Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with A.K. Driggs, author of Abandoned in Search of Rainbows
FQ: Can you tell readers the difficulties an author has when writing the story of their own life? Does ego get in the way? Is it painful to go down memory lane?
DRIGGS: For me ego never entered into it. It took me over forty years to be willing to do this project even with years of people asking me to do so. In the middle of the night I was awakened with a little voice whispering in my ear. ďItís time. you must write the story of your life. People need hope. Donít stress. Donít worry. You can do it.Ē At times it was painful to go down memory lane. I was amazed at how much I did remember in detail by just sitting quietly in my little writing room with my two dogs next to me supporting me all the way. I just asked for help inwardly to bring it all back. I re-lived the many conversations I had with mom and dad over the years and the many stories over the years Iíve shared with close friends.
FQ: Is there a bio of someone you particularly admire with a life story that inspires you? If so, who would that be and why?
DRIGGS: Barbra Streisand and Karen Carpenter had a huge impact on me. Barbra Streisand because she had challenges as a young gal growing up within her family and self esteem issues. She overcame all of that with the gift of her voice. She overcame Hollywoods negative feedback about the movies she made, and she continues to thrive and give to millions through her voice and movies. Karen Carpenter and The Carpenters showed me how to implement harmonies (like colors of the Rainbow) each voice, each color one on top of the other by simply ďoverdubbingĒ your voice. Everything about the Carpenters impacted my life and journey with my music. I was heartbroken when Karen couldnít overcome her battle with Bulimia and Anorexia. To this day I cry every time I hear her voice, yet she still has a positive impact on everyone who listens to her and Richard's music today. I always said as long as Iím alive, Karen will live through me.
FQ: Please tell readers a little about your music. Can they pick up your recordings somewhere?
DRIGGS: In the book it outlines the struggles, abandonment and betrayals that went along with me trying to do what I loved most, sing. I wanted to make records and continue healing people with my music. I saw the wonderful outcomes when Iíd sing in public. I thought being a recording artist was the logical next step. I had a 45rpm record out all over the country for a while. Ja Vas Lu blu and Spotlight Routine. It did well with the DJís but unfortunately there was no LP (album) to back it up. Now however, with the new world of digital download and my ability to produce my own CDís I have compiled all of my original music with me doing all vocals and harmonies and playing my guitar. The album is called Journey Through the Years by A. K. Driggs. This album has twelve songs on it from the 1970ís, 80ís, 90ís and the most recent song called "I Found The Rainbow," written and recorded when I finished the book. It is available in digital download through:
FQ: Along those same lines, what is the most important facet of music for you? Do the poetic words of the songs just come?
DRIGGS: While the words are extremely important, the music and itís ability to wrap its tones around you is the most important thing to me. The subtle overtones and harmonics is what thrills me the most. I have to be inspired, moved in some way for the words and music to come. When finishing my book, Abandoned in Search of Rainbows, I was overcome with emotion and suddenly the words and music flowed from me. The entire song was done in thirty minutes. It is the story of my life yet anyone can relate to it as though it were their story. I went into the local recording studio here in Hawaii and recorded with live musicians. I did all the vocals and played guitar as well. This was the first time I was back in a recoding studio since the 1990ís. What a thrill.
FQ: Is there another tale, perhaps a fictional one that may be in the works for you in the future?
DRIGGS: At this time there is not. That is not to say I wonít write one. At this time Iím focusing on getting this book and music out to the world. A portion of the proceeds of the book and music goes to, ocean, marine, animal and land conservation causes in the USA and globally. I would love to write another book down the road.
FQ: Was this book cathartic in any way for you? Did putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard, I should say) help you in any way?
DRIGGS: Yes it was. By re-living all the happy and sad times, it allowed me to realize how far I have come. It also gave me the awareness that when something happens in my life that pushes an old engram or button, Iím aware of the emotion and am more able to deal with it. The purpose of writing this book was truly to help others. The responses Iím getting from people who have read the book shows itís doing just that. For that I am fulfilled.
FQ: You certainly know your own stories by heart, as you tell readers in the beginning of the book, but was there something you ran across that you did not remember from the past? (Sometimes an author is just writing away and Ďsomethingí will enter the memory that has been lost or buried over time, so I wonder if that particular Ďmomentí might have happened for you?)
DRIGGS: I couldnít possibly put down every incident and every situation as I didnít want to loose my reader. I had to pull from my life the most important compelling scenes and experiences that I felt would have the most impact. While there were some things I remembered, I chose to not put them in the book as they were not really relevant to the overall purpose of the book. I feel I did capture all the most powerful and moving moments.
FQ: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
DRIGGS: From my dad. 1. Always tell the truth. 2. Always give 100% to whatever you do. 3. Always have Health Insurance.
FQ: If you could have lunch with one artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
DRIGGS: Barbra Streisand. She went through a lot of heartache and emotional suffering as a child within her family and growing up. I would love to sit and talk to her on many levels.