Readers Questions Answered

In a frank and honest interview Allison Agius attempts to answer the questions her readers have asked over the last few months.

 

Have you been writing since childhood, or did the bug strike later? 

I wrote my first book when I was fourteen and have had several ‘aborted’ attempts to be a writer.  Reflecting back I think I was flirting with being a writer, now there’s more commitment, now I am…married to being a writer.  It feels more solid and real somehow, and, consequently, where there’s commitment success follows.

Why spiritual fiction & non-fiction?

I’m not sure I had a choice, but then that contradicts everything I believe, because of course, we always have a choice.  I wanted to write something meaningful.  Stories are used to inspire people all the time, the great leaders and teachers know this, so I wanted to do the same thing with my writing.  Ultimately, I want to teach and inspire people to be all they can be.

Hidden Secrets is a non-fiction book explaining how someone might do that, and my fiction always has big spiritual themes.  The Lost Voice is about being who you were born to be, which isn’t always easy, especially if you are at odds with society.  My new book will be about forgiveness.

Do you have any writing rituals? 

Sort of.  I get up every morning with my husband-to-be and make him his breakfast, sometimes as early as five.  It depends on his schedule.  Then I take my mac and coffee back to bed and write for a couple of hours.  I always have a couple of projects on the go.  In the morning I work on the primary project.  Then I go for a run, shower and have breakfast.  Then I do some catching up of emails and social media.  Check out the marketing plan for the day – writing, if you want to be successful, is like anything in life, you have to plan, set goals and take action.

After lunch I usually take an hour or two off, meet friends for lunch, do some shopping,gardening, cleaning, or go for a walk.  I take this time to visualize too.

In the afternoon I work on my secondary project – its usually my fun one because I’m a morning person, so the afternoons are less productive.  I might read something inspirational or just read a book.

Late afternoon I’ll write a blog, record a message or do something to move me closer to my goal.  This is when I see clients or have meetings too.

Evenings are spent with my partner, if he’s home.  Otherwise I chill with a favorite TV programme I’ve recorded, read or indulge in my guilty pleasure, computer games.

Allison Agius

Allison Agius Waking Up

What finally gave you the courage to leap into the unknown and follow your dream? 

I had no choice.  I didn’t leap – I was pushed.

I had had warning signs for some time that it was time to go, and I’d even said to people about a year before that I’d probably look to make a change soon.  Finally, I didn’t leave I was pushed.  The universe gave me one great big boot up the bum – that happens when you ignore the signs.

I knew I needed to leave but I felt I couldn’t.  Money, experience, status, who knows?  Mainly the money I think.  But strangely, once you make the leap things open up.  You have to make room in your life for the dreams to appear, if you’re cramming it full of crap nothing new can get in.

The first few weeks I felt really at a loss.  I was telling people I was a writer, but I felt a fraud.  Now I have no doubts.  I am a writer, and a very good one.  I might not be to everyone’s taste, but that’s a different thing.

What inspires and guides you in life?

Now, my dreams and passions.  That’s why I fell and got a kick up the bum.  Before, I wasn’t following my passion.  My passion is to teach and inspire people to follow their dreams, it’s what I’ve been involved in pretty much all my life, it was what I was trying to do as the COE of a charity that supported other charities.  I could see difficult times ahead and wanted to help those charities adapt and grow.

Some did and some didn’t. Those that didn’t criticized the support my organization was giving them, or not giving them, as they saw it.  The bottom line was, they weren’t prepared to change and in order to adapt and grow, we all need to change, constantly.  We need to be prepared to evolve because the habits we have now, are only enough to create what we’ve already got.

Some organizations, and people, couldn’t see that.  Unfortunately I was unable to walk away from them in the way I can now.  If someone I’m working with now, doesn’t want to make the change, I can honor them and let them go on their way, as a CEO of a support organization I didn’t have that luxury, so I had to continue to be in their firing line, until I left of course.

So my passion is to make a difference, help people change so they can be all they want to be.

What advice can you lend to someone who feels stuck in life?

Look at where you are, what decisions you are making in your life that have led you to this point, explore the quality of your thoughts – are you in gratitude for what you have, even if you think it isn’t much?

Ask yourself ‘am I taking 100% responsibility for my life and where it is?’  If you are, you won’t be blaming anyone else, you won’t be criticizing anyone else, instead you’ll be looking for solutions, you’ll be looking for actions you can take.

Overweight – that’s your responsibility, you ate too much, ate the wrong kinds of food, didn’t take enough exercise.  It’s relay quite simple.

Who is your favourite writer?  

This is a tricky one because it depends on what I want to read and there are so many fantastic writers.

Off the top of my head I enjoy Richard Bach & Paulo Coeulo for spiritual stuff and Jack Canfield for inspiration.  Margaret Attwood to really make me think and Kate Atkinson, Jodi Picolt, Phillipa Gregory for really well written stories.

I like unusual books like ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife.’

The Book Thief is another one of my top ten books of all time.

Are any of your characters like you?

God yes, even the horrible ones I’m afraid.  We all have dark sides, we are multifaceted, and if we deny them they just show up in our lives.  I prefer to own my dark side whenever possible.  Besides, it’s very powerful.

I think the joy of being a writer is you can really  pull out aspects of yourself that haven’t been explored and play around with them, I can even live out fantasies.

Some might think it isn’t healthy – I disagree, It’s liberating.

Latest book from Allison Agius

Why did you write this particular book? 

I wrote Hidden Secrets because I wanted to give someone something easily accessible that they could dip into for advice and guidance.

I wrote the Lost Voice because I wanted to explore what life would be like if we could really hear each others thoughts.  I’ve decided that for now, it’s best we don’t.

What motivates your writing?  

My passion to explore what stops people being all they can be.  What keeps people in unhappy relationships, jobs, situations of any kind.  What constraints do we place on ourselves and how can we let them go.

I hear you have a motorbike, what is the most exciting ride you have ever experienced?  

The day I nearly killed myself.

Is your writing purely fictional, or do some of the themes reflect on your own experiences?

Hidden Secrets is full of examples from my own life to help the reader understand what I’m taking about.

My fiction is similar.  In the Cross Over I write about a woman who loses her whole family in an accident, I didn’t experience that exactly, but I wrote it at a time when I had just left my children’s father, the family I had known was breaking down, and my children were living with their father for about half the time.  Every time they left it was like a little death.  I used that ‘grief’ for the life I wasn’t going to have, as a springboard to write that book.

What’s your next project?

I have three pieces of work on the go at the moment, two fiction and another rnon-fiction.

My major piece is a novel called Nothing But The Truth and the theme is forgiveness.  I think the byline is going to be ‘How can you forgive the unforgivable?’ but it’s early days yet.  That is the theme of the book and it follows a mother and daughter through the ultimate betrayal.

My second book is a big departure from what I’ve written before. The Coffee Filter is a frivolous look at internet dating…

Finally my last book hasn’t got a title.  It’s a non-fiction and the by-line is 5 simple steps to success…or something like that.  I’m attempting to make change as simple as possible.

 

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About me

Allison Agius lives in the North East of England with her husband.  They have five children between them. 

When she’s not working or writing she spends her time riding her Honda Hornet (in the summer), running (in the summer) and eating chocolate!