“A memoir is a narrative, written from the perspective of the author, about an important part of their life . . . a pivotal moment recreated through storytelling.”
I guess that makes me a memoir author then!
My name is Abi and whilst I consider myself to be an author of uplifting fiction, there is no doubt that my published books so far, are hugely inspired by lived experience.
Back in 2006 I went through an almost unbearable yet totally universal experience: heartbreak.
We’ve all been through it one form or another, haven’t we? There is grief, shame, fear, depression and a palpable loss of identity. Who am I if I’m not with this person? Where will my life go if they’re not by my side? The questions just after your heart is ripped apart are bleak. And the answers seem bleaker still. I don’t know about you, but when it happened to me, I couldn’t see a way forward.
When my fiancé left, it was around New Year, when 2005 was turning into 2006. Little did I know that year was going to be my most impressive yet. I had no idea of the magic ahead and how it would give me faith in this life again.
2006 was a tumultuous year: the cracks in my heart were enough for new opportunities to sneak through and I found myself saying yes to things that terrified me. I enrolled on a business course; I got life-coaching; I spent time with people I’d previously misunderstood; and I booked a last minute, month-long trip to Turkey that took my overdraft to its absolute limit.
That month in Turkey was pivotal. Yes, the sunshine and cocktails helped, but also, when I was stripped of my everyday identity, interesting things started to occur . . .
I completed a series of challenges in little envelopes that a friend of mine had put in my suitcase – they introduced me to whole new ways I could connect with people and be in the world.
I met people whose strange practices and philosophical ideas turned my own upside down and I started examining my own beliefs and values.
I had an encounter with a man which ignited every fibre of my being to the extent that I was terrified and at peace all at once.
I visited places so beautiful and full of ancient magic, that it was impossible not to listen to my inner voice, and get to know the real me.
All of these experiences and more called me to open my laptop when I got home, and start writing. I decided to fictionalise it, by changing names, switching dates and building dramatic narrative, but the core of Jess’s (my MC) story remains in alignment with my own.
The story grew into a whole series of books called the ‘Life Is Yours Trilogy’ and I’ve also written a sequel called ‘My Little Ramadan’, which is all about how one woman hopes that fasting for Ramadan to support her Muslim husband, will reveal the secrets to motherhood, life and everything. As you can guess, there is also a huge element of memoir to this book too!
What I’m hearing from readers is that they really relate to the themes in the books. It gives me faith that telling honest, heartfelt, real-life stories was absolutely the right way to go. I absolutely love the process of interweaving reality with fiction and it sometimes feels a little bit like a magic power!
You can actually get my first book, Life Is Yours, for FREE by signing up to my readers list.
You can also find my books on Amazon.
I LOVE to connect with my readers on social media too. Click on one of the platforms below and come and say hi. I also can’t wait to meet everyone at the festival in September. See you there?