Memoir

My Father's Son

My Father's Son - John Davis

There are stories that are difficult to read due to violence, gore, or even the level of fear invoked from reading them. But then there are stories that are difficult to read on a whole other level. 

My Father's Son is a memoir that takes you down a dark journey into a difficult childhood filled with physical, emotional, and mental abuse that would leave many individuals scarred and bitter. But John Davis shows how he used his childhood to grow and mature, eventually coming to terms with his past and learning what he can from the events that transpired. 

The book is exceptionally well written, and each chapter is laid out in an easy to read format that draws you in and keeps you hooked for the remainder of the book. I simultaneously found it difficult to read as I watched a young boy filled with fear and apprehension, and was unable to put it down as I had to know how it all progressed. 

Highly recommended. Well worth reading. 


Some Bio Information

John Davis grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY, and now lives in West Milford, NJ, with his wife and their two cats. He works as a Plant Manager and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Business. My Father's Son is his first book.


Q&A

1. Tell us a little about what inspired you to write your story. 

After I got over the shocking truth about my father, I thought about how it would be a good book... or movie even. I mean it was a crazy story and life.  So it took me about 9 years to do something about it and actually write it and now it's done and out there. 

2. How long did it take you to put your work together? 

I wrote the book over 6 weekends last July and August and then spent another 6 weeks or so putting it all together and editing it 

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? 

I actually wrote it all on my iPhone at the beach.  I would type the stories into emails that I would then email back to myself at home.  I would just type as it came to me without any real thought on structure or anything.   So after I got home from the beach each weekend I would have a dozen emails of thousands of words that I then put together into chapters. It's amazing how it came together.  It almost wrote itself.  

4. What was your least favorite part of the writing process? 

The editing process was rough. I would read almost the entire book front to back every night and always found things that needed fixing.  Some fixes were quick and other parts still bother me now.  When I finally read it a few times in a row without noticing any major problems I knew it was ready.  By then I was so sick of it and didn't want to look at it anymore  

5. How would you describe your writing style? 

My writing is very straightforward and to the point.  There's no filler.  Nothing like 'it was an April morning and the sun just broke over the horizon'. None of that.  Each chapter gets right back into the meat of the story. 

6. What is your ultimate writing goal?

To be able to write another book   This one wrote itself.  I'm not sure how I can write another one. 

7. What would you like readers to take away from your work?

I want them to like it although it's a hard book to say you 'like'. It's very disturbing in parts - the violence, the abuse, the language. But I want them to feel something I guess.  Just feel and know you can overcome your upbringing, no matter what happened to you , to still do great things.  

I Don't Believe God Wrote the Bible

I Don't Believe God Wrote the Bible - Gerald Freeman

You never know where life is going to take you, and that's especially true in Gerald Freeman's memoir, I Don't Believe God Wrote the Bible. Throughout the piece, he explains the path that he took to learn about himself and to see reason behind the mistakes he made in life. 

Overall, I found this to be an entertaining and learning experience. I'm always interested to learn about the journeys that others have taken and the conclusions they've come to in life. 

The writing is well done and the pages flow smoothly. I think just about anyone could take some piece of information about themselves away from this work - even if it's just the knowledge that you are learning through each and every choice you make in life. 


Some Bio Information

Gerald Freeman spent the best part of ten years traveling on the road and with only fate as a guide he had no real destination. The main objective was to experience another kind of existence than the one he felt was being dictated to him. Eventually he settled in Portugal, where he began doing sculpture and writing. He has written two books- Kill Daddy  and I Don't Believe God Wrote The Bible  which came third place in the non-fiction section of The Best Indie Book Award 2015.

With his writing he hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams and turn them into a reality.
He also writes poetry, which can be found on his blog http://geraldfreeman.blogspot.pt/ 

Connect with him here: 


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book? 

Seeing so many people spending their lives doing jobs they do not want, only to pay bills they cannot keep up with was the reason I decided to go travelling and find something more enjoyable to do with my life. Once I had ventured out into the world and seen just how big it really is, my thirst for adventure took hold. I am inspired by the fact that life is precious and I have written this book to encourage people to look for alternatives, if they are not happy, or to take time out before committing to a university course and eventually a life they may find they do not even want.

2. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to become an author? 

Like many authors, I have been writing poetry and notes for years always with the intention of turning my work into books when the time was right. After getting married and feeling stability in my life for the first time ever, I felt I was ready to take on the role of author. I began reading through notes I had written over the last thirty years and discovered I had not one book, but at least four. In fact, as my life continues, I have more and more to write.

3. Are there any authors who influence your writing? 

Richard Bach influenced not only my life, but also the person I am always trying to eventually become. I read Jonathon Livingstone Seagull at an age when I needed guidance and positivity in my life. It is a great story about taking control of your own life and striving for your dreams, which are only dreams until you turn them into a reality.

4. Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process?

Occasionally, I post photos on my blog with piles of scrap bits of paper, which I have just managed to sort through and squeeze them into a text or a poem somewhere. They lay around for months in pots and boxes and drawers around the house until the day I feel inspired to wade through them and see what I have been dreaming and thinking about over the previous months. Many are sent straight to the bin, but then I find a few gems that are destined to become a poem, a sculpture, or a story. Such a satisfying feeling throwing those scribbled down ideas away and knowing I am creating something new.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I hope my writing is succinct and easy to follow. I do not spend much time looking up synonyms or searching for sesquipedalian prose. I hope the reader feels they are listening, or talking to the real me- the person not the author.

6. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

To be able to share stories and poems that inspire and move people. I hope others can identify with some of my experiences and perhaps gain comfort from knowing they are not alone and there are alternatives to a life we do not want to lead.

To connect with Gerald Freeman:

http://geraldfreeman.blogspot.pt/

https://www.facebook.com/gerryaldridgedesign.dinstudio.se/

The Devil Wears Clogs

The Devil Wears Clogs - Jennifer Burge

Having only traveled overseas, I can only daydream about what it must be like to make that jump and decide to live abroad. In The Devil Wears Clogs, Burge takes us through her experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly, giving women across the states an idea of how that move might go down. 

While reading this book invoked some frustration, some sad eyes, and more than a few "Oh no! Don't do that!" from me, there was plenty of humor to ease the moment. Her fun sense of humor really drives the moral of the book home for me. And that is that no matter what you go through in life, you have to keep your heart light and a smile on your face. 

A very fun read that I highly recommend. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 


Some Bio Information

Jennifer Burge grew up on the Lake Erie shore near Cleveland, Ohio. Graduating from the Ohio
State University in 1994, she long dreamed of living and working in Europe. Her wish came
true as her career in IT project management moved her to Germany in 2001 and then to the
Netherlands in 2002.

In 2007, Jennifer relocated to Singapore where she worked as an IT contractor. She traveled
extensively throughout Asia and began writing destination pieces for The Guide magazine
(Vietnam). Realizing that others who sought to work overseas could benefit from her first-hand experience and perhaps avoid painful lessons, Jennifer began writing her memoir, The Devil Wears Clogs, in 2009.

Her next move took her to Australia in 2011 where she returned to consulting before taking the
leap to full-time writing in 2012. In 2013 and she became a full member of the Australian
Authors’ Society and her first memoir was published in late 2014. Singapore Salvation, the Asian sequel will be released in December 2015.

Jennifer lives in north Brisbane and works full-time writing and speaking in the importance of
cultural understanding in a global society. She is a columnist for www.ExpatFocus.com and
provides insight on world destinations and cultures on: www.WorldwisePublications.com. 


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book? 

When I was preparing to move to Germany from the US in 2001, I was desperate for information about what my life would look like once I got there. In those days, we still had dial-up internet and Google was only a glimmer in cyberspace. If I wanted to read books by women, they were about regional cooking and markets. Books by men offered factual “how-to” information about securing apartments and visas. I didn’t find one book written by a female author about transitioning life and career to another continent. In my early years abroad, I made many mistakes−so many that I call The Devil Wears Clogs a “How NOT to Live Abroad Guide.” I wanted to share those mistakes with others aspiring to live abroad or help someone already living there not to feel so alone in what can be a very isolating experience. 

2. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to become an author? 

I’ve escaped into books to learn about the world for as long as I can remember. Once I was eight years into the experience of global living, I wanted to share what I’d gleaned in roughly twenty countries. The Global Financial Crisis in 2008-9 also played a role. I was living in Singapore at the time and foreigners were at the bottom of the barrel for corporate hiring. I had to choose another avenue. My first job was writing for an English language tourism magazine in Vietnam. Those cringeworthy articles were my stepping stone.

3. Are there any authors who influence your writing? 

Mary Karr, Joan Didion, Jeanette Walls, Claire Bidwell Smith, Caitlin Moran

4. Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process? 

I’ve experimented with many ways of producing my best work. For the actual writing, I find that an early morning walk around the lake near my house is an incredible idea generator. I follow that with 2-3 hours of writing. After that, I edit the work from the days or weeks before. I can edit all day long, but the initial creating is something I find I cannot push myself to do for 8 hours. If I do, I’m not pleased with the results. 

5. Who is your favorite character in your work? 

C’est moi! Okay, I know that is an annoying answer but I am a travel-memoirist and my work centers on my experiences in forty-four countries. Aside from my own realizations and observation, it’s usually the antagonist. In The Devil Wears Clogs, it is the man I refer to as the antichrist. In the sequel, Singapore Salvation, it is the woman who attempted to wreck my marriage. I suppose I have revenge fantasies. 

6. How would you describe your writing style?  

I try to portray life abroad as honestly as possible. Many of the books I’ve mentioned earlier describe life abroad as glamorous. It is my intention to show that there is a decidedly unglamorous side to it as well. Don’t get me wrong, I would not change the past fifteen years of my life for anything, but truth is often stranger than fiction and that has played out well for me.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

If I zero in on the word “ultimate”, it is to give life to real-life characters who are female adventurers. I wish I’d had role-models like that when I was younger. Without them, I’ve learned everything the hard way! I’m not complaining for one instant. Life has provided me with enough stories to fill two books and a third, about my present home in Australia, is forthcoming. Once I finish this series, I’m on the fence as to whether or not to try fiction. People who do it well impress me enormously and I’m not sure I’m up to the task.

The Bounce! A Story of love, loss and the life of a global Indian

The Bounce! A Story of love, loss and the life of a global Indian - Mohan K.

There is nothing better than diving into a book that you know very little about, only to be sucked in 100% and find yourself completely caught up with the plot.

The Bounce! did that for me. Knowing that this is based on personal experiences made the story and progression of the plot even more fascinating and difficult to set aside. I read it entirely in one sitting and felt many of the emotional ups and downs that the author went through. 

I cannot recommend this book enough. The writing is superb and the plot moves at a steady pace. It's almost impossible to put down. 


Some Bio Information

Mohan is an Indian American Information Technology executive with a multinational company headquartered in Switzerland. He has lived and worked in five countries across three continents, gaining a first-hand experience of working in multicultural environments. 

Mohan is also a blogger, columnist and writer whose viewpoints and papers have been published in several international technical and non-technical journals. He lives in North Carolina with his lovely wife and adorable kindergartener.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book? 

My goal in writing “The Bounce!” was simple. I had a story that I thought must be told.  It is also an attempt to show a human face to globalization and people in the dynamic global outsourcing industry who travel around the world. 

Much of the story depicted in the novel is mine. I decided to write a semi-autobiographical novel since this format gave me a bit of artistic liberty to stretch my imagination while basing the outline on facts as I remembered them. A few accounts, and names have been fictionalized and I rely on the dialog style that a fiction can accommodate more than a biography. 

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? 

I have written and blogged extensively on technology and management topics, but this is my first fictional book. I had been reflecting on an incident, back in 2008 when we lost a healthy, bouncy child while on a Jet Airways flight from Brussels to Delhi. My wife and I were relocating back from Toronto with a five and half month old child when tragedy struck. The book is an attempt at redemption, especially as writing has been very cathartic for me. 

By talking about my story, I am also hoping to provide some inspiration to others facing life’s challenges on bouncing back, as the title suggests.

3. What was your favorite part of writing this book?

The favorite part of writing a book is when we start to engage with readers. Comments and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been engaging and inspiring. 

4. How would you describe your writing style? 

One of the best pieces of advice I got when I first started writing was to “write what you know.”

I take time during my other activities to jot down some ideas and revisit them when I write. I also draw inspiration from what I read and observe. 

6. What would you like readers to take away from your book? 

I would like readers to be inspired to face life’s challenges, and to appreciate life and travails of those from other cultural and social backgrounds.   

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

My goal is rather simple. I would like to be a writer who can engage readers.  

Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills

Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills - Praveen Venkiteswara Annu

Deep within us, we all long for adventure. Whether we appease these cravings by traveling or reading, the desire is ever present. 

In Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills, Praveen Venkiteswara Annu introduces us to one man's desire for adventure and the journey that he and a few friends embark on. 

Complete with breathtaking images that will leave you a bit in awe, this account leaves no detail out. 

The writing is straight to the point and the images are a wonderful addition, helping to fully bring to life exactly what the author is describing and making you a part of the story. 


Some Bio Information

I am Praveen Venkiteswara Annu, from God’s Own Country, Kerala in India. 
Although I am a mechanical engineer by qualification, I switched streams after studies and picked up software development. I work as a Software Architect in a multi-national company and live in Trivandrum, Kerala with my wife and 3 year-old daughter.

I enjoy travelling, photography and spending time with my family. My daughter loves the beach and the outdoors in general and that is where we normally spend our weekends.
Having been a sportsperson in my school days, I follow cricket closely and I am interested in basketball, volleyball, tennis and soccer. I have tried my hand at various sports whenever I had the opportunity.

I never thought I would become a published author until I returned from a trip to Ladakh, a high altitude cold desert in the Indian Himalayas. I had an encounter with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and had to return halfway through the trip. I decided to jot down my experiences. Once I was done, I shared it with my friends to get some feedback and the feedback was positive. It was then that I decided that it was probably a good idea to try my hand at self-publishing.

I thought it would be a good idea to include some pictures that I had clicked during the journey, in the book. So, after completing a couple of drafts, editing and formatting, I was ready to self-publish. I also designed the cover art myself, with some help from the Amazon Cover Designer, of course. Do let me know what you think about it.

Thus, my first book “Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills” was published. I also put together a collection of photographs from the trip in a picture book titled “Ladakh in Pictures”. 

Though this was my first attempt at publishing a book, I had started writing about my experiences of travelling in Europe, while working in the United Kingdom. That was never completed. Now that I have discovered the art of self-publishing, I hope to pick up from where I left off, complete the book and publish it sooner than later.

I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out to me at Praveen.annu@gmail.com.


Q&A

1. What made you decide to share your story? 

never really planned to become a writer. After returning from a life changing trip to Ladakh, I jotted down my experience. I shared it with my friends and I received positive feedback from them. So, I thought of publishing it since I had written it anyway! 'Himalayas: Through Heaven and Hell in the Hills' became my first book. A selection of photographs from the trip was compiled into the book 'Ladakh in Pictures'.

2. How long did it take you to write this? 

This is a short book. I took around three weeks from the first draft to reviewers copy. The book was ready for publication in another two weeks after I designed the cover and incorporated feedback from my beta readers.

3. How would you describe your writing process?

I prefer to write only when I am in the mood. I cannot force myself to write. So, there is no set schedule. But, when I do write, I like to write as long as I find the flow.

4. What is your favorite memory from that time? 

That would have to be the time spent on the banks of river Indus, near the Stakna Monastery. It was around midday and the sun was bright enough and the breeze mild enough to be enjoyed. The only sounds were of chirping birds and the rippling water. The view had everything on offer; snowcapped mountains, lush greenery, turquoise blue water of the Indus, a clear blue sky and the Stakna Monastery perched on a hill. It was a spiritual and heavenly experience.

5. How would you describe your writing style? 

I use simple English and try not to elaborate too much. I want the readers to use their imagination to paint a picture for themselves with the basic description that I provide. Some people have given me specific advice to be more descriptive in my writing – probably not my style.

6. What piece of advice would you give to your readers? 

My books are all related to travel and are based on real life experiences. As in real life, not all such experiences can have a fairytale ending. Most times it is a mix of both, good and bad. I have had some one star reviews with comments stating that it is a story of an unsuccessful road trip. My take on that is, unless others know what went wrong when I went on my trip, how will they avoid such mistakes when they undertake similar trips? There is no point just writing about success stories. Sometimes, sharing failures is also helpful and equally important.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

To share the memories from the various trips that I undertake with my readers and hopefully enrich their lives with experiences of my travel. And, possibly to inspire some people to actually embark on a journey inspired by the places I travel to

Wounds of the Father

Wounds of the Father - Elizabeth Garrison

It is always difficult to read stories of abuse. I usually struggle to get through the books and end up skipping sections and chapters. For that reason, I was nervous to begin reading this book. Having a two year old of my own, any stories that include child abuse leave me nauseous and in tears. 

However, Garrison tells the story in such a way that even though your heart is hurting for her, you can see a light at the end of the tunnel. The fact that it's a memoir, made me optimistic that the powerful message would be worth the difficult journey. And it was/is.

The book is well written and includes a powerful message that everyone can relate to - regardless of their past experiences. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Garrison conjures some powerful imagery. 

A highly worthy read, even if you think you may find the story irrelevant to your life. It's positive message of perseverance and overcoming the odds is one that we should all take to heart.   

 


Some Bio Information

Elizabeth Garrison has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and works as a researcher for the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. Her research focuses on the effects of childhood abuse and developing interventions to help children recover. She also is a well-known celebrity ghost-writer. Given her talent in helping others to tell their stories, Garrison decided it was time to tell her own story. Visit her at www.elizabethgarrison.info.


Q&A

1. What made you decide to put your story into book form? 

Initially, I did it to help me make sense of all of the holes in my memory and blank spaces in my life from drug use and abuse. I was reading through pages of old journals I’d kept (including one that was tucked away in my seat when I lived in my car) and as I was reading, I started writing. I didn’t start writing my story with the intention to share it with the world, however, as time went on, I realized that people could benefit from hearing my story. 

2. What would you like your readers to take away from your work? 

First, your labels don’t define you. I can’t count the number of labels that have been attached to me. I've been diagnosed with everything from schizophrenia to mild mental retardation. None of these things are true and none of these things are my experience. You are not who people say you are. Period.

Second, don’t ever give up. The only thing that separates me from all the other people who didn't make it out of the darkness is that I didn't quit. I kept going no matter what. It’s the thing that will separate you from those who don’t make it. The line dividing the successful from the unsuccessful is not based on any hidden factor or secret formula other than the refusal to quit. Successful people have had just as many failures as the unsuccessful, they just kept going until they got where they wanted to be. All you have to do is keep moving forward and you will too.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? 

I have a notebook that I am constantly scribbling in throughout the day. I don’t have time to sit and write during the day because I’m juggling a career, a second grader, and a marriage. I don’t have the time to sit down and write until the evening once everyone is in bed. This is the time I can pull out my computer and refer to the frantic notes of things I noted to write about during the day. I’d love to have more time to write.

4. How long did it take you to write your work?

It took me two years to go through my journals. Putting together the notes I’d written into a narrative that others could read took an additional year. 

5. How would you describe your writing style? 

I don’t know if this will make sense, but I write how people think. I think one of the reasons people can relate to my book so well is because it gives you an inside look into the mind of an addict and a child who has been abused, but doesn’t realize what’s happened to her constitutes abuse. 

6. What’s the great piece of advice you can give to your readers? 

To learn from their mistakes. I wish I could say that I've done things perfectly, but I haven’t. Nobody does. The one constant in life is that we will all make mistakes, but some of my biggest mistakes have been my greatest teachers. They can be yours too.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

I’m moving into writing psychological thrillers that blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction given my own life experiences as well as the hundreds of clients I’ve worked with. I’d love to write the next gripping page turner in psychological thrillers

From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal

From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal - Susan Bremer O'Neill

I always admire when people have the courage to share their true stories: not just the sunshine and rainbows version. It's through the hard times that we truly learn about ourselves and about who we want to be. This memoir is no different. Susan shares the most difficult times of her life in an attempt to help other women avoid the same hurdles that she faced.

Susan tells her story in an easy to read tone that makes it easy to fly through the pages. I felt connected to her and found myself nodding at so many of the twists and turns she faced. I feel that her story is an important one for women to hear. If we all learned to love ourselves first, we could avoid so many of the relationship hurdles that are thrown at us. 

Overall an excellent read. I felt her ups and downs, cringed at some of the decisions made, and remembered making some of those decisions for myself when I was younger. However, this book is not for the faint of heart. Susan outlines some difficult times in her life and while the lessons learned are incredibly powerful, the journey is not lighthearted. 


Some Bio Information

Susan Bremer O’Neill, author, speaker, self-relationship coach and Self Appeal® Founder, has been a pioneer and trail blazer her entire life. She graduated from high school at the age of 16, then went on to complete a Laser Technology Program at the age of 23, graduating with high honors, the only woman with a group of men. Working in science for twelve years, she then abandoned that work and became an exotic dancer. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 1998, produced the woman-empowering DVD, Striptease for Real Women in 2004, and today champions women’s and girls’ empowerment to value and love their body for their most fulfilling lives.

Although her highly personal memoir took her ten long years to write and publish, she’s become more prolific with the support of a loving husband and her family of five rescue animals, two dogs and three cats.


Q&A

1. What made you decide to put your story into book form?

There are many women confused as to how to get and keep love.  I wrote my story to further understand why I took the journey I did, and that perhaps other women will see themselves in my feelings and confusion and not have to make some of the same mistakes I did.

 2. What would you like your readers to take away from your work?

First and foremost, I’d like them to have a good read. Second, I hope they gain some insight into themselves. Third, I hope they get inspiration and perhaps a loose road map on how to stop looking for love in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways. Fourth, I hope it prompts them to stop and really think about the situations they put themselves in and what is it they really want, not what someone else thinks or says they should want.  Specifically, I’d like them to gain some power to set boundaries and say, “no.”

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

I start with notes on the computer.  Once I have enough notes and the idea has blossomed with more relevant thoughts and concepts in my brain, it becomes a more realistic book idea (I have 3 books started right now).  Next, I pick the book to focus on and print the pages out to sort through the notes and put them into chapters.  I then print the pages out again and in the mornings when my mind is fresh, I sit in silence and edit and write long hand. The momentum and process of moving thoughts from my brain through my arm, hand and onto the paper helps me delve deeper and be more authentic.

I enter the writing into the computer at the end of the day, print the page or pages anew and start fresh the next day with a clean sheet and a clear mind. I spend a few hours on a page or paragraph and then I move onto the next paragraph or page.  Once the entire first draft of the book is done, I go back into the writing and spend even more time, sometimes, as in the case of a memoir, I close my eyes and really put myself back into the situation in order to write about it more honestly. 

If I’m really being true to myself, often in these moments there are relived emotions and that’s when I know I’m in the right writing space and that the episode is important to keep in. I’ve included some pieces in this first memoir that were hard to share, but leaving them out felt like it wouldn’t have been true to the book and the purpose.

4. How long did it take you to write your work?

All in all, the entire work from start to finish took me almost ten years. I had many fits and starts and much frustration.  My biggest challenge, like many women, is that I was always looking for the “best” or “right” way to write.  I probably wrote the equivalent of two entire books before this memoir, but this is the one story that has a beginning, middle, and an end. Then while I was writing, I had to learn to go deeper.  The first draft was only one hundred pages and eight chapters but editors and friends told me they wanted more about relationships.  It took me over five years to write what is now eleven chapters and 350 pages.  After it was written, it took me a few years to get the courage to publish because I was worried about what others would think, especially my mother.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I write creative nonfiction with an intense focus on first person and a commitment to truth. I fall into a natural rhythm of “show and tell,” often using an experience and then dissecting that experience with psychological insight. Even in the nonfiction writing that isn’t centered on memoir, I like to use first person experiences because people pay attention and learn more easily through story.

6. What’s the great piece of advice you can give to your readers?

On writing—Just do it! Write the shitty first draft. No one has to see that but you. You won’t get to the stuff underneath unless you get the stuff on top out. On a personal perspective, love has to start inside. Value your body and embrace the beauty and power of your sexuality in a healthy life-affirming way if you want to get, have, and keep love.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

My goal is to help every woman (and ultimately every person) have positive nurturing relationships with themselves so they may have their best relationships and lives possible. I write nonfiction and while I have another memoir in the note gathering stage that continues where this last one stops, with my husband and how we develop our relationship, I also write self-development nonfiction to help people grow confidence, courage, and have more healthful choices.