What do I write?
I’ve loved writing since I was in primary school. I’d write lo-ooo-ong rambling tales with lots of dialogue and no spelling mistakes. (Actually, that’s not entirely true … I recall once writing an epic tale, in which I repeatedly and consistently spelled ‘of’ with a ‘v’ instead of an ‘f’. I was in Year 6 and my teacher never let me forget it!)
Experimenting with voice is a challenge I happily accept. I also like mucking around with genre, mixing it up a bit. Especially with memoir and biography.
A mentor once told me that writing in 2nd person was very difficult … so I went away and made myself do it. She was right, but I did it anyway. Someone else told me that writing in multiple voices was hard to do well … so I went away and made myself do it. They were also right, but … you know how it ends.
Over time, I’ve come to realise that my mantra, is tell me I can’t.
Sometimes, I wish people would stop telling me that. Life would be easier … but not as much fun.
“The year I had breast cancer was the best year of my life …”
This book is the ‘breast cancer memoir’ I was never going to write. I resisted for nearly five years but then little voices in my head began to niggle … and they wouldn’t go away, so I sat down and allowed them to speak. What I ended up with was a very raw and brutally honest memoir. A memoir in which I give a voice to Cancer, and converse with her as she forces me to reveal and acknowledge all the emotions I experienced that year. The best year. And the worst. Ultimately, though, it was the year I needed to have.
Writing What Cancer Said challenged me as it forced me to relive the events of that year. But I’m proud that, through this story, I’ve finally owned my truth.
Hold this space!
When I started writing What Cancer Said – And what I said back I had this ‘marvellous’ idea that I would interview a few of the ladies in my dragon boating team, Dragons Abreast Canberra. We are a ‘breast cancer survivor’ team, so who better to provide some snippets of wisdom to boost my story?
A few snippets turned into 22 interviews, with 22 heartfelt, funny, emotional and ultimately individual stories that I simply could not pare down to ‘snippets’. I had to do these ladies and their stories justice.
And so, A Blink in Time: Tales from GoAnna was conceived. In what is turning out to be a mammoth book, you can come with us on one of our typical training sessions, and story by story, read about the experiences of 22 of the most amazing ladies I have the honour of calling my teammates.
Keep an eye out. I’m hoping to launch this second book in March of 2024.