This month, we made Donna Cavanagh, Featured Writer of the Month. Since she begrudgingly agreed to be the Featured Writer, she gave me the responsibility for the interview. So, who is Donna Cavanagh? Well, I would like to say she is complicated and intriguing, but she’s not. She is a petite, feisty, blonde, humor enthusiast from Philly, by way of New York, who loves words:
So, you are Featured Writer of the Month? Does that mean you have connections?
No, I know no one. It just happened, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I own HumorOutcasts.com or that we launched HumorOutcasts Press this month, and I need an excuse to talk about it.
Okay, we will talk about it, but can we start with who you are and how you got into writing?
In a nutshell, I am (in the order from long ago to most recent) daughter, sister, animal lover, wife, mother, reporter, columnist, author, website co-creator (with my husband, Ed) and I might have to add social media addict. Now, can we talk about HumorOutcasts Press?
You are a bit annoying, but I digress. Okay, so you want to talk about the latest venture of HumorOutcasts?
Yes, it is nice of you to ask. I have to talk about HumorOutcasts Press by first talking about the site so try to be patient. HumorOutcasts just had our year anniversary, and as of now, we have recorded 600,000 reads. We started with eight writers and at present we have more than 50 who come from all over the world. Some write as a part-time endeavor while others write for a living. We have IT people, engineers, Journalists, stand-up comics, TV and film screenwriters, artists, singers, photographers, TV and film producers, professors, doctors, an escape artist and even a psychic – all with amazing talent.
So . . . is this a segue into HumorOutcasts Press?
Yes, Deb. You know me so well. Well, my new book is being released within the next two weeks. Try and Avoid the Speed Bumps is the title, and it is the first book being published by HumorOutcasts Press.
So, what is HumorOutcasts Press?
Good question. HumorOutcasts Press was actually my husband’s idea. He has become an expert on formatting books and preparing them for publication. This is our way of helping out writers who want to publish a book but have not found a traditional publisher or who have found the costs for independent publishing prohibitive. HumorOutcasts Press will be a combination of independent and traditional publishing. I have gone both routes, and I do enjoy the freedom of Independent publishing. We know there is a lot of talent out there, and we want to help that talent get their chance. We will be posting details on a new Facebook page in the coming weeks. We are growing this slowly, and we hope that quality writers who need a publisher contact us. We will put out more news as we become truly set to go.
Okay, now let’s go back to your book?
Sure. Try and Avoid the Speed Bumps (yes, it is purposefully not grammatically correct but read the book and you will see why I gave it that title) is my second collection of essays, all of which were written about two to three years ago. These essays are sort of the second chapter of my married life. They start from when my daughter was in early high school and go to her college years. However, there are one or two unpublished surprises that might not fit into this category. This book follows Life on the Off Ramp, which proved to be very well-received. That book focused on my years as a mom of a younger child. Some of the readers of Life on the Off Ramp asked for a sequel. So, this is it. I hope those who purchase it like it just as much.
How would you describe your work?
To put it simply: I write about life and what I see in my life, my family’s life, my dogs’ lives – sometimes I can take jabs at people in the news or events, but I think I am pretty vanilla. I have to say when I do get a little non-vanilla, readers take notice and enjoy that too. I’m probably a PG-13 writer at worst. I don’t think I would be nearly as successful if I attempted a project such as Fifty Shades of Grey. People would have a tough time believing I knew that stuff.
You poke fun a lot at yourself and your family. I understand why you would poke fun at yourself, but does your family mind that you poke fun at them?
Sometimes, but who cares? That is the risk they run for pissing me off. It is something you should keep in mind, Deb. I don’t like to get pissed off. Honestly, I haven’t asked the dogs what they think when I poke fun of them, but they don’t seem to mind as long as I buy them Sonic burgers once in a while.
Any other goals this year?
My goals are simple: I plan on continuing to grow HumorOutcasts.com and HumorOutcasts Press. We have lots of plans, and I hope we can make them happen. We will continue to help our writers get more experience or more exposure for their work, books, etc. We are trying to get important events and milestones in their writing careers out there too. And for me personally: I am making a concerted effort to cut my work week to 80 hours. I would love some free time.