Writing my memoir: Nancy Tucker

I wrote The Time In Between - a memoir of my near-decade long battle with anorexia and bulimia nervosa - when I had just turned nineteen. Initially, getting my story out was a real 'purging' experience, which I think is probably why that first draft poured out of me in such a rapid, intense way - I think the whole writing process was only about three days long, start to finish, because it really did feel like the words were spilling from me, almost without my having to think about it. After that I took a step back, and didn't think about what I had written for a little while; I think I felt like I needed a bit of time just to breathe.


When I did go back to the manuscript, I decided to send it to a couple of friends, as I realised it might be quite a convenient means of getting them up to date with things I knew I would find it hard to articulate face to face. It got passed around a bit, and eventually ended up in the hands of a literary agent who represented an acquaintance's mother (a creative writing lecturer and published author).


I got an email from the agent more or less completely out of the blue, and within a week we were working together, editing my manuscript. It needed a lot of work as at that point it was very messy and slapdash, but within about six months we were both happy with it, and submitted to a handful of publishers. There was generally a really positive response, but also a lot of rejection to cope with, and, being relentlessly self-critical, I found that very difficult.


However, Icon Books, an independent non-fiction publisher, really liked the book and made me an offer for it, which I was thrilled to accept. I first put pen to paper in January 2013, and the Icon deal came in April 2014, so that part of the process took a bit more than a year, and then the actual publication date was almost exactly one year later - at the end of March 2015.


Sharing my story on such a large scale has obviously been exposing and, at times, terrifying, but I have been lucky enough to be supported - in the publishing world - by wonderful, sensitive people throughout, who never pushed me into doing things which made me feel uncomfortable, or compromising things about the book which were important to me. Overall my experience of publishing my memoir has been a fantastically positive one, and I feel so grateful for every aspect of it.

Nancy Tucker

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