We had the good fortune of connecting with Trish McDonald and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trish, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The secret to the success of my brand is the power of curiosity and wonder in the face of cultural attitudes. When a writer is looking for an agent, they send out a query. This was an agent’s response to my letter–“Everything has an expiration date,” (I was 76 at the time.) I vowed then if I got a book contract, I would turn those words into my brand– “No Expiration on Dreams.”

On October 5, 2021, my dream to publish a novel (Woodhall Press) will come true. “Paper Bags,” a romance set in a campground in the Florida Keys, is a curious exploration of gender, sexuality, and cultural expectations. It’s the latter where the stereotype exists regarding the intimate lives of people my age.

Misconceptions about aging are everywhere especially in advertising. At 77 yrs. old, my goal is to encourage others their dreams can also come true.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is my ability to take something negative and change it into a positive. Just as artists see negative and positive space, I’ve spent a lifetime figuring out how to find light in the darkness. I’ve gotten good at looking for the cracks that I see as opportunity.

“Everything has an expiration date,” was the response I got when I queried an agent about my book “Paper Bags.” At the time I was 76 years old and I had two choices: I could feel bad about my age, or take his statement and turn it into my new brand–The No Expiration Book Tour.

As I’ve moved from writing about food and nutrition to fiction, I’m hoping the power of story will help to open minds, ask questions rather than answer, challenge preconceived notions, and encourage the full experience of being human through a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d begin in Key Biscayne at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It has one of the best beaches in Miami and you can even rent an umbrella if you need one. Pick up some snacks before you head out on a sunset sailboat tour. For a casual dinner, stop at the Ritz and get fish tacos at their Cantina Beach restaurant.

No trip to Miami is complete without a stop in South Beach. Take a half day tour of Miami with a sightseeing cruise and be sure to book an Everglades National Park airboat tour.

You’re so close, you want to get a day trip to Key West. Walk Duval Street, get a t-shirt, and eat lunch with the chickens at My Blue Heaven.

If you like speedboats, you might as well take advantage of the beautiful water that is all around you. For daytime there are great art exhibits, museums, and just sitting on a bench in South Beach to people watch is the best.

Restaurants to try: Cuban food–Old’s Havana Cuban, 1442 SW 8th St., Miami, 33135
Mofongo’s Puerto Rico, 1644 SW 8th St., Miami 33135
Paperfish, Sushi, Japanese, 1421 S. Miami Ave, Miami 33131
Makan Miami, Peruvian, 11400 N Kendall Dr., Miami 33176
Bovinos Brazilian, 3073 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach 33160

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When Words Count Retreat, a writer’s haven in Vermont, and their CEO, Steve Eisner, get The Shoutout from me. Always a writer at some level i.e. education, grants, curriculum, it never occurred to me I could write a novel.

We are seated at the dinner table at the Retreat House and Steve asks those around the table to give him a synopsis of their work. After hearing the other writers list, “Alternative History of the World,” “Trip With Friends to a Greek Isle,” I swallow the lump in my throat and say, “Oh, probably something about longevity.”

Exactly 45 minutes later, I look up after reading aloud a raw, emotional piece I had written that afternoon and Steve says, “Wanna know what I think?” [Gulp, maybe not.]

His deadpan response is, “I thought you were here for the food.”

Then he adds, “You are an effing great writer!”

“Paper Bags,” my novel, would go on to win “The People’s Choice Award,” part of WWCR’s “The Book Deal Contest.”

Website: www.trishmcdonald.com

Instagram: trishmc305

Twitter: trishmcwriter

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