What inspired you to write your memoir?
I felt a responsibility and a calling to using my experience in a way that would benefit others. Loss is among the most human and universal of experiences, but so, too, is hope. I wanted to write about having to hold both loss and gain at the same time and what it means to reframe one’s story within this context. One bold step leads to others, and that is precisely how I came to remake my life in the wake of my first husband’s death. In so doing, possibilities I couldn’t have imagined opened to me and my small children. I consider Both Sides Now the giveback of loss, but the ending, well, it’s very hopeful and real.
About your Book:
Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss and Bold Living by Nancy Sharp is a memoir that hinges on the day the author delivered premature twins and her husband’s brain cancer returned after eighteen months in remission. In plainspoken language the story moves back through Nancy and her husband’s courtship and marriage—and forward through his death when the twins were two and a half, he was not-quite forty and Nancy was thirty-seven. Both Sides Now examines what it is like to hold life and death in the same moment and the necessity of learning to see beyond the frame’s edge.
The final section follows the family’s hopeful move to Denver in 2006. Through a magazine feature on eligible bachelors, Nancy met, fell in love with, and married Steve, a popular television anchor turned politician as well as a widower who’d lost his wife to cancer, and was raising two sons a decade older than Nancy’s twins. Nancy gives us this hopeful ending, while also letting us into the challenges of blending the past and present at once.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
My book is published by Books & Books Press.
How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
Write a memoir if you have a true story to tell that needs a more creative approach than an autobiography. You should never exaggerate or distort the facts or the truth, but memoir writing does allow for more creative interpretation. For instance, I knew that I wanted to write Both Sides Now using short chapters with ample white space. There is nothing linear about the process of healing so why not write the book as I lived it — in fragments? A good memoir should invite readers to reflect upon their own lives.
Nancy Sharp is an author and keynote speaker who frequently talks to large groups about loss, renewal, and how to move from stuck toward positive change. She holds a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and writes regularly for The Huffington Post, and for numerous online media, national magazines, and regional newspapers. Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living is her first book and the recipient of eight book awards including Books For A Better Life, a National Indie Excellence Award, and the Colorado Book Award. Forthcoming is a children’s picture book called Because The Sky Is Everywhere and a nonfiction work titled A Little Book For A Bold Life. Nancy lives in Denver with her husband, Steve Saunders, and their four children, ages fifteen through twenty-five.