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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Shani-Lee Wallis talks about writing her book, War With Myself, about her experiences of battling with bulimia.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Shani-Lee Wallis about her life, why she wanted to write about her life and experiences with bullemia, and her creative process.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a fun, loving, caring, giving person that enjoys the simple things in life. Quality time with family and friends, nature, reading, and time on my own to reflect and relax.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
Six months prior to publishing was when I was serious about writing War with Myself. Prior to then, I made excuses for reasons why I shouldn’t. It was my husband, Paul that provided the support, and gave me the courage to make it happen.
When did you take a step to start writing?
Writing was always a therapeutic outlet. It started with diaries as a child, then journals as a teen and it manifested into a book when I realized my story could help others.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took six months from concept to release. I’m not a writer, so it takes me a while to go through the process.
What were your biggest challenges with writing War With Myself?
It was challenging to dig deep and be honest. I needed people to know the good, bad, and ugly, even if it cast me in a darker light.
I was concerned that people would treat me differently or that I would have to defend myself. As I read back what I had written, I would often cry. Not for me, but for the girl in the story. I have a healthy disconnect. So, it was like reading about someone else’s pain
What is the inciting incident of War With Myself?
There are a few inciting incidents in War with Myself. The details of the sexual abuse, physical bullying and the raw account of living with bulimia is sure to stir up a medley of emotions.
What is the main conflict of War With Myself?
The main conflict of War with Myself is the daily struggle of living with an eating disorder.
Did you plot War With Myself in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I took some time to think about what I wanted people to take away from reading the book. From there, I made a list of items that needed to be included, to achieve this. In each section I wrote freely, and once everything was out of my head, I began to structure the chapters. Last was the editing. Only 25% of what I initially wrote, survived my personal edits and made the final cut.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did War With Myself need?
I hired a professional editor. As I mentioned, I am not a professional writer. So, there was no chance I would have trusted myself. However, I was surprised at how little was changed in the final edits. Still, I did find some changes that need to be made. I am currently working on updating my cover, so I’ll make the changes at the same time.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
If you feel inspired to write, do so. It is rewarding and fulfilling in so many ways. Don’t seek approval from anyone else. You need to do this for yourself!
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I have thought about writing something that is recovery specific. Delving into, and providing tools, techniques, and activities to aid recovery. I’m currently working on an interactive recovery journal; with daily wellness, recovery, and relapse prevention prompts.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
The support I have received from friends, family and strangers has made it all worth it. People have reached out to share their personal stories, and through War with Myself, they have found the courage to talk about their experiences for the first time.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Eating Disorder Recovery Group www.facebook.com/groups/edrecoveryandrelapseprevention
Buy Now mybook.to/warwithmyself
Author Page www.facebook.com/WarWithMyselfNoMore
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