How would you describe the writing of ‘My Big Fat…Fat’? Was it an easy or a difficult book to write?
I think the first thought that goes through your head when you start writing, is finishing the book! Perhaps that’s just me; I see the finished product in my head, so it’s always on my mind. I have to have a complete book in my head before I start.
The idea of writing the book came to me after a sort of epiphany; that over-eating has stolen a very large part of my life and personality, and so the book kind of stemmed from there. It was going to be a serious book, but then I thought ‘There are millions of women on a diet, right at this very moment, what is it we’re all going through?’ – that and my sense of humor really got the words down ‘on paper’. Then it naturally developed into an A to Z, with funny bits and some not-so-funny bits.
It was very easy to write, because these are personal experiences. I loved writing the book. It’s semi-biographical.
If I can get a giggle out of a reader, or even a “I know, right!” – then I’ve succeeded as far as I’m concerned. When we embark upon ‘a diet’, we kind of enclose ourselves. It’s very isolating. This book is about saying ‘You’re not alone’.
Have you always enjoyed writing? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been writing one thing or another. When I was in primary school I wrote a story about a haunted house that was fourteen pages long. I think I shocked my teachers.
Since then, I’ve written droves and droves of ‘stuff’, mostly amounting to nothing, but it satisfied my need to write.
I had an online ‘Vampire’ magazine in the early 2000’s and I published other people’s short stories on it. It was then that I realized I’m not really great at fiction.
But I have some funny real-life stories to tell, and so this non-fiction series was born.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I honestly can’t type fast enough to keep up with the things I’m thinking about.
I love the soft pop of my laptop keys as I hit them. I like the physical rhythm of typing, and I love making people laugh, so I really enjoy conveying that to the best of my ability.
You probably enjoyed reading as a child. Tell us about that. What were your favorite books growing up? What do you enjoy reading now?
Oh gosh I loved it. We had a book club in Primary School, and we’d get a small catalog of books we can buy, of course I always wanted four or five but my family just couldn’t afford it at the time.
Aside from ‘Twinkle’ annuals (remember those?), I had a book called ‘My Side of the Mountain’ which I found absolutely captivating. Another was ‘The Brumby’, which was written in the first-horse narrative. No seriously. Then I had a book called ‘Ghostly Laughter’ and after that was hooked on both spooky stories and humor. Those were the earliest ‘proper’ books I read, when I was eight or nine.
The next ‘chapter’ (tee-hee) of reading tastes happened after I read ‘Dracula’ when I was about fourteen. I honestly couldn’t put it down – it was so beautifully written. After that I was hooked on vampire fiction for about twenty years. I used to get vampire books bought for me as Christmas and birthday gifts, so I have two of everything. Didn’t have the heart to say ‘I’ve read that one’.
Now in my forties I love reading about Ancient Rome. I love biographies of the old Hollywood stars and I love humor. I also read a fair bit of non-fiction. Ruby Wax’s ‘Taming the Mind’ was a life-changer.
What have you realized about yourself through writing?
That I actually have a book to write! For many years I’ve read books, part-written books and stories, but in my head, this book wouldn’t leave me alone. The book literally nagged me, for months, to write it.
Ultimately, that I can laugh about the fact that I’ve been on a diet all my life. If I can laugh about what I’ve put myself through, anyone can.
I think humor is a good way to challenge opinions, too. It’s easier to be humorous about a serious issue. Take Jim Jeffries’ sketch about ‘guns’ for instance; absolute genius.
What are you working on now?
Book two is going to be about four years of commuting, and it’s another funny. They are all stories about the people I’ve encountered while on a train platform or on a train. You’ll get to meet ‘Queue Lady’, ‘Pole-Dancing Man’ and many others you won’t believe exist.
Book three is a serious one about where I used to work, although similarly they are experiences that are so shocking they are almost funny.
Other than that, I meditate regularly, am a full time cat servant, a complete geek and I work on finding spectacular coffee and cheap vodka.
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