TAEM- I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Page Turners Blog Talk Radio’s host Nancy Denofio not too long ago and I would like to introduce this wonderful, and talented, woman to all of our readers. Nancy, tell us how your radio program started.
ND- Page Turners began in 2010 when I was shuffling people into a private group for Dystenium, LLC; those I believed had something to offer by networking with others and establishing a name online. Networking is taking an idea and running with it, no matter what genre or arts and entertainment one was working with.
I introduced myself to Meg, telling her little about myself but learning more about her. I told her to use my name to enter the group and advised her to join Got Poetry, where I am still one of the administrators. It is rare when two people can connect to help one another, but Meg was a good listener and grew quickly, understanding networking. Meg asked me if I would consider being a host on Page Turners – networking began. Having a background working face to face with the media on several levels, it took a couple of days to answer her. I asked those I trusted their thoughts; everyone agreed it was a stepping-stone online. I still wondered who she was, would it hurt my name, and what audience was her target regarding guests? I took the leap to radio, and after a few shows I knew we had to push our guests upward a few notches, with only the best. Networking with Writer’s Etc. administrator, Laura Shultz, who had given advice as a professional and friend, helped me to know who was who. We were networking. Page Turners would turn into one of the best for arts and entertainment. A radio show had to develop a name, a brand, as known throughout online entrepreneurs, so we worked with only the best in art – writing and entertainment.
TAEM- Tell us about the many people that your program has interviewed.
ND- Once again, I take chances and recall who I knew, know and can know. I remember when I was attending a White House Press Conference I noticed Wolf Blitzer who recalled my name, and the more we saw one another, he kept remembering me. Therefore, I learned that his Senior Editor, John DeDakis, published a new book. I sent along a note and asked if he would like to be part of the show. Since then I had the pleasure of having John in Saratoga Springs NY, doing a workshop for writers, and having dinner together with his wonderful wife.
One of my favorites and they all are favorites – do not get me wrong, was Michael Cogdill who I met when I was frequenting Writer’s Etc. I learned about his new book and thought it would be perfect for the show. I knew he was on my friend’s list and introduced myself, as a fellow reporter. The conversation began, and we had a delightful interview that evening.
One very talented young lady, Claudette Walker, knew she was going to fool us, she can’t just be interviewed, this writer – whose life is filled with suspense and government, according to C-Street – so we find out she is wrapped in chains and is taping the show for YouTube. She was fabulous. You can still go to Claudette Walker, C-Street, and find the interview on C-Street. Only a few weeks ago did I learn that networking paid off for Claudette when I introduced her to Alexandria Altman of Alexandria Altman Media Productions, which developed into a full-blown Documentary for her newest book “The Casey Anthony Murder Trail.” Talk about networking? This has now brought Page Turners upfront with a panel of people including, myself, Meg, Alexandria, and David.
TAEM- What venues do you present on your show?
ND- As you know, we love to talk with publishers of magazines or E-Zines on the Web.
TAEM- Where can our readers locate your program and when do you air it?
ND- We are on blog talk radio at Red River Radio, then search for Page Turners – or go to our Face Book site at Page Turners and become a fan. All updates and guests are presented to the reader, and all shows can be listened to at a later time by clicking the link.
TAEM- Nancy, you have many talents and writing is amongst them. Please tell us about some of your other work, and what category of writing do you place yourself in?
ND- You are so right my writing is a mixture of poetic memoir, memoir, ghost writing, my epic novel based on a true story beginning in 1893 within the hills of Sicily, interviews with Presidential Candidates, one on one, a host on Page Turners, public speaking, instructor, dance instructor, awards and stage appearances. It might seem impossible, but there is a connection to each topic and to who I am today. My urge to perform has never left me.
At the age of five I started our Sunday Shows in the basement; inviting friends from our neighborhood to the basement; pay for tickets, check the shows written on scrap paper, and escorting them to their seats. All of my experience in life has followed a complete circle, embracing a collection of different aspects of my life.
In grade school, I approached the principal to ask her if I could arrange a talent show – to my surprise she agreed, and I learned they never had another when I advanced into Junior High. It was in Junior High when my life began to touch on all the magic and my love for arts and entertainment began to grow in leaps and bounds.
TAEM – Nancy, how can you do so many things and still be satisfied?
ND- It all began when I was in Summer Stock for the Sound of Music. Given this opportunity opened more doors I will never forget. I was sitting on the floor in our long hall leading to the front door where my Mother was talking on the phone, and I wanted her to hang up. She was talking to a theatrical agent, not a small timer, but one who asked me to become a permanent cast member on “The Patty Duke Show.” I remember that day as if it were yesterday, watching as my mother kept shaking her head yes. When she hung the phone on the hook her eyes talked for her, then I heard – “you were chosen as a permanent on Patty Duke.” I think my heart stopped beating, it was everything I wanted – the drama, entertainment, creativity, and showmanship, but something deep inside was talking to me – as if I focused on another being, blocking out my mother.
Mother told the agent she would return with the answer by the next day. I went into my room, laid on my pink bedspread – a bed pushed up against a bedroom wall opposite a small opened window facing our neighbors on the next-door fifty-foot lot. She was leaving the answer up to me. I felt this excitement, yet was afraid at the same time; New York City was far from upstate New York, which meant I had to live with strangers – with the same agent who managed Patty Duke. Nothing seemed real. However, I could not just say no. I could not live with strangers in this huge city at the age of thirteen, people I never met. They already had me hooked up with AFTRA and SAG since I played several parts in the Sound of Music. It turned out I gave up the chance of a lifetime, but I would not give in.
As the time went on, I was named Miss High School of N.Y.S., and then Miss American Model for N.Y.S., onto Miss American Teenager, and gained more and more confidence in myself, traveling with my Mother as a chaperone. I was also named Miss Seventeen Magazine, winning a writing contest for upstate N.Y. I constantly kept journals, day to day, and still do.
By the time I graduated High School I wanted to go to NYC, to pretend I was rich, meet a nice young man – someone who was interested in the same things I was – so off I went with a good friend. She wanted to go to the Piccadilly Lounge where Jackie Kennedy would frequent. One night I met one handsome man, who was studying to be an actor – and we talked until the sun came through the window of our hotel room, he would be a star – he was “Superman.” We talked on and off, and he asked me out on several dates, but I was also traveling with my own career. At eighteen, I was performing in NYC with Wilson Picket and the Union Gap at the Turntable Nightclub. I recall the song “Mustang Sally,” and here I was walking, dancing, twisting and turning in million dollar furs. After the show, my four friends and I who worked with Wilson Pickett rode to Greenwich Village. When we arrived, Wilson told the crowd inside, “champagne for everyone.” Once again, I was on cloud nine.
That year my Mother had her breast removed because of cancer – and I began taking care of her. I took notes and more notes about her family and my Father’s family. I was going to write the best epic novel – my Grandfather, stabbed in the heart, my Grandmother who lived upstairs fought for her own children, Father was only ten. She lost the case when her only friend to testify on her behalf against a Fruit Company, was blown up in a car on his way to the courthouse, which was in Syracuse at the time. I was going to write this novel – and research each fact. I did – yet it too sits on the floor waiting for time to edit, and believe someone would be interested in a strong woman and a son who would become the first Italian Mayor of our hometown. Again, I felt sorry for my Mother, and already missed her. I kept telling her she would come back; show me she is with me. We had such open communication. She lived to see me marry, have two beautiful daughters, but died when they were young. I took to dancing again, but this time my children would attend each class. I became a judge for the Miss American Teenager Contest, and started back on the road I left behind, but all this time I was writing, from Junior High until present day. I wrote and taught, reading work at open mike, filled with hippies during those days – and I submitted my writing and to my surprise, each submission published. I have boxes of published work.
My love for the arts in every field continued. I guess I had to satisfy myself, I could do whatever I wanted, or tried. I never stopped my writing as told by the boxes of work – or the work now on line – I was curious over everything, even when it came to fine art. I taught myself drawing, and then painted one oil painting a year. The paintings were part of photography, which brought me into the lives of many horse lovers in the well-known horse town of Saratoga Springs, and my confidence, and ability to communicate with anyone gave me more imagination and joy throughout my life – although every now and then I ask during a radio show – do agents still hire older actors?
TAEM- You were awarded the American As Woman Writer of the Year at Notre Dame in 1994 and recognized on angiesdiary.com for VIP Writer in all genres in February 2011. Please tell us about these great honors that have been bestowed on you and what they represented.
ND- Following my love of writing and people – being able to talk with anyone, in person or on line began yet another walk to take. Once given the American Woman Writer of the Year award, I knew I could write – details – it was all in the details. Memory and curiosity. I would reach out and help others as I still do online or in person when I see something is good enough to work on. When Angie’s Diary awarded me the VIP Writer in all genre awards, I knew I found another place for my writing – friends – communication – and hopefully one day – to travel around the country sharing all that I have learned. Angie’s Diary online has given me exposure through networking with others. I believe you must promote those who promote you. Angie’s Diary, on the Web, was one of the first places I began submitting work. She too fell in love with the Universal Appeal. The poetic memoir of my poetry, or the uniqueness of my comments, attention, and promoting what I believed was worth promoting, and Angie was always supportive even if I was not computer savvy. Even yesterday, I sent out invitations to join her E-Zine and have your work read. Being a writer of true stories – it blends with the entire period I have mentioned. It brings back detail because of my memories from the day I played Iron Curtain on the rail of the crib with my older brother. Hearing the word on the news only gave me an idea for a game at night when I should have been sleeping. The same imaginations went forth to my children – as they joined me at nearly every function, and learned through me.
TAEM- You wrote the book, ‘What Brought you Here’. Please tell our readers about it and where they can find it.
ND- “What Brought You Here,” had its beginning while twittering for Health Care, during the late part of March of 2010. I had the television blaring, my hands taping the computer keys and thinking to myself, someone will join me and follow me on twitter once they notice the names; Lamar Alexander, Senator Robert Dole, First Lady Hillary Clinton (at the time when I worked with her on Health Care) and certainly, President William Jefferson Clinton and Senator Edward Kennedy. During the debates, I heard so much negative talk about helping those who needed help the most that my hands continued to type the names above. By the second day, I decided I would include, every twenty minutes, a BlogSpot for my writing. It was becoming rather monotonous but with twittering words and 142 characters, you must move quickly across the computer screen. A publisher who kept reading my few sentences on twitter was following me. He continued to follow me, my blogs, and finally sent a message on twitter on how he could obtain additional work to read. Well, I did not believe he was a publisher, and who would? I simply told him I had a lifetime of writing and it is scattered all over my office. What I did not want to say, I had sent one collection of my work to a mainstream publisher who accepted it immediately, but due to the death of my mother in 1984, I never followed up with their request. I did mention my writing is available to any publisher who is interested. After some research of my own, my publisher for “What Brought You Here?” and four others, “Did You Ever Want To Fly?” “Did You Ever Know Me?” and ending the series of poetic memoir with a large collection of new poetic prose, “Should I Tell?” I did learn in my research my publisher worked for Oxford University. Well, how bad could that be? Later I would learn he was investigating me at the same time. This is the magic of the Web. He found time to read a few posts within many blogs and noticed my work would connect with others on a universal theme.
All of my writing is true, and my memory goes back to when I was a young child in a crib. I call this genre “Poetic Memoir,” smaller writings in poetic form telling a complete and true story of my life. This type of writing was always a part of my memoir, epic novel, short stories, journals and interviews with famous people. Shaping each longer version into a smaller version was fun – not difficult at all. Writing in a new style, I learned, kept the audience listening and in touch with details. I was performing again, continuing the circle.
As a writer, it was common to find me reading my work while teaching at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York where I taught for the International Women’s Writers Guild; my instructing consisted of teaching women at all levels of their writing, Author Presentation. Performing in front of an audience was not going to leave me no matter how many candles were on the top of my cake.
The stranger who was to be my publisher, Don Odom of Dystenium, LLC of NYC, told me to send about fifty of my “poetic memoirs.” At this point, he had no idea I developed a new genre called “poetic memoirs.” I probably sent over one hundred, and giving him as publisher the choice for my first book he would publish in eight weeks. The name “What Brought You Here,” is one of the selections in the book. I selected a picture I found on his site, which he had taken himself – a young woman sitting on the edge of a mountain in deep thought. this is a true picture of me, and my life. By April 2010, I had a new professional photo taken for the book’s bio page, never believing it would be me in dark framed glasses. Oh, my followers continued to grow and my face book page did the same. This was the chance to read to audiences, arrange my own book readings, and I was on my way. You can find this collection on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
TAEM- You also worked with First Lady Hillary R. Clinton for her Health Care agenda, and the late Senator Edward Kennedy for Save our Security on Medicare, all proven milestones for the public good. Please give some insight into your important work to our readership.
ND- At the age of thirty, I realized I was fighting the odds when I had a diagnosis of probable multiple sclerosis, and losing my eyesight in the left eye. I began to learn through living what it was like to have a disability, and how others, even those who we elect to represent all of us, had no idea what change was all about. During the early 1990’s life transferred us to Manchester, New Hampshire. It did not take me long to know this was the place for me to be. I had to head for the top, never start at the bottom when it comes to Presidential Politics in New Hampshire. Not being a native of the state made me somewhat of a New Yorker, but I would learn ways to take on the logo “Live Free or Die.”
Not everyone had computers back in the early nineties; remembering what President Clinton said, “nearly every household will have a computer by the end of my term as your President.” I began writing for the Democratic Party on Health Care Reform, day to night, fighting for the rights of others. From there I decided one day to have my husband press onto a blue tea shirt the words, “DON’T NEWT-DOLE WITH MEDICARE.” I think he asked what I was up to, but I knew I would do whatever I believed would help others – what I learned as a child – as I watched my own mother suffer with months and months of hospital stays, operations, and me carrying the laundry basket down the avenue to the Laundromat, scrubbing floors, and ironing. Yet, a story echoed inside of me about the day I was born, weighing slightly over one pound; she will not survive the night. I was my mother’s Irish charm, her leprechaun. One night both her Father and her Father in Law visited, both passed before my birth, but they told her, “she will survive and not to worry.” Well, after hearing the story over, and over you became a believer in more then the here and now.
Going back to my husband – I asked him to drive me, (at the time I was using a wheelchair which since has been donated to the MS Society along with canes, so the only thing I deal with is outrageous fees for transportation.) in addition, drop me off at the Fourth of July Parade in Amherst, N.H. where the GOP was holding a parade for all the candidates in the Presidential Primary. I pushed that chair in front of the American Flag, in front of the band, and stuck my chest out – proud of what I had to say, and the crowds cheered as I wheeled by, believing I was a mascot for their campaign, or a war injured vet, sounds a little more like it. I was let inside the yellow ropes, I was front and center, talking to all those who travelled with Senator Robert Dole. The other candidates were scattered on the platform. I kept eyeing the Senator and telling him we had to talk… and again, when he approached me, “we have to talk but not today, not here, but one on one for longer then ten minutes.” I had all the news stations both local and national following me, and I gave my contact information to his manager, she called a few days later to set up a one on one in Rochester N.H. on July 24th following a short news conference he would be doing with other candidates.
I was waiting in a room with my photographer from the Globe and a few empty chairs. Then it happened, my first interview, and I was not even close to a Barbara Walters, for one and a half hours with the Senator on Health Care. I tapped the entire interview, and made the news. From that time on my name was no longer the New Yorker living in New Hampshire. Senator Dole’s interview was followed by three with Lamar Alexander, then the head of the Department of Education. Lamar asked me to walk with him to the school where our first interview would take place. Walk? It seemed evident I was not walking as I began pushing my own wheelchair up huge hills which brought the national press to my side. They asked why I was taking this journey – it was for others, for people who could not afford a wheelchair or the right care from specialists. It was the beginning of the insurance companies taking the place of doctors. Looking at their photographs, I saw Lamar walking alone. His office told me when I arrived at the school he had five minutes. I was flabbergasted, five minutes after several steep hills – five minutes to talk about health care? (remember, Lamar – given the job of heading up the commission on Health Care in 2010 for the GOP, I have not heard again from him on this issue, not since twittering.) His office believed using my name as a walker with Alexander in his ad would make everything better, well – it never did – his office continued to call and set up several more interviews at my convenience. The other primary candidate worth listing would be from the state of PA., Arlen Specter, the man who wanted to be in the middle of the road, but wasn’t when it came to health care. During our interview, he never talked about health care once – and to learn he changed parties after a bout with cancer, after learning what all of us sometimes face, I felt he had to learn the hard way.
I learned about our First Ladies fight for Health Care Reform and contacted local and national officials to ride the bus to the White House. When the answer came back the same day, I appeared on the local television network-telling people to open their eyes and ears, see and hear what is happening around them. Touch the hearts of those who are suffering. Therefore, I joined up with our President’s Cabinet on bus number one. It began giving speeches at each stop from Boston to Washington D.C. The circles continued to turn. Knowing me now, you knew I would love to speak out to help others.
He believed it was only right to tell the press in Albany NY I would be arriving with the First Lady and Cabinet to speak at one of our local colleges. He managed without a problem to get the press out, and the people, before the bus arrived. This began the ritual of my tour, speaking at each stop along the way to the White House. This began my ability to work harder for others and issues – when given the right to attend White House News Conferences. My work paid off in different ways, although it would not be for twenty years when people began listening, and knowing how much harder it would be to get adequate health care.
I became involved with Senator Edward Kennedy when we were challenged telling those on Medicare and disability life would be different if something did not change and allow health care for all. He and I stood on the same stage, each talking for twenty minutes to a crowd of five hundred for “Save Our Security,” at Faneuil Hall in Boston. After the hall cleared, the Senator and I had a wonderful discussion about our need to change health care along with the Boston Globe.
During the mid 1990’s I worked with others to win the American for Disabilities Act – successful during President Clinton’s term in office; the President honored all of us for a job well done. I began getting involved with politics myself in N.H., speaking at different affairs, even attending the President’s 50th birthday.
Between the good, there is always the bad – having a bout with infection that entered the bone, I had to undergo surgery – one week later, after being black and blue from the head to the waist, I made it to Notre Dame to accept the Woman Writer of the Year Award. My opening statement was “no I am not from an abusive household, and yes I am here to read to you.” Following these amazing feats and more, I never thought I could climb the ladder and reach another step, but once we returned to Saratoga Springs N.Y. I knew our First Lady would be seeking the Senate when Moynihan left. I opened my home to the press, to her press, neighbors, and friends – I was the first to tell our local paper, Hillary will be our next Senator. The next morning my husband came into the kitchen holding up the front page – reading to me what our local paper quoted, then passed along the NYC paper to keep with the others. Where I go the Clinton’s remember me, my name and go out of their way, for instance, the President sent me a letter about my book, and signed a future cover for book number two on poetic memoir. I guess I will never attend another 50th Birthday Party for a President, yet I learned more in six years then I could have learned in a lifetime, concerning national politics.
And, how could I forget this; as a member of the Government Relations Committee for the MS Society I made it to Washington DC, ran up to NEWT, remembering when he was chasing moose in N.H. The following day I appeared on a Maryland Cable show, The Doctor is In, concerning health care and HMO’s. I could not help talking about NEWT who was trying to change government, while chasing moose.
TAEM- Your writing has also appeared in many newspapers and magazines. Which media venues covered your articles?
ND- I began writing on issues concerning the American teenager at the age of sixteen, as a representative for the Seventeen Magazine, another honor I won after submitting my writing. I could not stop this energy inside of me. I wrote articles on the needs for people, and interviewed at the same time up and down the Eastern Seaboard with every major newspaper. I also became interested in local news and wrote many editorials, press releases, and personal creative writing began showing up in local newspapers and many magazines both here and abroad. “Should I Tell” was a major article about people living with disabilities, and a member of the N.H. Poetry Society invited me to give seminars, as my writing appeared in each issue of their poetry journal. Back home in NY my writing began appearing in Poetry Journals connected to the Universities where I attended lectures and classes with none other then Donald Hall and Robert Penksy. Within the pages of the Business Review on December 17 2010, named one of the “People on the Move.”
Recently I have had the honor to sit on the board of advisors for the Broderick Brain Foundation: her work includes new techniques for those suffering with Epilepsy and soon Alzheimer’s.
My work has been published in; Mediphors – A Journal for the Health Professionals, University of Hull, England, Disabled USA and a feature for Mainstreet Magazine, and many newspapers, journals, and magazines both here and abroad, to vast to mention. Networking began early for me when all submissions, published.
Interviewed by Phil Bayly of NBC Capital District and surrounding areas, he gave me the opportunity to read some of my work. Anne Parillo from Schenectady Cable Media, “Schenectady Today,” gave me the opportunity to speak about writing, instructing, and writing historical non-fiction about the city where I grew up. She also gave me the opportunity to read live on cable TV. Once again, the circle was evolving and it had not closed.
Recently invited as one of nine to represent a large area in the capital district and read my work. I will be representing the lower Adirondack area in October in Lake Placid, N.Y. as a feature reader.
I am also editing a poetry series called “Poetry is Life,” for Dystenium, LLC, where this series is ongoing, writers can submit to me at NancyDuciDenofio@gmail.com with thirty pages of work for my review. All found at http://email@example.com
ND- As I stated, everything I did during my life thus far has formed a circle. Page Turners was just another twist in the circle. We were lucky enough and found by those at a national level. However, in all things, change happens – and it appears to be our radio show will now be a television show – talk about circles. It seems to be heading toward one of the main networks – we will be America’s Real People, thanks to the belief of Alexandria Altman or AlexandriaAltmanMediaProductions.com from Beverly Hills. I have joked on the radio about agents looking for older actors. Will my circle ever be complete? How many candles have to be on a cake for a new player regarding a future in the arts and entertainment world? Well, I learned today from Alexandria Altman my circle continues to turn without an opening, when she told me our panel from our newest part of Page Turners, the Round Table, which is the last hour of our show, Page Turners, would soon be part of a network. The panel will continue on Page Turners, but we will be traveling as well from city to city. Our talk show on at regular times, “America’s Real People,” will follow on or about the first of the year, after completing the first assignment. Any information about my past and me can be found at Nancy Denofio on Face Book or visit my blogs at http://NancyDenofio@blogspot.com
I want to thank you Joseph for the opportunity to be part of this outstanding magazine which touches on all venues and gives those interested in both arts and entertainment a clear view of how others have continued to stay inside the circle.
TAEM- Nancy, it has been an honor, and a pleasure, to interview you with The Arts and Entertainment Magazine. We wish you much luck in all that you do and want to thank you for your time. We hope that you keep in touch with us always.