Interview with Jodie Fleming

Published 2018-11-03.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Ah wow, great question. Writing has always had to 'come out of me', sort of like breathing. I remember as an eight-year-old, writing 'scripts' for my neighbour in our self-recorded radio show. I've always kept journals and been a prolific letter writer too, so when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, I of coursed turned to writing as my main creative and cathartic outlet. Psychologists also write. A lot. So, I blended my two skill sets in order to survive my own cancer battle. At the end of it all, I realised I might have documented some things that might be useful to other people in a similar situation and I found a wonderful agent, almost overnight. Sadly, despite gaining wonderful reviews from the major publishing houses, they didn't have a home for my book. It sad, alone on a shelf for three years, until now when I discovered the amazing team at Indie Mosh who have helped me evolve into a published indie author!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has provided me with a platform from which to launch A Hole in My Genes. It's given my book exposure to so many people who might never have stumbled across my words and has also opened so many doors of opportunities for me as a first time author, teaching me the ropes as it were. Thank you Smashwords. You have made the transition from weekend keyboard fanatic to indie author a literal dream come true.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
On a selfish level, it's the feeling I get when I am completely absorbed in the flow. It's the bringing of the subconscious story into consciousness, the calm that comes from being fully immersed in the moment, the sound of the keys tapping and the sight of the words appearing on the screen.

Selflessly, when someone tells me they devoured my words in one sitting, that they laughed, they cried and that they picked up something useful from my story - well, that actually gives meaning to my own cancer experiences but also to my life.
What are you working on next?
I've been urged to take the strategies I discuss anecdotally in my memoir and develop them into a more formal self-help book. I'm starting with a small e-book and then will develop that into a book in 2019.
Who are your favorite authors?
So many! Mitch Albom is one of my favourites. I'm quite enthusiastic about the theme of death and he gets me thinking outside the square. I'm reading a lot of Alain de Botton at the moment and have gone back to the classics, Carl Jung, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus. I'm about to begin the new Hanya Yanagihara book and despite having only ever read A Little Life, she has moved me in ways I have never been moved through her story telling. I'm also a massive Maya Angelou fan and a big memoir/autobiography fan, so that means I like a lot of authors.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My dog Morty forces me to get out of bed each day haha, but I have to say my main motivator is to help others, which luckily, I'm privileged to at least attempt to do every day at work.

I'm passionate about so many things though, travel, immersion in other cultures, the ocean, soaking up each second of life that I can. It's amazing the shift in perspective you gain once you've faced your own mortality.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I run, I swim in the ocean, hang with my nephews, family, friends. Watch movies. Run with the dog. Read. Travel. Eat good food. Drink wine. Help out where I can. Listen to podcasts. Netflix and chill baby!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I surf Smashwords of course. I love a good 'recommended for you' list. I also am guided by the podcasts I listen to, or clients who tell me what they're reading. I keep a list in my phone of any books I 'should' read so I don't forget them!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! It was in grade 2 and it was called The Little Green and Black Monster. There was a whole love story arc and everything. Our neighbour typed it up for me and I drew the pictures. I remember being very proud as my teacher showed it to my mum and her friends at the school gate one day. They laughed at the part where I suggested that the Little Green and Black guy had met a lady friend who was playing "hard to get." Out of the mouths of babes.
What is your writing process?
I don't really have a formal process. I try to set aside time and then if I am able to, I sit and write.

A Hole in My Genes was written out of order. Each chapter formed a writing task for the writing classes I was taking at the time in the Literary Kitchen with Ariel Gore. It was in the kitchen that the book began to form.

At times, it was too painful for me to revisit certain parts of that story, so I avoided it for months at a time. I had to really play it by ear and listen to my body. The catharsis was incredibly healing though.

Now I try to write regularly for my website. I try to keep the articles to 800 words, based on things that come up in my clinic room each month. There isn't enough time in my life at the moment to write as often as I would like, but that's certainly a work in progress.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first book I ever read out loud on my own, and the realisation that I was reading!

That was a Little Golden Book about Winnie the Pooh and I was reading it with my older cousin Ann.

That realisation changed my life!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

A Hole in My Genes: A Memoir
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 80,030. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2019 by Tellwell Talent. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies
In 2010, exactly one month after the end of her marriage, a thirty-seven-year-old psychologist is diagnosed with two primary breast cancers. Determined to help herself, she develops her own toolkit to conquer cancer's psychological minefield of grief & loss, infertility, surgeries & survival.