Painful memories – and a happy ending
In August, 2015, Christine Temlett tentatively reached out to me – see below…
She and I began working together and after a great deal of digging deep and perseverance on her part, in November 2020 – on her 75th birthday – she independently published her memoir An Innocent Girl. Christine is the sweetest soul and it’s been wonderful to walk beside her as she found her voice.
Here she shares her experience.
“Writing An Innocent Girl wasn’t easy. As determined as I was, the process meant I had to relive the past and re-experience painful memories. As a child, my brother continuously shouted at me and told me to shut up, leaving my confidence at an all-time low. My brother began sexually abusing me and I felt unable to talk about what had happened – my ability to speak seriously compromised.
If I heard anyone say something bad about me, I would freeze and feel too hurt by it to be able to speak out. I felt unable to defend myself. The way I’d been treated meant my voice was suppressed. As a result, I’ve found myself a victim of bullying because of my vulnerability and inability to do anything about it. There have been people who have sensed this weakness and taken advantage of the fact. It’s because of this I decided to write my story. I knew it was the only way I could speak about what really happened, so the truth can be known at last.
I also realise that I am not alone. There are others in the same position, living in fear, and too afraid to speak out. I have written my book to give others hope. It tells how against all odds, I managed to escape my abuser’s control.
At first when I started writing, the memories came flooding back. I wrote them all down and ended up with 160,000 words which I knew was far too much. It was at this time in that I discovered the wonderful ghostwriter and memoir mentor Marnie Summerfield Smith whose kindness and empathy helped me find my voice. Marnie worked patiently with me, chapter by chapter, helping me reduce my word count without losing important elements of my story. It took over four years to do this as I sent a few chapters at a time. Marnie edited what I had done and returned them for my approval. Although it was a time-consuming exercise once my story was complete, I knew that it had been worth it, and felt happy with the result.
The time had come to write to literary agents in the hope I would find one willing to take on my book. An agent suggested I approach Lorena Goldsmith, an editorial consultant, for advice. Marnie approved and said that sometimes it takes a village to write a memoir!
After working with Lorena, I returned to writing to literary agents but disappointingly, was not successful. It was at this point I decided to publish An Innocent Girl on Amazon so my story could finally be heard.
Once again Marnie came to my rescue providing me with good advice. The dream of having my book published became a reality with the help of her husband Dyfed Edwards whose knowledge and professionalism helped me a lot.
I would like to thank Marnie Summerfield Smith, Lorena Goldsmith and Dyfed Edwards for helping make my dream come true.”
Click here to find Christine’s book on Amazon.