Glass Half Full by Sarah Jane Butfield

Posted: April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Author Interview:

Memoirs are always an interesting read because the reader knows that as they experience events through the author’s eyes, they are reading about true experiences. In Sarah Jane Butfield’s story Glass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure, the reader is taken along with Sarah Jane as she emigrates with her family to Australia – living first in the Outback, and then in Queensland where they faced the devastating Queensland floods in December 2010-January 2011.

Here’s what Sarah Jane says about Glass Half Full: Our Australian adventure.
ghf kindle draft cover
“Is the glass half empty or half full? Ironically, sometimes life influences our view, and alters our perception. 

Life changing events, up to 1997, almost destroyed me. At my lowest point, and just in time, I met Nigel. He helped me to discover how a positive attitude can change everything. I decided not to squander anymore of my time or energy on undeserving people. 

This new positive approach helps me to perceive my glass as half full, with my aim being to achieve a happy and healthy life for my family. Together, we live life to the full. In 2008 and with good times ahead of us, my glass was half full. As a family, we made the biggest and most difficult decision of our lives; part of our family would immigrate to Australia. 

We lived the Australian dream; embracing the adventure until adversity came to test us. A sequence of life changing events including, a close family bereavement, PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,) following a road rage car accident and the shock of losing the roots to our Australian adventure as a result of the Brisbane floods tested us on many levels. 

Glass Half Full follows our journey into happy, sad and challenging times. Find out, what it takes to survive, when the odds are stacked against you. Do you fight back, and if so at what cost physically and emotionally? Could we maintain our positivity and family values against the odds? 

This is our story.” 

I asked Sarah Jane what led her to share her experiences, what inspires and motivates her, and her future writing projects. Here’s what she had to say:

1. Can you tell me about Glass Half Full?sarah wedding day

Quite simply it’s the true story of how my family and I chose to emigrate to Australia in search of a better life, wanting to live the Australian dream. The book tells of how we reached our decision, achieved our dream life only to have it tested and eventually stolen away from us after a series of life changing events. It’s a story that focuses on the importance of family, love, trust and always believing in yourself, your dreams and aspirations.

2. Why did you title your book Glass Half Full?

Well since 1997, when I met my now husband Nigel, it has been my mantra. This positive concept is the driving force that has ensured that I have survived many personal tragedies to date by strongly believing that my glass is always half full.

3. What led you to wanting to share your life’s story?

Initially my diaries that made up the detailed content of Glass Half Full were started as a form of self-help. I read about how self-coaching, in the form of  keeping a diary of your thoughts and feelings whilst experiencing life and all of its challenges,  can help you build your own tool kit to refer back to for strength and guidance in the future. It was not until I used a section of my journal as inspiration for an assignment in my Diploma in magazine journalism that my mentor said that would make a great book, and from that little acorn, an oak tree has now emerged in the form of Glass Half Full.

4. Your Australian adventure is full of highs and lows. What was the standout high for you, and what was the standout low?

My stand out high was definitely achieving the Australian dream. We endured huge personal battles to achieve the permission to emigrate with my daughter Jaime, from my second marriage, that on many occasions it felt like an impossible dream. However, with perseverance and self-belief in the fact that we were doing the right thing for ourselves and for Jaime we achieved something that many only dream of.

My standout low may be a surprise, because to those who have yet to read the book and have only read the blurb most assume that the loss of the house would be my answer. However, for me the lowest point was losing my independence in the form of my PTSD and driving anxiety. This was, and still is, a huge obstacle that I work on daily, and I still believe I will overcome it.

5. At your lowest point in Australia, how did you stay strong?

The only thing that kept me strong during all of the challenges we endured was my unfailing belief that what we were enduring had to be for the greater good, and that what we experienced and learned would equip us for the future whatever that might hold for us. My family and my faith are all that I need to achieve anything I can conceive.

6. What feedback have you received so far [from readers] for Glass Half Full?

The response to glass half full in the form of reviews and contact form readers by email, etc., has been amazing, surreal and heart-warming all at the same time. The level of engagement from readers who could relate to some of the life events we faced like depression, loss of a parent, PTSD, divorce, etc., has had me in tears many times. They contact me to say how motivated and inspired to follow their own dreams and just live life to the fullest they feel after reading our story. I feel blessed to have touched and inspired people by relating my feelings and methods for coping and surviving against the odds.

7. What inspires you to write?

I have always enjoyed writing but over the last couple of years, my inspiration to write comes from sharing words, and thoughts that may help others. However, I also enjoy my creative writing in the form of romance novels and my inspiration for those comes from my romantic nature and pursuit of an uplifting and touching love story.

8. What is your current writing project?

I am currently editing the second draft of the sequel called ‘Two dogs, our bags and no idea!’ This is the story of what happened next, after losing the roots to our dream life in Australia. We decided to pursue a long held dream to renovate a rural French cottage whilst maintaining family life with children spread over three countries, which resulted in a lot of laughter, tears and frustrations along the way.

9. What are your writing goals for the next 5 years?

In addition to publishing the sequel, I am working on a series of self-help motivational and inspirational guides, and of course my romance novel is in progress, which has a working, title of ‘Letting Go.’

10. What made you decide to become an ‘Indie’ [self-published] author?

Well after making the decision to write the book in the first place, the next question is how to publish it. Completely doubting my own IT and marketing abilities, I initially dismissed the idea of being an ‘Indie’ author. However, after loading my book onto the reader and writer website ‘authonomy’ my confidence was bolstered by my reviews and watching my peers self-publish successfully. This together with their encouragement for me to try it, boosted my self-belief. Therefore, when I got my first and only rejection from a traditional publisher I thought why not give it a go, and the rest is history as they say.

11. What are 3 of your favourite lines/quotes from Glass Half Full?

“I cradled Jaime in my arms, rocking her as if she were a baby, until they came with a morphine injection.  I could not let anyone else near her. When the injection started to take some effect, alone I gently lifted her onto the bed, where I lay beside her, holding her tightly. I never wanted to let her go again.”

“The women wore too much makeup, for the Queensland sun, heat and humidity. Whereas the men, in their cowboy hats and boots wearing the obligatory wife beater vests sporting  food and beer stains, appeared unattractive even on  well-toned bodies.”

“However much I tried, my positive spin was in short supply to aid our current situation. We were fortunate; we were alive and well, but life is only worth living when your basic needs are met. Being able to go to our children when they needed us was a basic need, and not a luxury, and this need was not able to be met.”

12. Do you have any advice for writers considering self-publishing?

Firstly, join Indie writer/publisher groups and forums as there is a substantial amount of  information, knowledge and networking available that can save you a great deal of time, money and frustration.

Secondly, believe in yourself and your book, and use any constructive criticism to enhance your work as self-publisher.

Thirdly, keep writing and keep marketing, even on the days when the words do not want to flow or your books appear not to be selling. Keep the faith, because there are things that happen in the background in the quiet times that will pay dividends when the time is right and not when you want or expect it.

Thanks Maryann for featuring me on your blog, it has been wonderful. If any of your readers/follows would like to contact me, or find out more about my story, they are most welcome to message me on social media or any of the links below.

Sarah Jane

Glass Half Full links:

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GP1T7GQ/

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/glass-half-full-sarah-jane-butfield/1117494301?ean=9781493773534

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/glass-half-full/id763955449?mt=11

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sarah_Jane_Butfield_Glass_Half_Full?id=8uR5AgAAQBAJ

Author links:

Twitter: @SarahJanewrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glass-Half-Full-by-Sarah-Jane-Butfield/371084202906738?ref=hl

Blog: http://sarahjanebutfield-glass-half-full.blogspot.co.uk/

Website: http://sarahjanebutfield.wix.com/sarahjanebutfield

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