Madeline Bocaro talks as regards her inspiration to write about the life and work of In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono.
I interviewed Madeline Bocaro about her life and career, her love for In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono, and the work that has gone into her new book In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono.
Tell Madeline Bocaro who you are:
I have a passion for music. I’m a storyteller, I share my ideas and experiences with artists and musicians who are very important to me and the story. You have to remember that. I like bringing back nostalgic memories for those who were there and introducing new fans to the artists’ work.
After a brief career as a publication writer (and later retirement from full-time work), my writing became more frequent. I have created a music blog (madelinex.com) and a book.
When did the first want to write a book?
Yoko Ono has always been misunderstood because of constant lies. I felt it my duty to share his amazing life story. I have shared many precious moments with Yoko (we were pen pals initially). She liked that I understood her perfectly. He was happy to tell me about his life and his important work. Writing the book was the greatest way to tell Yoko’s true story, which goes far beyond what most people know. I wanted to carry his positivity, grace, humor, and kindness.
As a child in the 1960s, I identified completely with Yoko and her interactive art that encompasses us all. This is the first all-inclusive book; her origins, her childhood, her art, her films, her writings, her activism, her feminism, and an overview of all her music.
When did thou decide to start writing?
As a child, I used to publish a monthly newsletter for the neighbors of my house. An interesting group of strange characters lived there. I enjoyed writing about these people. The adults thought it was cute. I remember having an obituary section listing the deaths of Scooter the gerbil and Peppa the dog. In the late 1970’s I wrote music reviews for several publications. I started a music blog in 2002.
How long did it take you for your first book, from the initial idea to publication?
It would be difficult to write a book about Yoko from the first page. All life I have unconsciously pieced together his life story since I was ten years old in 1968. When I realized that my collection of writings was enough for a book. The development and organization took about three years.
What prompted thou to write In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono?
My book is full of details and insights that can only come from Yoko’s love and understanding. We can all study his relentless positivity and efficient healing methods (his survival mechanisms for dealing with extreme and undeserved negativity).
We also had to tell the love story of John and Yoko. People need to know why John Lennon loved Yoko more than anything. Both understood the power and responsibility of celebrities. You always told the truth. Individually they were highly lonely, suffering, and misunderstood artists. These two fragile beings met and ran away. Together they were strong and invincible. They included us all in their story and tried to save the world (too big a task for them). They had only been together for twelve years, although it seemed much longer.
What were thine biggest challenges writing In Your Mind-The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono?
There were no challenges because I was doing it alone. When I quickly realized that I couldn’t work with an editor, I kept full control. Many editors said my character (one of the most famous women in the world) was too versatile. They cut it down from 550 pages to just 250. I couldn’t cut Yoko’s long and important life story in half.
My challenge now is self-promotion. The book is well received. I would have to sell 1,000 books to pay a publicist. I’ve sold almost as many myself. The Beatles community has been very supportive, as have many of Yoko’s peers.
How was the research process for In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono?
I have always known the importance of Yoko’s work. It was just a matter of putting together what I already knew.
Includes many of his own words from published media sources in my extensive archive. I remember Yoko talking about her life and work and collecting quotes from different media of my collection (unknown and popular press, news, and audio interviews, and her social media). I recorded Yoko’s voice because it is always articulate, touching, insightful, and sometimes very funny. Most reporters didn’t let Yoko talk too much about himself. They often asked him about John or the Beatles.
Not wanting to rely on speculation, I did not conduct any interviews. The “speaking heads” are just Yoko and John, their son Sean and a few others (all from published interviews) who clearly disprove all untruths with facts. This includes Pete Townshend speaking about Yoko’s influence. He sees her as an agitator, a revolutionary using non-violent techniques to incite us to resist with a constant desire to save the world. Phil Spector is said to have spoken about the deep love between John and Yoko.
Paul McCartney’s little-known role in helping Yoko and John reunite after their breakup and his words about his relationship with Yoko after John’s death is priceless. I put these perfectly fitting puzzle pieces together to tell a true and coherent story.
How did Thou structure In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono?
The book is a collection of stories I have written, some articles for publication and others explaining Yoko’s art, films, and music to friends and fans. When I realized I had enough material for a book, I organized it creatively. It flows in a way that’s obviously not chronological, but beautifully tells the story of Yoko’s life.
This is the first book to cover all of his music – every song. Rather than cramming everything into one discography, I wrote each album into its own story as it was released because each one has meaning at different points in his life. I like biographies written by fans, not the complex intellectualizations of analytical critics, scholars, professors, or historians. My style is simple: it brings out Yoko’s personality and spirit. (Yoko communicated in very simple language, almost like a haiku).
Did thou get help editing and how much editing does In Your Mind- The Infinite Universe Of Yoko Ono need?
To preserve integrity, I edited it myself. I printed disposable samples. Paper editing was a lot easier until I finally got it right. The fact that each chapter was a story made it easier to master than starting with the 550-page book it had become.
I broke a lot of rules, which is nice for the readers. Thou can see her fantastic reviews on inyourmindbook.com.
What is the first writing tip thou would give someone who inspired you to write a book?
Do it yourself. Publishers are short-sighted and restrictive. There are many easy ways to self-publish these days. thou also retain all rights to thine work. Most people will need an editor. It’s just a rough edit.
Can you tell me which books you would like to write in the future?
Maybe I’ll answer the call of my readers who ask me to put together material for my blog (concert and album reviews, reflections on my life as a music lover). I’m promoting Yoko’s book, which is my life’s work!
And finally, are thou proud of your success? It was worth it?
“Yes, definitely.” This is my answer to both questions. Surprisingly, I managed to do it myself. I don’t know where the passion and skill come from. Maybe divine intervention?
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