Interview with Ally Golden

Interview with Ally Golden, Author of A Good Soldier

Interview with Ally Golden, Author of A Good Soldier

Tell us about your latest book.
A Good Soldier is a true passion project for me. It marks a departure in tone and subject matter from my previous books. The memoir chronicles the evolution of my relationship with my mother, who suffered from borderline personality disorder. At some point, we swapped roles and I became the caregiver. Yet, despite the change power dynamics, I still found myself trapped in my Mom’s sphere of influence. I struggled for a long while as a young adult to find an identity independent of my mother and fashion relationships untouched by tumultuous nature of the one we shared.

Although, it is a memoir, this story is not solely my own. Millions of Americans were raised under the mercurial rule of a mentally ill parent. Their trauma and unique obstacles are largely unheard. With this book, I hope to give a voice to their tribulations and validate their feelings of resentment and regret.

Interview with Ally Golden, Author of A Good Soldier
What did you edit out of this book?
This book covers the first 30 years of my life, so there is A LOT that I did not include. I did originally have more written about my college boyfriends that I trimmed down to stay on message and focus on my mother’s impact on my interpersonal relationships.

How do you select the names of your characters?
To protect the privacy of my friends and relatives that are mentioned in my memoir, none of the names of the people in the book are their real names. I allowed them each the creative input to pick their own names.

How was this book published? (traditional, small press, self pub, etcc...)  Why did you choose that particular publishing route?
A Good Soldier was published through Amazon CreateSpace, which is Amazon’s self-publishing service. This was a new experience for me because my eight previous books were published through traditional publishers. All in all, I was happy with the help that the team at Amazon gave to me, which included editorial suggestions and book cover creation.

I chose to use CreateSpace to publish my memoir because it was important to me that I retain complete creative and production control over my story, which is not usually possible with traditional publishers. Amazon’s service is unique in that it leaves all ultimate editorial decisions up to the author.

What are you doing to market the book? 
Marketing my newest book has been an interesting challenge for me because I wrote the book under the Ally Golden pseudonym, so I was unable to use many of my industry connections to help promote the book. In this way, it was almost like starting over again and trying to get my first book out there. Thus far, I have been marketing my book by reaching out to bloggers and journalists to request a book review. Likewise, I have been corresponding with podcasters and going on their shows to talk about my new book and mental health advocacy.

Interview with Ally Golden, Author of A Good Soldier
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad or good ones?
I do read reviews of my books on occasion. I try not to let bad reviews affect me much; however, I may reach out if the reviewer misunderstood some crucial element of the book, in order to prevent misinformation from being spread. For example, one of my Amazon reviewers left a one-star review with the only critique being that I was “dishonest” because this individual could not find anything about me online validating my credentials as a published author and journalist. I sent a note clarifying that I wrote A Good Soldier under a pseudonym and that was why they could not find anything online for “Ally Golden.”

As for good reviews, I love them! If my memoir made even one person feel less alone, then all the emotional energy and financial investment I put into the book is validated. It really makes my day when people reach out!

What advice do you have for other writers?

Okay, it is a bit more complicated than that. It depends on what you are writing. I have written whole feature length articles about how to write nonfiction. As for fiction, I can offer more general advice that works for most people. You should start by creating a list of potential scenes that when put together can create a cohesive narrative and tease out the important messages that you want to get across. Then, set aside one hour a day to flesh out the different scenes and create filler to tie the them together.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Visit to learn all about me, A Good Soldier, and helpful mental health resources. You can also find me on Twitter at @allygolden76.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
You can buy A Good Soldier on Amazon.


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