Writing itself is a joy! The pen and paper act as my non-judgemental best friend. It allows me to clear my head and sort my thoughts. Sometimes I can have an idea floating around in my head for days, weeks, or years even and it seems that by writing something down it sets that "thought" free for others to take its place. Thus writing is a never ending process....
What are you working on next?
I have always wanted to write my fathers biography. I have had the pleasure to meet many colorful characters in my day, but no one measures up to stories that he comes up with just when telling about his life experiences. Plus, I myself don't even know the full story, every time we meet I learn something new. So I think it would be an important piece for me personally.
I am also planning to write a book about integration into the Swedish society by presenting the stories of several individuals as case studies. I plan to call it "Get to know us". There is a negative stigma that the word immigrant automatically means something bad and that "we immigrants" are taking away from society. Not just in Sweden, but everywhere. I think if people got to learn more about each other that I could help change stereotyping to understanding.
Otherwise, on a lighter note, I want to turn a recent vacation I had in Croatia into a fictional book. I couldn't have created the story or characters with my own imagination! Just an amazing time that with a bit of word fluffing and name changing could be a really fun piece to write.
Who are your favorite authors?
Wow, that is a hard one. For the most part I prefer non-fiction, so my favorite authors are brilliant thinkers. The most recent book that grabbed my attention was "Food of the Gods" by Terrance McKenna. It was so refreshing to see someone take upon the topic of drugs in an academic perspective.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My "to do" lists. As a child I was never allowed to be bored, and I am thankful for that. There is always something to do! Right now my focus is on marketing this book and starting my own business as a Life Coach combining personal training, nutrition/cooking advice and cognitive behavioral therapy. It is just in the beginning phase so there is much work to be done!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Getting shit done! No, but seriously, basically doing that which needs to be done, I cook all my own meals, training thai boxing, hanging out with friends, playing guitar. Once I throw in cleaning, marketing, job hunting, cuddles on the couch with my boyfriend after he works; that doesn't leave time for much else.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Funny enough the first story I remember writing was my autobiography during grade four.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is much like my thought process. It is all over the place. I just have to get ideas down, then I go in afterwards and trim the fat. I wrote many of my university papers that way, I read the question, wrote down a ten page essay off the top of my head, then went back in afterwards and put in references as required. Those papers brought in better marks than when I regurgitated others work, so I have stuck with it.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read non-fiction. To me, reality is far more interesting than fantasy. I love to learn. Most of my reading is based upon topics that interest me, namely about society, politics, healthy living, nutrition and psychology.
Describe your desk
My desk is a metaphor to me. On the surface it is tidy and presentable, on the inside it is chaos. I cannot think clearly when I have stuff everywhere, so I have just my laptop and a few pictures of my nearest and dearest on my two meter long black desk. The inside of the drawers however, is a complete mess of things I must attend to.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town called Kippens in Newfoundland, Canada. Newfoundlanders as they are called are known for being friendly and open people. Most of all, having Irish roots, they are known for their story telling. The vocabulary and way of expressing oneself is quite unique. We never locked our doors and everybody knew everybody, there was a really tight community feeling. A place where people work hard and play hard with an attitude of "this is who I am, take it or leave it". Growing up in this environment, influenced me greatly in that I kept this openness with me. It was only after my travels that I realized how special that little nugget of the planet is.
When did you first start writing?
As long as I can remember I enjoyed creative writing in grade school. And would much rather sit down and write a 15 page research paper for university than work an eight hour shift any day. However, I first started writing my memoirs seven years ago. I had hit rock bottom in an abusive relationship, and hadn't had the balls to come clean to myself or family at the time, so I used writing as a form to write my life into the way I wanted it to be type thing.
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