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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Lynn Forney talks about being inspired to write about surviving an attempted murder in her new book, Choosing Survival: How I Endured A Brutal Attack And A Lifetime Of Trauma Through The Power Of Action, Choice, And Self Expression.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Lynn Forney about her life and career, the experiences that inspired her to start writing, and the work that went into her new book, Choosing Survival: How I Endured A Brutal Attack And A Lifetime Of Trauma Through The Power Of Action, Choice, And Self Expression.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’ve always loved to perform and had a propensity for movement. I started taking dance lessons at 8 years old and it’s been a part of my life ever since. I have a BFA in dance and continue to choreograph and perform to this day. I started acting later in life which has led me to writing, directing, and starring in multiple short films, as well as being represented by an agent. I also love to scuba dive. I’m a Pisces so I feel at home in the water.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I had the idea to write this book shortly after a major traumatic event happened in my life. When talking to people about it, I would often find myself saying, “I know this is so crazy, I should just write a book.” That event took place in 1998.
When did you take a step to start writing?
This is an interesting path. I started singing lessons with a coach whose passion is to help people find their voice through singing lessons. She held a small group coaching session (which didn’t involve singing) that included the use of an app called Voxer. I wrote a poem and my husband encouraged me to read it to the group. The response I got was beautiful and encouraged me to continue writing. The next passage I read to the group was the first chapter to my book.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
Well, the idea to write this book had been floating around in my head for around 23 years! Once I wrote that first chapter, it took close to year to complete it and get it released.
What made you want to write Choosing Survival?
My ultimate hope is to help people. If my story can help others feel seen, less alone, and to advocate for themselves, then my heart is full.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Choosing Survival?
I knew I was going to have to become very vulnerable-sharing things about myself and my life that still feel scary; feeling truly exposed and having no control over how others would react.
What was your research process for Choosing Survival?
I had to look back at my medical records, as well as articles written about my suspected assailant. I also made sure to find resources to back up any facts I printed.
How did you plan the structure of Choosing Survival?
I honestly didn’t plan too much. I knew there were key parts of my life I needed to include, but others flowed out as they came to me. At one point, I made a list, and added as I wrote each chapter. I wrote them all out of order. It was stressful at first, trying to determine how they would all fit together, but I kept trusting they would.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Choosing Survival need?
I hired an editor and had her go through the book twice. I also had a few friends read through it and point out any grammar/spelling errors that they noticed. I was pleasantly surprised that, overall, there weren’t tons of errors!
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
This may sound simple, but just start. Everyone has their own path and writing style, so what works for someone may be different than what works for you. It’s easy to get caught up with “what works” and get all up in your head. If it’s something you truly want to do, then you’ll find a way to do it.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I have no idea! The next project I’m planning is a dance on film based on one of the poems in my book.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Saying I’m proud of myself doesn’t come easily to me, but I am proud of it and it was worth it.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
My book can be found on Amazon.com
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