Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Author Spotlight - Maureen Twomey, Author of Before, Afdre, and After (My stroke... oh what fun) #author #authorspotlight #memoir #stroke #strokesurvivor #meettheauthor #RRBC @Maureen_2me @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I have the pleasure of introducing you to a remarkable woman and author, Maureen Twomey! She is the author of Before, Afdre, and After (My stroke...oh what fun). As you can tell from the title, Maureen survived a stroke and wrote a book to share her experience. I read her book in November, and you can read my review here. I am excited to help you get to know this incredible lady!

Maureen and I spoke over the phone so I could interview her. Since her stroke, writing has been a challenge, but I'll let her tell her story below.

Why did you choose to write this book?

I always wanted to write a story, but when the stroke happened in June 2000 (at the age of 33 years old), writing took a backseat. I initially lost all function on my right side as well as my ability to communicate. So, recovering from the stroke was my priority. As I got better, I decided I wanted to write about my stroke.

My teacher, Ellen Gilbert, agreed to type it for me since I didn't have much control of my right hand or the ability to concentrate for long periods of time (now I write with my left hand), so I shared my story. Laura Mazer, my editor, introduced me to Brooke Warner, who helped me find a team to get my book published. 

What do you love most about writing?

I've always enjoyed being creative. I wrote a story in second grade that will remain unpublished. I have always had a quirky sense of humor. I created a career in copywriting and creating ads. I originally was thinking of going into movies, but I knew I didn't have the voice for that. So, I figured I could go into creative writing. Right out of college, I worked a few jobs before becoming a copywriter. I remember one time when one of my friends pointed out a commercial he loved, and it was one that I had written, which made me elated. I knew that's what I wanted to do in my life.

How did you decide to write about this topic?

I wrote this to share what happened to me. I hope no one ever has to go through what I've been through, but if my story could help them in any way, I knew I had to tell it.

What was one of the valuable lessons you learned through the process of writing this book?

One of the valuable lessons I learned is that it's okay to ask for help. 

(As I read Maureen's story, one of the lessons I took away from her journey was how many kind-hearted people surround us and we don't even realize it.)

How long did it take you to write this book?

Well, I had the stroke in 2000. I don't remember exactly when the idea came to me to write the story because, at first, I was just focused on getting my body and mind to work the way it once had. (That is an ongoing journey.) I finished writing the book in 2015.

How do you like to connect with readers?

It's been about nine years since I published, so I don't really promote it as much as I once did. 

What do you hope readers take away from your book?

I hope readers enjoy my memoir. I want readers to know that I didn't give up and kept pushing to get back to my life. And though I could never get back to my old job, I do volunteer whenever I can.


Thank you for speaking with me, Maureen. I am in awe of your strength and your positive energy. I hope everyone reads your story, and I hope it instills a zest for life within every reader.

When Maureen Twomey was only thirty-three years old, she experienced a massive stroke-one that took away her ability to read, write, walk, and even speak (AAAAAAAHHH!!). Well, she wasn't about to go down without a fight. In Before, Afdre and After, Twomey offers a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes comical, and ultimately inspiring glimpse at what it is to lose everything when you're supposed to be in the prime of your life-and what it takes to get it back, piece by tiny piece.

“I never thought I’d say this and mean it: This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It’s a joyous, inventive journey through loss and recovery, and Maureen’s spirit shines through in this blueprint for living a full, blessed and loving life. Read it now, you fools!!”

—Jeff Kreisler, author of Get Rich Cheating and Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How Spend Smarter

Before Maureen Twomey's stroke, she graduated from UCLA, and she went on to work for several advertising agencies as a creative copywriter. Then, at the age of 33, she had a major stroke (Aaaaaaah!). Well thankfully, her sense of humor is still intact. Before, Afdre, and After (My stroke … oh what fun) tells her story with honesty, sometimes moving, sometimes funny, and ultimately inspiring.

Connect with Maureen here:

Thank you for joining us today. We'd love to hear from you in the comments below. :-)


  1. Hey Yvette! Thank you sooooooooo much! 👏😊❣️

  2. Yvette, thank you for this interview of Maureen. I learned some things I didn't know about her, such as her background as a copywriter, and her age at the time of her stroke. What a journey she as been on! I am heading over to buy her book now. Maureen, it was good to get to know a bit about you. Hope you sell a bunch of books!

    1. Thank you so much for visiting! Enjoy reading her book! And thank you for supporting Maureen! :-)

  3. Great interview, Maureen! Your blog is one of my favorites, Yvette.

    1. Aw, thank you! I'm happy you enjoy my blog. And thanks for visiting and commenting today. :-)

  4. The comment from "anonymous "above is from me, I guess I neglected to fill in the name properly. Anyway, good interview!

    1. I see that are two from anonymous up there, the longer one is from me, it seems the program fills in "anonymous" and you have to go in and change it.

    2. Thanks, Maura Beth! Yes, Blogger isn't very user friendly. It would be nice if it would remember those who have visited before. Lol! Thanks for letting us know. :-)

  5. I worked at a physical rehabilitation facility for eight years. I saw so many people who were post-stroke and who made so much progress, given the techniques that exist today. Maureen's story is so so inspiring. Thanks, Yvette, for introducing her to us!

  6. Hi, Yvette! Hi, Maureen!

    I'm late to the party, but I'm so glad I came! Thanks to your interview, Yvette, I'm moving Maureen's book to the top of my reading list. Maureen, you sound too full of life to allow anything to take away your joy. I admire your determination to overcome, and then to write about it. Your story will surely encourage others.

    I look forward to reading it! Blessings!

    1. I know you will find Maureen's book inspirational, Patty! Thank you for supporting her. :-)

  7. Hi, Yvette, what an excellent interview you did. Maureen, you are an inspiration!


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