Please introduce yourself and your book!
My name is Allison Rose Clark and I’m the author of “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore”. I live on the South Coast of NSW, Australia with the youngest of my three children and a very snuggly ginger cat.
What is the Story behind your book?
“I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” is aimed at empowering women to take back control of their lives and reject abuse as it comes up. It incorporates my life to tell the reader of my journey, my traumas, and my mistakes and epiphanies in the hope it will inspire them change and healing is possible. What started out as a memoir morphed into an interactive self-help book which the reader can implement from the very first chapter.
What inspired your creativity?
When I was in year four of Primary School, my teacher, Mr Shearer, and his assistant, Miss Wise, introduced us to poetry. It was love at first word for me and I still have that poem to this day! So, from that young ten year old until now, it’s been a love affair which has spanned the pages. Life has inspired me to write a lot of the time. Especially with my poetry. The creativity hits at the oddest times. Sometimes while I’m driving, sometimes in the shower, and sometimes on the loo haha!
How do you deal with creative block?
Having an outline of how I wanted to write “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” such as chapter and what I intended it to entail helped. Despite this, I still experienced writer’s block. I must have started, scrapped and re-wrote some chapters at least three times each! But I’d have to have a break, too – do something else and occupy my mind on something totally different. The brain is a muscle which needs to be rested as well in order to function at its best.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
In non-fiction, I strongly consider authenticity to be imperative. In other words, be real. Readers, I believe, can pick up on it. Depending what a fiction book is about, research is absolute, and so is drawing from your own life experiences. The more real the setting and times and descriptors, the more authentic your story becomes and the reader might start wondering if it could possibly have happened in real life.
What are the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book?
How much I learnt about myself is the best, worst and most surprising thing I encountered. As “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” is a memoir of sorts, I had to admit to myself aspects I really didn’t want to. I’ve laid myself bare for the whole world to read! There’s just no way you can learn to love yourself completely without acknowledging and forgiving yourself your mistakes and short comings.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
“I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” is my first book, so the aim of it is to serve others. My hope is my life story will help women save themselves many wasted years in the wrong relationships and be confident to speak up. I believe wholeheartedly, you don’t have to wait until you’re in your 40’s and 50’s, or older, in order to have had enough of abuse and poor treatment to truly enjoy life. We can learn this while we’re young. We can’t control the behaviours of others, but we can choose what we put up with.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions play an enormous role. You can’t write effectively and powerfully without it. How we feel drives us and it should be used in your writing to transport your reader into your character’s world. Or in my case, my world.
What are your plans for future books?
I’ve written a children’s book series which I would love to get published. They’ve been sixteen years in the making! However, finances are tight, so there’s none to put towards a contribution or self-publishing at this stage. On top of that, I’m extremely time-poor right now at TAFE College completing two courses – a Certificate IV and a Diploma! I like a challenge it seems.
Where do you want to take your book from here?
I’ve developed a series of five workshops inspired from “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” and plan on implementing them once I’ve conducted a pilot-run. Additionally, I’m aspiring to become an inspirational speaker. My heart is committed and 100% dedicated to empowering women to reject abuse, now and into the future.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I can’t whistle. When I’m sitting, I shake my foot – a lot! People have told me I walk like a crab – sideways into them! Walls, tables, chair legs, door stoppers, and the odd tree or pole keep jumping out in front of me almost on a daily basis. My old work colleagues used to tell me (quite regularly) they needed to put me in bubble-wrap!