MELISSA ARTHUR ARTICLE 2 FOR READERS MAGNET, AUTHORS LOUNGE
Thank you Author’s Lounge for inviting me to write an article about my book!
I’ve Worn Many Hats is a candid, no holds barred memoir that describes events from my long and eventful eighty-two years. Readers should expect to experience a roller coaster ride of emotions; laughter, sadness, empathy, outrage as they read about a woman, the product of an average middle class Canadian family, as she grows up to lead a life that is anything but average!
After an incident that almost destroyed me, I proceeded to live what has been described as a reckless existence. Was it all bad? No, in spite of my numerous “adventures” I was a successful entrepreneur for many years, raised two wonderful children and had many accomplishments. However, my goals changed during participation in a medical brigade to Honduras in 1993 when I experienced an event that changed the course of my life. I’ve Worn Many Hats demonstrates one’s ability to survive personal adversity, our human frailties and how we can learn to forgive both ourselves and others. It is a story of redemption.
You have asked what inspired me to write the book?
I have always enjoyed writing and what began as acceptance of a “writing dare” from friends, became an activity to offset the isolation inflicted by Covid. Then, when due to lockdown I couldn’t return to Canada the summer of 2020, I stayed in Honduras for 19 months straight and finished the book. The exercise of actually writing about my life produced an unexpected outcome as it forced me to really examine events from my past; incidents that I’d previously glossed over. Now I had to “face up to and own” the consequences/fallout that had occurred as a result of those indiscretions. This process was remarkably healing and gave me the closure that I had been unaware was even needed
Who is my book’s target audience?
Originally, I believed it to be women but it’s hard now to define it in such narrow terms since I have received reader responses from all ages, men and women both.
What did I hope readers would gain from my memoir?
Entertainment of course but I also wanted readers to be inspired. I think that these comments (one from a woman, one from a man) actually sum up the reactions I had hoped my book would receive: “What I read on recommendation from a friend and expected to be just another memoir, turned out to be so much more. Entertaining, yes, but after reading the book’s first half that recounted various escapades during your early life (romantic, criminal, and tragic) I didn’t see coming what happened next! You are indeed an inspiring woman and the work you have done in Honduras, amazing. Mazel Tov!”
“Your candid honesty is something few would dare, but you pulled it off in a manner that evoked understanding. The book is a humorous, sometimes shocking account recounting your life’s adventures. The book’s second half goes further to describe how in later years you topped off an already full life and moved to Central America where the work you have accomplished in Honduras as one person is nothing short of miraculous. You are truly an inspiration! This memoir is an inspiring and enjoyable read.”
A totally unpredicted benefit was the email interaction that took place between myself and other women who had experienced similar abuse.
I heard not only from the victims, but their parents and friends. I believe these exchanges gave them a chance to vent thoughts and emotions that had previously been buried. It helped give many of them, myself included, long needed closure. What are my future goals/plans for the book? It will stay on the market, I will continue to write articles, do book signings and interviews. Because the royalties are going towards our projects in Honduras, it will be an ongoing fund raiser to help support my work. Can you tell us a little about the woman behind the memoir and why did you name it “I’ve Worn Many Hats”?
The book’s title refers to the many different roles I’ve played in my life and the fact that not only do I have enough hats to start a millinery store, but am rarely seen without one. In fact, someone once commented when I was not wearing my usual chapeau, “Oh look, Anne has hair!”
Born and raised in Toronto, I grew up an only child in a traditional middle class Canadian family of the 40’s and 50’s. But my life has been anything but traditional! I have two deceased husbands, two children, two grandchildren, two grand dogs; everything in twos! After finishing school my career included flight attendant with American Airlines, model, travel agent, world traveller and more than 30 years in Human Resources as an entrepreneur/ business owner. I closed my company Hamilton Enterprises and retired in 2001 to take up another role, that of humanitarian. For the past twenty-two years I have divided my life into two periods: six months in Honduras where I develop education & health programs in my village and six months at my Haliburton, Ontario cottage where I behave like a normal retired person. As someone once said when they described my various life pursuits during their introduction of me as that night’s speaker, “And she’s only 108 years old.”
If you would like to see what I am doing in Honduras, please visit my web page at https://anne.honduranhope.net/
I can be reached via email
Also you can reach me on my Facebook:
Please feel free to reach out to me with questions!
The site also provides a link to Amazon for book purchase and an interview done when the book was first released in October 2021