Last week, I was invited to attend a celebration of World Book Day with another 17 authors at the magnificent Crewe Hall with all it’s architectural splendour. As we chatted over coffee and tea in the small Conference Room before the start, I remember thinking, ‘Oh this is nice, just a room full of normal, natural people.’ How wrong can you get? As each author stood up to say their piece and entertain us with their stories of how they came to actually write their book, I realised that most people find their purpose in life through adversity, not through sitting in their cosy little comfort zone, waiting for life to somehow magically make them happy.
One attractive blonde lady, who, on first glance, looked like she had it all (nice figure, sense of style) told us how her parents had died very quickly, one after the other, leaving her bereft, and shortly afterwards she and her children had been on holiday and been involved in a head-on collision, resulting in her youngest son being paralysed. You could have heard a pin drop. She looked so together, so capable, so ‘sunny’ that it seemed unimaginable that she had had to cope with such a horrific trauma. But she had…and went on to tell us how that was the start of her dipping her toe in the water with complementary therapies, colour therapy, EFT, etc. and grinned as she told us that her son now skis and is hoping to compete in the Rio Para-Olympics. My eyes were welling up with tears.
Another lady said she’s been told she had an incurable auto-immune disease, probably due to the corporate stress she’d been enduring for years and would have to be on medication for the rest of her life. She thought NOT! She looked into all manner of ways to ‘cure’ herself and realised that she actually had candida, changed her diet and lifestyle and wrote a book to educate others in good gut health, and indeed, holistic health and happiness. Very inspirational!
A slight, unassuming guy got up and told us about his traumatic childhood and how, in his teenage years, he’d tried to dull the pain with drugs and alcohol, and only really stopped this cycle when his son was born, turning his life around and writing a book. He now works with teenagers to give them a better chance of having a happy future, knowing that he could empathise with what they were going through and lead them in a more positive direction, rather than the destructive spiral he knew so well from his own past. Awesome!
And on and on…every single person had a riveting story to tell about why they had decided that they had to get their message out into the world to give other people hope in adversity. I was continually catching flies, dumbstruck (and that doesn’t happen very often) and teary-eyed at their courage and downright determination to make something of their lives after heart-rending, tragic times. Never again will I judge a book by its cover (pardon the pun). You see, they just looked like ordinary people…but, there was nothing ordinary about them whatsoever. They had written books! They had a story worth telling! They were extremely special people.