Hola, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Isana
Writing under the pen name Isana, the author is now happily married and has found peace. This memoir is her contribution to helping other women who have experienced childhood and adult trauma in the hope that her healing will send a message that forgiveness is possible and that bitterness is not the only outcome. Isana finally feels whole and wants the same for those who have lived through similar experiences.
Book Sample: Unfinished – A Personal Journey of Healing, Self-Discovery and Resilience
Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs
Born into a rigid fear-based Christian family to a mother with diagnosed post-par-tum depression, young “Frances” quickly learns her world is not a safe one. Strappings are common for Frances, who suffers multiple forms of abuse at the hands of those closest to her throughout her childhood and adolescence. To mask her fears and sensitivity, Frances develops a tough exterior and seeks means of distinction and success. Desperate for love, she goes on to college to find herself involved with a young man whom she marries, convinced they are in love. Later, in deeply different circumstances and a world away from where their relationship began, Frances confronts the fact that her marriage is not at all what it should be. Through counseling, Frances confronts the traumas that have caused her so many difficulties. As part of her renewal, she legally changes her name to “Isana” – meaning tenacious and strong-willed – and pursues meaning and justice in her career with unforeseen and devastating results.
Unfinished is a moving memoir that sees it’s gutsy protagonist triumph over remarkable odds to find herself and, ultimately, feel complete.
If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? When I decided to self-publish my memoir, I struggled with the choice to use my real name or a pen name. Initially, I had decided to use my real name as I had spoken my truth and was ready to stand behind my words. However, a friend expressed her concern of my safety since I was residing in the same city where I had called out people that I had worked with. I evaluated the pros and cons: most of my life I had lived in fear, waiting for the attack, always uncertain of what would happen next. That is when I realized that if I used my actual name, I would only be perpetuating the same. By using a pen name, I honored myself by taking her out of the line of fire and protecting “her.” “Isana” means strong-willed, tenacious: aspects that comprise my life as I have lived it. (hence, my choice)
When did you decide to become a writer? I loved to read for as far back as I can remember. I recall when I was 4 or 5 years old, I sat down and decided to start writing a book. I think subconsciously, that desire stayed with me but it wasn’t until many years later that my plan went into action.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? After I investigated my past and began to come to terms with my abuse and the many layers of dysfunction, I contemplated the possibility of writing my story. Initially, a sibling and I tossed the idea around to do a joint venture but I realized that it had to be mine, my own life as I had experienced it. Finally, after several years of saying “someday,” on October 25, 2011, I signed a contract with myself to begin – and I did.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The hardest part was going back to the beginning and re-hashing and re-living all the crap that I had endured, a very painful experience. Some days, a paragraph was all I could handle. So much I had locked away, unable to deal with the reality of it but I can’t say how healing and liberating it was to finally confront it all.
Do you have any formal education in creative writing? Many years ago, I went to a card reader and she told me that I had a creative ability, not yet discovered. I didn’t give it much thought but not long after, I came across a brochure to submit to see if I had the ability to write. I thought, why not? Needless to say, I ended up acquiring 2 diplomas through the Institute of Children’s Literature – the foundation of where I began.
If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? I don’t think I could go wrong in picking Jaimie Alexander from “Blindspot” to play Isana.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? For each of us to look beyond all our differences and to simply treat others exactly as we ourselves want to be treated.
Do you have any fur babies to brag about? Absolutely. My dog Copper (from my book) became my writing buddy. Every time I went into my office to write, she was right there under the desk, her head resting on my feet. As I struggled through the painful stuff, she was a huge source of emotional support, always knowing when it was time to put the pen down and take a break. MF: They always know; a true gift from God. Love the name Copper and such a beauty.
What do your readers mean to you? My readers are everything – the sole purpose for my memoir. It is for them, to give them hope that no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome and rise above. For everyone who chooses to read my story, I am grateful.
Many thanks Isana for sharing! For more about Isana and her work, follow the links below. To get your own copy of her work, click on the cover image below: