Friday 9 October 2020

Blog Tour: Interview with Author of Sickbed to Summits Sara Crosland @saracrosland @lovebooksgroup @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Sickbed to Summits by Sara Crosland. I have an interview with the author to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews!

Here's what it's all about...

When Sara was first diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, like many others, she went straight to the internet. Finding seemingly endless accounts of surgery, often with permanent, unwanted side effects, she was determined to make the best of the hand she’d been dealt. Despite several serious complications, Sara has returned to living life to the full; embracing every opportunity and taking on numerous, seemingly impossible challenges.
Sickbed to Summits documents the ups and downs of life with a brain tumour diagnosis, and how through drive and determination, despite losing half her hearing and having to relearn to balance and walk unaided, Sara has made it through treatment, exceeding all expectations to fulfil her quest for challenge and adventure. She shares the enormous part that building resilience and developing a positive mindset played in her journey from sickbed to summits, and beyond. 
" amazing role model to those having to go through similar treatment."
Professor Simon Lloyd 

Consultant Neurotologist and Professor of Otolaryngology

Here's that interview for you...

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I started my writing journey a few years ago, when I began writing a piece of fiction. You know the adage, “We all have a novel in us”. Well, I soon lost interest and when my laptop died, so did my unfinished manuscript!

Life being what it is, it threw a bit of a curveball my way back in 2018, when I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and an autoimmune condition.

I started to keep a diary, but at that time I was so angry that it became a source of irritation and frustration that I didn’t need in my life, so I scrapped it.

About 12 months ago, I started writing about my journey. At that point, I wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of recovery, or much else for that matter, and my emotions were still incredibly raw. So, once again, before I’d even reached the end of the first chapter it went on the backburner. As the year went on, a few exciting opportunities came my way and finally, by the beginning of 2020, I felt I actually had a story I was ready to share with others.

I began writing back in January… I had no particular plan, no daily word counts. I was busy with my photography studio, and my family… Then came lockdown. Suddenly, I found myself drifting. My business was closed, I couldn’t really go anywhere and I was told I should shield. Suddenly, I had all the time in the world, so I began to put it to good use.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

Writing is a hobby for me. That said, I have really enjoyed the process and I’ve really enjoyed learning just how much more is involved. I think I will be spending considerably more time writing in the future.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?

I think nonfiction is my thing… I enjoy meeting people and learning about them and their experiences. I enjoy creating my own experiences and challenges. So, I think that writing will become a part of the ‘challenging myself’ process, taking on challenges and sharing the experience afterwards.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

Every character is based on a real person. In fact, Sickbed To Summits is entirely based on reality.

What was the inspiration behind your book?

My inspirations are all those facing battles we cannot always see. Life can be challenging and cruel at times, so I hope sharing my own personal experiences will help someone overcome their own challenges.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I probably shouldn’t say this, but my writing isn’t really that organised! There are days when I just can’t get into it, there are days where I simply cannot look at a screen (this is explained in Sickbed To Summits) and there are days where I just have to write down my ideas as and when they pop in my head. Then, when I get the opportunity, I write them down.

Once my thoughts and ideas are down on paper, I can start to organise them, and make them a little more interesting.

With Sickbed To Summits, I wrote several drafts before I was in a position where I was happy to let anyone else have sight of it. A good friend then read through it all, and we talked through suggestions and changes before preparing a draft that was ready to be seen by an editor.

From this point, it will be proof-read once more, before being submitted for formatting, and eventually being published.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

Probably far more than there should be! I always wear my heart on my sleeve, and in my writing I really do expose my deepest thoughts, feelings and vulnerabilities.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?

After my diagnoses, I very much lived and breathed research. There was very little else left to find out when it came to they writing process.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

I pay a great deal of attention to reviews and I value it all. My story has been read by a number of people from a variety of backgrounds. Some suffering from illnesses of their own, others with a keen interest in the outdoors and motivational stories. I have taken note of their feedback and incorporated their thoughts into my work.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

I hope so!!

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

Well, this is my first publication so I have no prior experience to draw on here, but I’m guessing that I’ll be a nauseated bag of nerves!

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

I love reading stories of defying the odds and overcoming adversity. There are many books out there, but as someone who enjoys physical challenges and endurance events, one book I particularly enjoyed reading was Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

Well, it is important to me to follow a path that is true to my personal values. As a charity ambassador, I have met so many amazing individuals who have overcome some incredible challenges. I would like to continue raising awareness of the effects of brain tumours and other chronic illnesses through my writing, so I will be continuing to write blog posts to make others aware of the challenges we face day-to-day, as well as educating people about hidden disabilities.

I am currently in the process of planning future challenges and I think my next book will be based on these, along with the individuals I meet along the way.

About the Author

Having been diagnosed and treated for an acoustic neuroma brain tumour in 2018, Sara has become an outspoken speaker, advocate, and charity ambassador. On a mission to empower individuals, she aims to share her knowledge of how to develop a positive mindset and build resilience, in order to give others the very best chance of overcoming adversity. Sara’s unique straight talk, combined with humour and inspiration has made her a sought after speaker for conferences and events. Living with her family in Cheshire, England, she continues to take on challenges to fundraise and raise awareness of brain tumours and hidden disabilities, alongside running her photography studio.

Thanks so much to Sara for Stopping by the blog today!

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