Interview with S.L. Phillips

What are your four favorite books, and why?
I have a few, but to narrow it down to four, I guess I would list them as follows:

1. My all time childhood favourite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I love this book because of it's simplicity in translating that any situation can become beautiful if you persevere. It's a book that has contributed to crafting my mentality in the midst of severe suffering and heartache. I knew that one day, I will become just like that caterpillar who became a butterfly.

2. Sunshine on a Rainy Day by Bryony Fraser. This book is so comical, yet tackles reality within marriages. It strips away the honeymoon period and deals with real issues that married couples may experience. Although I am not married, it is certainly a book I could relate to with regards to breakdowns of relationships. Besides, everyone likes reading about true love right?

3. Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain. For me, this book was just fantastically written. Though it can be quite hard to follow at first as it goes back and forth, I could relate to Molly and her husband who are left with their last glimmer of hope to have a child via adoption. It also explores relationships between father and daughter and how a breakdown in the family home can create such a massive disruption for a child. This book engaged me and helped me to stop pretending to dance.

4. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Well this one is simple. This is probably my second favourite book after The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Why? Because it teaches you simple steps to attain what your heart desires. Emotional healing was my biggest desire, and although I am still on a journey, this book really helped me with focusing on what I could have (in this instance, peace of mind and healing). And of course, it goes with out saying that it also helps to streamline your thoughts and make you conscious of the requests you mentally project, which if aligned correctly, will be granted.
When did you first start writing?
I first began writing when I was around 13 years old for my English Literature G.C.S.E's. At that age, I didn't see myself as a writer, in fact up until a year ago, I still didn't see myself as a writer. I began writing properly in January 2017. I promised myself that this year will be the year of transparency and out of that was birthed 'Accessing Joy Through Loss'.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in North London, Walthamstow with my parents and my six siblings. It was not the prettiest of areas but there was a real community spirit on our road. Everyone looked out for everyone. I guess the location was great for accessibility. We were close to family, our schools and the market, which was always a bonus. My upbringing was of a humble setting, we didn't have much but we valued what we had. When you are raised in that environment, you have no choice but to be transparent if you required help as there were not many other options.

My book 'Accessing Joy Through Loss' is very open and honest. Though it was not easy to open myself up, I chose to write in that way because that's the only way I know how. I want to contribute to healing other's and the only way I could do that, is by being honest.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In short, I have been through hell and back and back again with suicide once presenting as an option. It's taken me nine years to have a child after ten miscarriages, broken and abusive relationships, self-harming and questioning my sexuality.

Multiple professionals have told me that I would never carry a baby full term with years spent trying to find out what was wrong with my womb, men have abused me physically, emotionally and mentally which soon became an accepted normality. I had to learn the lessons that loss was teaching me, and when I did, I accessed joy.

This book exposes the trauma that comes with a miscarriage and the effects it can have on a parent, long-lasting impacts on a child that is subjected to a family breakdown, denying yourself to be accepted in relationships and methods to overcome grief.
What is your writing process?
1. Brainstorm what I want to write about and my audience
2. Think of how I will link one chapter to another
3. Map out the content for each chapter - beginning, middle and end
4. Think of characters
5. Decide how long I want my book to be and it's readability
6. Begin writing
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To know that I am healed to a certain degree that I can write about my journey throughout my twenties and translate my pain into someone else's emotional freedom.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I value every fan that has decided to invest into my journey. They are evidence that my trauma was worth it. There is no greater feeling than to know that you have connected with someone and they can relate to you. For me, that is everything!
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on my second book which will take a more comical look at the things that first-time parents discover for themselves. From assembling a steriliser, to working out the breast pump and dealing with projectile vomiting. I intend to create a manual of self-help about the things they never warned you of.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To know that I can wake up to fulfil my own dream and I owe it to every person I have lost along the way that are no longer in a position to get up.

Each time I wake up, I have my fans on my mind. What do they want to hear? What do they want to read? What will help them? If getting out of bed means that someone can receive help, guidance or comfort in my words, then I will get up everyday.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy strolling through the streets of London (especially the Southbank) to enjoy the city when it is lit up at night. I'm an avid cinema goer, love going to the theatre and enjoy foreign travel whenever I get the opportunity. I love music and singing to songs that I don't know the word's to...a bit weird I know...but its fun...try it.

I've also started cooking a new meal every week from a cookbook of my choice whilst gently experimenting with baking. My first cake (Victoria sponge cake) was baked in February. My first successful baking in 29 years!
Published 2017-04-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Accepting Joy Through Loss
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,990. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Dysfunctional relationships
Accepting Joy Through Loss, a tumultuous story of self-loathing and self-harming that threatened to wreck a young woman's life and send it spiralling into a pit of despair it would never be able to emerge from again. S.L. Phillips opens up about her nine year journey of recurrent miscarriages, self-harming and disastrous relationships.