Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

Q1: Thanks for participating in our Spotlight Interview series Nina! Please introduce yourself and your book to help our readers get to know you.

A: My name is Nina Mensing and I live in the beautiful city of Cape Town, in South Africa. My book 'A Manic Marriage' was published last year. It is a non-fiction book about living with a spouse who suffers from bi-polar mood disorder. It includes many of our world travels (backpacking through Africa and Asia), as well as how bipolar affected our marriage.




Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took. 

A: I have worked as a journalist, so writing has always been part of my life. I started the book about 10 years ago, scribbled in a spiral notebook and then hid it away. During a trail separation in our marriage I had the time and space to think more about the book, and so I wrote in the evenings for a few weeks. I then had to put it away for another year before starting up on it again, polishing it off and getting it published.

I had always wanted to write about my experiences, as during the difficult times of my marriage, when my husband was going through episodes, I could never find other books written by supporters. Reading books written by psychiatrists and psychologists never had the same impact for me, as they were not actually living with someone who has the disorder. I wanted to read about peoples personal experiences in order to not feel so alone. So in the end I decided to write my own book, in order to help others.

I had also always wanted to write about our travels, and so incorporated that into my book.



Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book? 
A. Having a voice.


Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are  woven into your book, if any?  
A. Pretty much everything. This book is a very personal account. No sugar coating. Very raw. Very exposing.



Q5. How did you get published?

A. Through Mousehand Publishers in Cape Town.



Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the  book writing and/or publishing process?
A. Yes, that not all publishers and publishing houses are professional.


Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project? 
A. That no matter how careful you are, some people will be offended by how they are portrayed.

Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book.   What would you hope to hear them say about it? 
A. That they now understand more about the disorder, and that they now have empathy for sufferers and their families. That they will no longer judge those who have mental disorders, or their families. 

Oh and that they would recommend it to others to read!


Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them. 
A. That I have very low self esteem.



Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. Don't tell people that you are writing a book. Not many people realize how long the process takes, and so continually ask you when you will be finished, making you feel like a failure.



Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us  please. 
A. There is nothing typical in my life. One day I will be a stay at home mother, writing whilst the boys are at school. The next I could be photographing some spectacular function, and the next day riding my motorbike through the desert in Namibia.



Q12:  Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
A. At the kitchen table, with my Rottweiler at my feet and looking at the fish in their fish tank on the counter.



Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?

A. Don't judge, don't assume and always treat others how you would like to be treated yourself.

Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently? 


I am currently co writing a book with someone who sufferers from severe rapid cycling bipolar 1. He has lived the life of Riley (whoever Riley is?!) around the world, as well as been locked up in state psychiatric wards and jail cells in South Africa along with criminals and the criminally insane. He has played and coached sport with top sports men, had over 50 ECT's in his life and this book will keep you entertained and laughing until you cry. The book will need an age restriction and a 'tighten your seatbelt' warning. And yet the despair... profile:


Thanks for your time Nina! Please share this Spotlight Interview with friends and fans by linking to it, Tweeting it, Digging it, sharing it on Facebook and generally shouting about it anywhere you can. We'd ask fellow members to support you by doing the same.


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