BY KRISTINE CARLSON
Kris Carlson had an idyllic life. She and her husband Richard had a romantic marriage, two beautiful daughters, and—thanks to the success of Richard’s bestselling “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” series—all of the comforts that money could buy. But on December 13, 2006, that perfect story took a sudden turn when Richard died—at age 45–of a pulmonary embolism on a flight to New York. It was the end of life as Kris knew it, but the beginning of a journey through grief that would teach Kris how much more she could be than the person she once was. That journey is the subject of HEARTBROKEN OPEN, a courageously honest memoir of the two years that followed Richard’s death, and the painful but ultimately valuable lessons Kris Carlson learned along the way. This wise little book offers a message of hope for everyone who has lost a loved one.
Kristine Carlson, wife of international phenomenon Dr. Richard Carlson (author of the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff series), and author of National Bestsellers, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women, has had much success professionally over the course of her life. Kris’ passion and talent for words have landed her many public speaking opportunities, inspiring listeners to live their lives as fully and happily as possible. As an unyielding believer of living in the moment, Kris has appeared on national radio and television broadcasts, including: The Today Show, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Kris Carlson has served on the Board of Directors and the Global Leadership Council for Challenge Day. She helped to raise more than $600,000 for the non-profit organization that inspires children and adults to “be the change they wish to see in the world.” Kris serves as a role model and public icon for love and for building healthy, life-long relationships.AUTHOR INTERVIEW:
1. Thank you for agreeing to this interview today for BOOKIN' WITH BINGO. Can you start off by telling us a little about your background or perhaps your "approved bio"?
Kristine Carlson captivated readers worldwide with her first three bestsellers, "An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever Given", "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love" and "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women".
Expanding on the phenomenal success of her late husband Dr. Richard Carlson's work, (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series), Kristine has continued to share her profound message of empowerment, success, emotional strength and love.
An unyielding believer of living in the moment and finding happiness in life, Kris has been featured on national radio and television broadcasts, including: The Today Show, Empowered Living Radio, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Her most recent book, Heartbroken Open, is a courageously honest memoir of her personal journey through the depths of grief and mourning after the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband. This powerful book has gained the attention and earned accolades of readers and media across the globe.
A dedicated mother to her two daughters and "Nana" to her wonderful grandson, Kristine prides herself on creating healthy life-long relationships and personal growth. She participates in numerous charities and is deeply committed to spreading her message of love to the world.
Please note: kristinecarlson.com as the website
2.What is the next or current book/project you are working on?
I am not currently working on another book. I have been a contributing Author to “Create a Marriage You Love” which benefits victims of domestic violence. And, Marci Shimoff and Carol Klein asked me to participate in their upcoming book including what they term Love Luminaries called “Love for no reason.”
3. What have you just finished reading?
While I have at least ten books on my nightstand, right now I am reading in small bites. I read from my late husband’s book “What about the Big Stuff.” I also read from Osho’s book of Wisdom and the Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu.
4. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out?
The early books that made the most lasting impressions on me were Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shinn, BE here now by Ram Dass, Who dies? by Stephen Levine, Jonathon Livingston Seagull and Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach
5. What gets you started on a new book?
I usually start a new book because of the Author.
6. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
I want you to know I am a Grandmother and love every minute I spend with my grandson! It’s the very greatest joy there is.
7. What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
The best advice I have for any new writer is be still and quiet for a time before you write. Say a prayer that asks to receive your genius and creativity and then journal from your feelings uncensored. Don’t edit as you write. Put your journal away and read it later.
8. What is something you would like to share with us about writing your favorite genre in general?
I really liked writing a memoir. It challenged me to write detailed and descriptive. I also enjoy writing the way Richard taught me to in the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff sound-bite chapters. Introduce the idea, illustrate it and tie it together in 700 words or less!
HEART-BROKEN OPEN: A Memoir Through Loss to Self-Discovery by Kristine Carlson is an amazing memoir that is written with such honesty and vulnerability that one can’t help but be inspired by the author’s strength. Becoming a widow at much too young an age, and because her husband was a well-known author made it so that she had to do it all publicly, and that only added to the heartache and connection that readers will feel about this story and with Kristine Carlson. One moment together, and then comes the call that changes her life forever, is a type of devastation that nobody would wish on anyone. However, rather than hide out, Carlson vowed that she would grieve fully and let that grief be the strength that she grew from and built upon.
In the memoir, Carlson shares her journey from “loss to self-discovery” that she experienced after losing her husband. The life and love they shared for 25 years needed to be remembered and she had to find her way through all this in order to identify her feelings and remember all the things they had been through together. She writes of the pain and loss, but also of what she is left with and blessed with. Her daughters are THE most important of those blessings however, she also knows that they share her feelings and fears, as well as all the stages from anger to acceptance. She was even surprised at the physical reactions she experienced as a result of the grieving.
Carlson’s friends were a huge support and she recognizes them and the role they played. They always seemed to be around at the right time. All that she experienced, she wrote about in hopes that in some way, it might help others who are also feeling that same, awful pain and feeling. No matter what you take away from this book, one thing is for sure and that is Kristine Carlson has written a hauntingly beautiful book and makes for inspired and interesting reading that allows you to almost feel her pain and her physical and emotional loss yourself. Steps must be taken in order for the healing to begin and to allow the HEART-BROKEN OPEN to mend and love again.
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