot! Hopefully your readers will recognise some of them and discover more because they’re all excellent. We have Denise Covey, Hilary Melton-Butcher, Trisha Farnan, Roland Yeomans, Melissa Bradley, Elise Fallson, Melissa Maygrove, Elena-Adriana Dascalu, Michelle Wallace, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Krista McLaughlin, Emma McNaughton (Andrew’s wee sister), Friko, Leigh Covington, Carrie Butler, E.J. Wesley, Elsie Amata, Tara Tyler, Al Diaz, Michael DiGesu, L.G. Smith, David Powers King, C.M. Brown, Tamara Walsh, Tobi Summers, Cynthia, Pk Hrezo, Tammy Theriault, Mark Means, Morgan Katz, Ella Wilson, Clare Dugmore, Yolanda RenĂ©e, Lara Schiffbauer, Ilima Todd, Kittie Howard, The Golden Eagle, J.A. Bennett, Tyrean Martinson, E. Louise Bates, Kyra Lennon, Samantha May, M. Pax, Shell Flower, L.G. Keltner, Christine Rains, D.L. Hammons, Chris Kelworth, Nicole Singer, Sally Stackhouse, Nick Wilford (er, that’s me!), Brooke R. Busse, J.L. Murphey (that’s you, obviously), Meradeth Houston, Elizabeth Seckman, Kathy McKendry, J.L. Campbell, Damyanti Biswas, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Michael Pierce, Julie K. Pick, Linda Hofke, Chuck Farch, Jossie Marie Solheim, Kelley Lynn and Sheena-kay Graham.

I think it’s safe to say that the content is extremely diverse, high quality, and there’s something for everyone!

Where can readers find your book?

Thanks for having me today, Jo! It was a pleasure.
No Nick the pleasure was all mine. I wish you and Andrew the best of luck.

So what have y'all been doing for fun lately? Have you grabbed a copy of this book yet?


Nick Wilford said...

Thank you so much again, Jo!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like there isn't anything you aren't doing to raise money! We'll need proof of that bungee jump though.
We'll keep spreading the word for you and Andrew!

J.L. Murphey said...

You're most welcome Nick.

J.L. Murphey said...

Yep Alex, we are doing a lot of leg work for Andrew. Will definitely continue creating a buzz for this book.

Alexandra Lanc said...

You are awesome, Nick, and Andrew is, too! I'm so glad to hear that things are going well, and thrilled that you have so many fundraising ideas. I'm finishing up the ebook, so I'll be posting a review soon, and will continue to help spread the word! Thanks for the interview. :)

Best wishes,


Al Diaz said...

You've been really busy but it's great to see your enthusiasm just keeps growing and it's contagious. Way to go Nick! Even my family (who doesn't speak English) are willing to buy this book, just waiting for the paperback one.

S.P. Bowers said...

Andrew is smiling in every picture of him I see. He seems so happy. It sounds like you're keeping busy with the raising of funds and awareness. Good luck with it all!

Great interview Jo.

Nicole said...

Awesome interview you guys! Nick, I am so excited to see all the good that this is bringing. Count me in if you do add'l ones in the future!

Gwen Gardner said...

Wow, you guys are busy. Good luck with your fundraising. Sounds like you've got all the bases covered.

Adriana Dascalu said...

Beautiful family pictures! Andrew seems happy, which is important.

Christine Rains said...

Thank you for sharing with us. You guys have some great adventures! All the luck to you.

Deniz Bevan said...

What an impressive list of authors - such a great idea for an anthology. Happy to support Andrew!

J.L. Murphey said...

You are welcome Alexandra. I thought if people knew more about the dynamic duo, they might be more inclined to purchase the book.

J.L. Murphey said...

The paperback is coming soon.

J.L. Murphey said...

Thanks Sara.

J.L. Murphey said...

Nicole, me too

J.L. Murphey said...

Adriana, Let's help Andrew fulfill his dream. Another Copola in the making. One day we will all say we knew him when.

J.L. Murphey said...

Thanks Deniz. The list is impressive and am awed to be in such great company. I can't think of a more worthy cause that costs less than a cup of coffee and can be enjoyed longer.

J.L. Murphey said...

Gwen, They might be trying to cover all the bases, but they school he's talking about in very expensive. Even with all the fund raising activities, they are still grossly short of funds.Nick doesn't mention this, of course.

Melissa said...

Great interview! I enjoyed getting to know Andrew and reading about all you're doing to help him reach his goals.

J.L. Murphey said...

Melissa, Mine is only a small contribution from across the big pond. I've spent years on child advocacy boards and when some young person has an attainable goal, he should be supported.

michelle said...

Great interview! Nick has put everything into this campaign to help Andrew!
They are both amazing!
I'm just waiting to buy my paperback copy.

Medeia Sharif said...

Nick's efforts will pay off. Andrew sounds like he's come a long way and will go even further. I'm looking forward to new books and anthologies.

J.L. Murphey said...

Thank you. He is doing what any great Dad would do for his kid. Step aside. It takes someone special to be called "dad" and Nick has it.

J.L. Murphey said...

I have no doubt that it will either. I'm looking forward to the other three books also.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo and Nick - that was great to read ... and I'm so pleased I was able to learn more about Andrew's situation ... and I do hope they raise enough to send Andrew to Lancaster, though a college in Scotland would be wonderful.

Amazing what we learn by being connected through the net - and so good to meet you Jo ... I have ordered copies of the book, and will get my Kindle up and running shortly ..

Cheers and Happy St Patrick's Day ... Hilary

J.L. Murphey said...

Hilary, Welcome to my site. My hope is for Scotland. It's amazing the turnaround these kids do in the proper environment. My youngest is high functioning mentally retarded. We sent her to a specialty school to get her GED after graduation from high school. So I know what I'm talking about with this.

My daughter's medical and physical needs were met while she attended classes. She graduated Validictorian with the highest marks in the history of the school. She was also class president, learned to drive, and started college in the time she was there. These are things the local educational psychologist said she would never accomplish.

So when I hear the plight of a young person with high dreams I go into cheerleader mode.

Pleased to meet you also Hilary. I'm Irish by marriage. Erin go bagh to you too. For what it's worth you don't need a kindle to download from Amazon or Smashwords. You can get the software to read it on your phone or computer.

Heather Holden said...

I think it's so fantastic what Nick has been doing. I hope both he and Andrew achieve a lot of success! More anthologies like this would definitely be cool to see...

J.L. Murphey said...

Yep, more anthologies would be a good thing. When the chips are down in your life, sometimes reading how others conquer and win is all the encouragement you need to pick yourself up.

Shell Flower said...

Great interview (sorry I'm late). I hope the anthology is raising some cash. I bought a copy and have been enjoying it immensely. Fun to hear more about Andrew and the family. Good luck!

J.L. Murphey said...

Shell, Late happens. lol I'm still getting comments on blogs I wrote a year ago. You are not that late. You have to check with Nick on the cash it's raised so far. The book is a novel one from the point of view of how people are dealing with a wide range of issues. It offers hope.

Ella said...

Great interview! The book has something for everyone~ It is amazing what a group of people can accomplish! I know Andrew will change the world :D

J.L. Murphey said...

All it takes is one person to make a change, but many to implement it. Andrew has changed the world already and will continue to do so.