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Our Roundtable and NAMW podcast guest is Leslie Johansen Nack, author of Fourteen: A Daughter’s Memoir of Adventure, Sailing and Survival.
Leslie Nack always wanted to write, but life and work and being busy, not to mention the inner critic and needing to find “the right time,” always got in the way. Almost six years ago, Leslie shrugged all that aside and took on the project that had been tapping her on the shoulder, and in the heart, for so long. We will talk about her journey to write her story—which many of you will find parallels the journeys that most of us are on: finding ways to write about the secrets, the abuse, and the family of origin, giving ourselves permission to go “all the way” from a first draft, to writing classes, to publication.
Leslie and I will discuss:
• The need to write – a lifelong quest for the courage to write her story. If you’re hesitant to write your own story, there’s probably a reason. Listen to it and give it time to evolve.
• How she wrote the story of her traumatic childhood: sexual, physical and emotional abuse, all wrapped up in the glamour of sailing to French Polynesia
• Leslie says this about the process of writing her memoir: “There are no short cuts, no easier, softer way, and there’s no way around it. The easiest way to deal with the pain of childhood is going through it again.”
• The reaction her family of origin had to her story, and how she managed to deal with that.
• Her publishing process with She Writes Press.
Leslie Johansen Nack graduated UCLA with a BA in English literature. She is a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers and San Diego Writers Ink. She lives in San Diego and has two children with her husband of twenty-five years.
Visit her website for pictures: http://www.lesliejohansennack.com/fourteen
Listen to the recording below:
NEED this. I grew up in the midst of WW2 and the post war era, when countless American families were broken by the war’s aftermath. Mama married her returning soldier, retrieved her own kids from an orphanage to make a family from people who barely knew each other. The memoir is written. How to submit it is a mystery. I suspect my lack of knowledge is what’s keeping me outside looking in. The bedrock of the women’s movement rests in this account. Needs telling.