In Their Own Words:
a guest post by Ann Richardson
I would like to tell you about my books. I write books where people talk about some important aspect of their lives in their own words. They feel a bit like a written version of a TV documentary.
I start with 25-30 interviews, which are conversational in style and allow the people interviewed to talk as long as they like on a subject and add issues of their own. These are recorded and fully transcribed. Because the subject matter is always something of significance to them, those interviewed invariably have interesting things to say – and often say them with great flair. It makes reading each book feel like you are talking to a friend who is explaining something important to them in an honest and intimate way.
The first book was originally published by HarperCollins in 1992, but re-launched this year. Wise Before their Time is about mostly young people living with AIDS/HIV when it was a life-threatening disease. They talk about coping with the difficulties involved, such as the stigma associated with HIV at the time or telling their parents and friends. They also talk about what they have learned, knowing that their lives will be short.
Sir Ian McKellen wrote a Foreword in which he said “these true stories are as powerful as any great classic of fiction”.
The second is about what it is like to work in end-of-life care in various capacities, such as a nurse, doctor, chaplain or even a cook. Life in a Hospice was published by Radcliffe Books in 2007 and re-launched in 2017. It was Highly Commended by the British Medical Association and has a Foreword by the late Tony Benn, MP. Those interviewed talk about why they love being involved with people at this important time, some challenges experienced and how this work affects their lives.
The third book is about what it is like to be a grandmother. Celebrating Grandmothers covers the joys and challenges of this role. Women talk about the pleasures of experiencing children again in later life, some of the conflicts that can arise within families and much more. It was independently published in 2014.
To help potential readers to see whether they would like to read these books, I have created a short ‘taster’ book, with a very brief introduction and two pages from three or so chapters from each book. You can download this for free from my website below.
My website: www.annrichardson.co.uk