Friday, February 27, 2009

And now for something completely... Prill!

For a special treat today, I am welcoming author and Boomer extraordinare, Prill Boyle!

Prill is the author of "Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women" Her book has won international aclaim and she has traveled to some incredible places!

Her website is and her blog can be found at

So without further babble from me, please welcome the delightful Prill Boyle!

Describe your book “Defying Gravity” and what all went into it?

Defying Gravity recounts true stories of 12 everyday women who accomplished extraordinary things after 40. One woman became a medical doctor at 50; another became a flight attendant at 71. At the time I got the idea, I was teaching community college and wanted to provide role models to help my students stay focused on their dreams.

When you ask, “What all went into it?” I have to laugh. My heart and soul—that’s what! Before I began, I had no idea how to find people to interview, how to write a story, how to get published. Sometimes people say to me, “I can’t imagine writing a book.” I tell them that I used to think that, too. I’m not one of those people who always dreamed of becoming an author. In my wildest imagination, I never would have envisioned this future for myself. But I’ve come to believe that each of us has more potential than we realize. I always say, “If you’re still breathing, there’s hope!

Was this the book you always wanted to write?

As I said, I never imagined myself as a writer period, so I can’t say that this was the book I’d always wanted to write. I was an English teacher—that’s how I thought of myself. But if you take the word “always” out of the question, I’d say that, yes, this is the exact book I wanted to write. The day the idea came to me, I saw the finished product in my mind’s eye. I had almost no clue how to get from A to Z—from my vision to the reality— but the book I hoped to write is the book I eventually wrote. Pretty amazing now that I think about it.

I’m currently working on a novel about a late bloomer. I’m not sure I’ll be able to say the same thing about this new book when I’m done. The story is still so much richer in my head than it is on the page. We’ll see how it turns out. It helps me, though, to realize that I felt the same way about Defying Gravity when I was in the middle of writing it.

Tell us a little about your blog, Defying Gravity!

On the blog you’ll find common-sense tips, great resources, personal reflections, and true stories for aspiring "bloomers" of any age. I began posting in the fall of 2006. To date, I’ve featured fifty-five late bloomers (men and women). Depending on what’s going on in my life at the moment, I post between one and three times a week. I welcome all comments.

Tell us about speaking at the United Nations!!!

The National Council of Women of USA, an organization founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in the 1800’s and taken over by the United Nations when it came into existence in 1945, asked me to be the keynote speaker at one of their events. I titled my talk “Women of Vision: From Finding a Voice to Making a Difference.” Just being in the building was a thrill!

What are some of the bonuses that you didn’t predict in the beginning of your author journey?

Meeting and making friends with so many incredible people has got to be one of the biggest. Two years ago I spent a month in Africa at the invitation of a woman who read the book and contacted me—a 70-year old Peace Corps volunteer named Bonnie Orton. The novel I’m now writing is set in some of the places I visited with her. I also never imagined becoming an international speaker. I tell people that I used to be shy, and they look at me like I’m crazy. But it’s true. Even now, I have to admit that I sometimes get butterflies speaking in front of groups if I’ve gone a while without doing so.

What do you consider as a “late bloomer?”

A person who discovers their gifts and accomplishes their goals later in life than one would expect.

BTW – you do NOT look like a “boomer!”

I’m 54 and am going to be a grandmother for the first time this summer.

You reside in Connecticut – has that always been home?

I grew up here but have lived all over the country—Boston; Denver, Atlanta; Washington, DC; and Upstate New York.

Your website lists a lot of resources, which I really like! What did it take to pull this all together?

The list has evolved over time. I didn’t sit down and write it in a day. Since 2000 I’ve been collecting articles about late bloomers and second careers. I’ve also been compiling statistics and doing research on aging. I keep updating the list as new material comes along.

What’s next for Prill?

I’m collaborating with a wonderful guy named Larry Portzline on a male version of Defying Gravity. I’m also hoping to finish my novel this year. After that, we’ll see.

And the last word, Prill…?

Thank you, Prill!!!

Again, please look for Prill at her website and blog


  1. Great post, thank you both. And for God's sake, Prill - hurry up with the MALE version of defying gravity! (smile)

  2. What an honor to speak at the United Nations. Nothing wrong with late bloomers. I'm one of them myself, but can't say I'm that well known.

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Such an inspiration! Thanks for posting this great interview.

    I didn't find out what I wanted to be "when I grew up" until I was 50!


  4. What a fun interview! Thanks Prill.

    It sounds like a wonderful book and your story alone is worth reading.

    Helen Ginger

  5. Thanks, everyone! And I promise, Marvin, that I really am trying to hurry up with the male version. :-)

  6. Interesting interview for another late bloomer!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Author of The Ride

  7. You two are such beautiful, vital women. It is a pleasure to call you friends.


  8. Great interview...Pril is a true inspiration. After trying many different careers I have finally found what I'm meant to be a children's writer - I'm 42.

    Donna McDine

  9. Amazing interview. And this comes at a right time. Just two days ago, my mom was telling me: You just hit forty, you can still do anything you want--change a career, get a master's degree... I guess it's synchronicity. I'm intrigued by this book and will take a closer look.

    PS: Diane, thanks for stopping by on Pets and Their Authors yesterday.