The ‘changing lives’ interviews

The ‘changing lives’ series explores how change has impacted people and examines how they approached it, what they learned from their experience and their top tips for coping with change. If you would like to take part in a ‘changing lives’ interview then please use the ‘contact me’ form on the blog.

Changing lives… with author of Our Altered Life – Charlene Beswick

Don’t feel that you have to be brave all the time. It’s okay to have a pity party, just don’t live there. Try to keep some perspective on exactly how significant the challenge is rather than panicking straight away and don’t be too hard on yourself. You ARE enough. And make sure you are talking to people and being honest about your feelings.


Changing lives with author Sue Johnson: ‘I focused on what I could do – and what helped me.’

I look on my divorce as one of the most positive experiences of my life. If I’d remained stuck in a bad situation I would never have achieved all that I have in the last nineteen years. Although some of it was difficult and upsetting it has taught me to count my blessings.


Changing lives… with author Val Portelli

Forget what you ‘used to do.’  You’re a new person now, try to look at things in a new way.

If the answer to a problem is not obvious try approaching it from a totally different angle. It might not turn out how you expect but that’s what keeps life interesting.

Changing lives… with author Jo Worgan

The most significant change I’ve experienced to date was when my youngest son, Tom, was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the age of three.

Seek help and support. That is the most important thing that you can do as a parent. Surround yourself with a supportive parent network and accept all help that is given.

Changing lives… with author Mary Grand

I learned never to underestimate the effect of what we teach children, that words are powerful and need to be used carefully.

Changing lives… with author and journalist Ruth Hunt

I would change the view that disabled people are ‘scroungers’, which  can be refuted by strong evidence showing how much disabled people give back to society, through their taxes and  through their work whether that be formal or voluntary.

Changing lives… with author Tracey Sinclair

Ask for help (even professional help, if you need it), and don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle to adjust straight away.

Changing lives… with author Martine McDonagh 

On a personal level, the ideal would be to be able to just be a writer and to travel wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, so I’d need to change whatever is in the way of that. On a global level, I’m not sure there’s any one change that could solve all the problems humans have created, so I’m just going to have to go all Miss World on you and opt for the introduction of world peace.

Changing lives… with author Mari Hannah

Relax. Be yourself. If you are willing to put in the hard yards and you have the talent, you will get there. You’ll make mistakes along the way, we all do, but that’s part of life. No one comes into publishing industry fully formed. You learn as you go along. Just as you hone your craft and your writing improves, so will your ability to talk about the process. Take advice/criticism with good grace and always thank those who helped you along the way.

Changing lives… with author Tara Lyons 

Despite your fears, embrace the change. Use what you’re going through to propel yourself forward in life and grab hold of something you’ve always wanted.

Changing lives… with author Rose Servitova

Find something that makes you feel giddy. For years, before I began writing, walking in the countryside did that for me. It can be as simple as that. Whatever brings you ease, lifts the worry, that’s where you start. Constantly soothe yourself. You’re good, you’re doing your best, just let go a tiny bit, loosen your grip, walk barefoot in the grass, chat with positive, inspiring people, whatever rocks your boat… do one thing, just for yourself.

Changing lives… with author Angela Clarke

There’s a self-care mantra that’s been said a lot over the last few years: be kind to yourself. In today’s increasingly hectic world, it’s all too easy to sacrifice yourself on the altar of the to-do list. Yes, you may need to do things for work, for friends, for family, but don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t ever let your tank run on empty. Be kind to yourself. Take responsibility of your physical and mental health. What would you advise a friend to do if they were in your position? Chances are you’d tell them to take a break. To stop. To protect themselves. It’s okay to say no to things. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to take pain medication and spend all day in bed. As far as we know, we only get one body and one mind: be kind to yourself by being kind to both of them. Ultimately, you’ll get more done and be happier.

Changing lives… with Chris Ewan

I guess if there are other writers out there who are debating whether to get back the rights to some of their books and try self-publishing, then my suggestion would be to go for it. But just know that you will inevitably underestimate the amount of work involved!

Previous interviews:

Interview with author Megan Taylor, author of The Lives of Ghosts 

Author Kate Mosse talks to BBC Radio 4 presenter Jenni Murray at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2012: This was when I volunteered to cover the interview for one of the official bloggers, as they had been doubled booked.

Interview with Neil Spring, author of The Ghost Hunters

Interview with Jo Baker, author of Longbourn

Interview with Michael J Malone, author of A Taste for Malice 

Interview with author Laura Wilkinson, author of Public Battles, Private Wars 

Interview with Nina de la Mer, author of Layla 

Interview with Tom Fowler, author of That Dark Remembered Day

Interview with Nicola Monaghan, author of The Killing Jar and the Troll trilogy

Interview with Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days

Interview with Marcie Steele, author of The Second Chance Shoe Shop