“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman,
don’t worry, there is still time” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This is what I love about Facebook. You cruise around, discovering new venues and pages, and you come across a page where you find daily inspiration. This is how I found Melanie Wadham. I loved what she was sharing and made a point to peruse her page daily. That is when I read she had written a book about a very traumatic experience in her life. It is women like Melanie, who speak their truth with audacity and integrity who inspire me to do the same.
How would you describe yourself using the letters r, t, v and f?
- R: Resilient
- T: Tenacious
- V: Victorious
- F: Fortuitous
Tell us your latest news?
Well my exciting news is that I submitted my book to a literary agent who has accepted it and who represents Penguin Publishers. We are in the process of preparing a book proposal to them, so fingers and toes crossed.
What inspired you to write Velvet Lies Muted Cries?
I always knew from a young age that I wanted to tell my story, years and years passed with me writing a few things down here and there and it has only been recently, that it has all come together really, as I have gone through more and more life lessons, more healing, more insight that I felt I had finally come to the place in my life that I was ready to share. My inspiration is the need to voice my story so that other woman too can find their voices and begin their own journey of healing and recovery taking inspiration from my courage.
How did you come up with the title?
Initially I only called my book “Muted Cries” and then I realized that so many lies, disguised like a wolf in sheep’s clothing often velvety spoken, that I changed it to VELVET LIES – MUTED CRIES – the muted part is how I have felt most of my life, that my voice had been suppressed as so many other woman’s voices are out of fear and often fear imposed by the offender to remain silent.
You overcame huge tragedy what gave you strength to go on?
Recovery from child hood sexual abuse is a long and arduous process. There were many times when I wanted to give up, “check out” or just go to sleep and try to forget that the abuse ever happened. It was in these times that I felt some untapped strength within that allowed me to “hang in” and move on. It was during these many times of my need for denial, that my small but growing child -with exerted her ultimate strength in calling out to me not to give up – telling me that she needed me to go on. The miracle is that I have listened and continue to listen to her voice, which encourages me to go on no matter what. Some how my higher power has given me an avenue through which I can be in touch with that voice. It is my child and my adult’s perseverance that has got me through some of the most painful and lengthy process of recovery.
The book is based on experiences of your own life. What was the greatest challenge in writing Velvet Lies Muted Cries?
Besides being cathartic, I think the hardest challenge was reliving the memories, going back in time and replaying the pictures in my mind often like a kaleidoscope of metered out snap shots at first. I often found myself re- traumatized by some of the events as I wrote, and many times I had to put my writing away to give myself time to work through unresolved pain.
What books have influenced your life the most?
- Judith Herman Lewis “ Recovery from trauma and abuse”
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes “ The un-mothered Child “ and “Woman who run with wolves”.
What book are you reading now?
“The Deeper Wound” Recovering the soul from fear and suffering. Deepak Chopra
What are your current projects?
I am beginning to formulate my next book, which will be a handbook of tools to deal with everyday life, trauma and abuse. I also love to sew; my creativity is what keeps me sane. Hee hee. I run a small business called By Nature Bamboo Lingerie. I design and custom makes woman’s lingerie, underwear and lounge wear from organic bamboo fabric. So I have a few orders I’m currently getting through. Oh and renovating my bathroom!!
Who designed the cover?
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learnt that I have a right to write and that initially I didn’t have to write perfectly but just get the words on paper, I found that I was continuously editing, judging and berating myself. I had to learn to allow what was in me to just pour out of me in a unperfected way and edit at the end.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I think each person who wants to write is different in their unique style, I personally like to hand write rather than use a computer I feel that I am more relaxed and that what needs to be said flows a lot easier. Allow yourself to write imperfectly with emotion and without judgment. I also used my non-dominant hand; this often allows the child within to speak.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
We all have a story inside of us, we all have a purpose in this life and that despite the horrors you may have lived through a detour can turn into a destination and it is amazing what can be done with the left over’s of our lives after living through trauma and abuse.
If you had a “theme song” what would it be and why?
“A Hero lies in you” by Mariah Carey
How would you describe your life as a “headline” for a newspaper?
After years of bad choices and hiding the horrors of her past, Melanie ultimately found freedom in telling her truth. Velvet Lies – Muted Cries is a compelling true story of courage, survival and finding one’s voice. Follow one woman’s transcendence from a broken, forgotten little girl to a woman with the power (and determination) to heal her self and others.
Name three items which need to be with you at all times?
- My reading glasses (blind as a bat without them!)
- My journal
- A good pen that work and doesn’t run out half way through some ahhh moment I need to capture.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Right now at this point in my life I would like to go back home to South Africa it has been 16 years since I left and there are some doors I would like to close and places I would like to visit like my home were my parents were killed, the house that made me so to speak.
Describe your wildest dream:
To be a successful author and to be able to make sufficient money so that I could give my books away free to those women who really need it and can’t afford it.
Finish the sentence: The best thing in my life now is:
My lifestyle on Waiheke Island off the Huraki Gulf of Auckland. It is idyllic especially in the summer, and that I have an amazing husband who goes to work each day without complain supporting us so that I can stay home and write and create.
Your most favorite joke:
I’m sorry to disappoint here but I am terrible at remembering jokes and right now haven’t the foggiest idea of one.
What makes you laugh?
My husband makes me laugh he has the ability to take my moods some days and make me laugh at them! He has that British dry humor.
How can we buy your book? Where is it available?
My book is available on my web page at the moment at www.womantowoman.co.nz
Melanie Wadham is a wife and mother of 3 boys and lives on Waiheke Island on the Hauraki Gulf of Auckland, New Zealand. She enjoys an idyllic lifestyle on the island with her family and their four cats and is a crafting and sewing enthusiast. Velvet Lies – Muted Cries is Wadham’s first novel.