Jo Parfitt talks to Lindsay de Feliz about her terrifying new memoir, What About Your Saucepans?
JP: Tell us about your book. What is it about? Can you describe it in just a few sentences?
LDF: The book is about the last 10 years of my life as an expat in the Dominican Republic. It begins with the heady days of the excitement of living in a new country, falling in love, and then everything takes a turn for the worse.
JP: Why did you write it?
LDF: I wrote the chapter about being shot first, not as a book but as an article for magazines. Then I decided to write the rest.
JP: Why do you think your book needed to be written?
LDF: Because people need to know the truth about living here – both good and bad. Many expats live in a bubble, and whilst there is nothing wrong with that, it is good to understand what is really going on.
JP: Who do you think will read your book? Or who would you like to read your book?
LDF: Firstly people who are interested in the Dominican Republic, those expats who live here, people who come here on holiday, Dominicans who live here and abroad, expats everywhere, and although it is a memoir, also people who like adventure stories.
JP: What steps have you taken or do you plan to take to promote your book? (For example: Are you a speaker or trainer? Do you have a blog? A website? A newsletter? Do you use Facebook, Twitter or other social media tools? What about press releases and sending out review copies and free articles? Have you had any other ideas?) Which methods do you think work best and can you give me any examples?
LDF: I used to be a speaker but now am unable to speak to groups of people as my voice was affected after being shot. I have a blog, I use Facebook and Twitter, the book has a Facebook page, I am a member of Dominican Republic related FB groups. I am a member and write for several expat forums. I have a PR agency in the UK working for me too.
JP: How did you choose your publisher and publishing method? Why did you decide to go down this route?
LDF: I knew about Jo as she had published books for friends of mine, Ginnie and Ilana. She knew the expat market, and was prepared to take the book on.
JP: What was your biggest challenge regarding the writing of your book? How have you overcome that?
LDF: Turning it from narrative into a proper book. Writing dialogue was hard and working out what to leave out.I worked with a fabulous editor and she, along with Jo gave me excellent direction.
JP: Now you have written this book, what has writing it done for you, your family, your self-esteem or your business?
LDF: I had no idea I could write before, so it has certainly helped my self esteem. As I was waiting for the book to be published and during all of the rewriting phases I started the blog which has given me a great audience and made me lots of new friends.
JP: If you were to give advice to someone else who is thinking about writing a memoir, what would be your number one tip?
LDF: Start writing. Don’t worry about starting at the beginning, and always stop writing at a point where you know what you want to write about next. Never stop when you are stuck or it is very hard to go back to.
JP: Please can you add links here to your website, blog, facebook page, Twitter account and any other social media you have in place
LDF: Sure, here they are below:
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