Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
After spending the last 20+ years working as a practitioner in the health and well-being fields I am very excited to have published my first book and can’t wait to do another.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
It’s called Rise Again After Divorce: The 5 Keys For Women To Heal Wounds, Resurrect Dreams And Create A Life Full Of Love and it was inspired by my own painful divorce.
Because I spent years trying to make sense of what happened with my marriage, and even longer trying to find my own self-confidence again, I really wanted to write about everything I have learned so that someone else could have a shortcut and not have to take the long and often harrowing road I took.
In truth Rise Again After Divorce is not only for those who have experienced the difficult breakup of a relationship, but for anyone facing any sort of trauma or difficult life situation. It’s full of life skills, though admittedly geared up with examples for those experiencing relationship issues. I’ve also discovered it’s not just for women either as a lot of men have told me how helpful they have found it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I had always thought I could never write a book. It was a long-held belief and I’m sure many will identify with it. A bit like being told as a child your artwork isn’t good and then believing all your life that you’re not creative.
Then one morning I woke up and felt I just had to give it my best shot. I’m not sure where the idea came from. Nothing could have been further from my conscious mind at the time. But once the idea was there it wouldn’t go away and so I decided to run with it and see what happened.
I had spent years assimilating my own experience and learning from that as well as from my work with clients, yet no-one was more surprised than me when it only took me just over 3 weeks to put the first draft down on paper. It was if it was all there ready to go and all I had to do was put the time in to get it onto paper! Well, onto my laptop. I did spend a lot longer crafting it though, to get it to the final standard that I was happy with.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love biographies and memoirs. I find it so inspiring to read about how someone has changed their life for the better, or how they have grown as a person through their own experiences and their reactions to those experiences. The most recent one I read was Michelle Obama’s book ‘Becoming’. A fascinating read, and with lots of insights into American life for this Brit!
What are you working on now?
Because my own divorce was so pivotal in setting me on the path of self-discovery it was the obvious place for my writing to start. However once I had got the writing bug I decided quite quickly that Rise Again After Divorce would be the first in the Help Your Cellves Empowerment series, with follow-ups covering health, work and personal development issues etc.
I have so many ideas for my next books I’m going to have to be very disciplined to choose one and stick with it until it’s published, and then onto the next, otherwise I’m going to end up with a drawer full of unfinished manuscripts!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
With this being my first book I’m on a learning curve. I run a private Facebook Group for women going through a divorce or breakup called Divorce Be Gone, Let’s Move On! I also have a more general Help Your Cellves Facebook page for health and all things to do with wellbeing. Both of those are useful places to let people know about the book. I noticed there was a lot of interest when I released the audiobook too.
They say only 20% of all your marketing is effective, the difficulty is knowing which 20%!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My experience is with non-fiction and I found it helpful to outline the whole book first. I also did the same for each chapter. I used a board with lots of post-its and moved things around so everything flowed as well as I could manage with all that I wanted to say. Then, when I sat down to write it, I knew exactly what I wanted to say in each section.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
‘Stay in your own lane’. It’s so easy to get distracted by what others are doing and to compare ourselves. By all means take inspiration from others but keep focused on your own work and don’t see yourself as less (or more !) important.
What are you reading now?
I always have a selection of non-fiction books on the go. The one that has me gripped at the moment is ‘The Telomere Effect’ by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel. It is so exciting to see how we can affect our health and the rate at which we age, by supporting the length of the telomeres of our chromosomes.
My relaxing and entertaining read is The Break by Marion Keyes.
Since launching the book in audio format I’ve discovered the joy of listening on the move to some great titles. It’s transformed long car journeys. (Am I allowed to say that? 🙂 )
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m tying up a few loose ends concerning marketing the first book, then it will be time to plump for the next book topic in the Help Your Cellves Empowerment series, and get it written. I am enjoying the researching part of it too though, gathering the stories and examples, and developing the themes. There is so much I want to say I will have to get that board and post it notes again to get the ideas organised into a flow.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I do like a book you can go back to and read it as if it was the first time, or at least find new perspectives. For this reason I love The Hidden Face of Jesus by Anne and Daniel Meurois-Givaudan. I think since I bought my copy it’s been renamed Christ’s Hidden Life Remembered. I’m not religious, but I do find the concepts written about in the book fascinating and enlightening. It’s been a while since I last read it so maybe it’s time to revisit it again.
A book full of positive quotes and wisdom would also be good to keep the spirits up such as one of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. I would also need a book about surviving on an island. It would have to have lots of flora pictures so I recognise them, and details of how to gather and make something edible and drinkable from what you can find. I say flora and not fauna as I’m vegetarian and wouldn’t want to eat anything living!