What has your background been before you starting writing?
I was a nurse for over 30 years, and in the last 6 of those years, I had my own consulting company providing consultancy services to small hospitals and day surgeries across the country. I was also a Safety and Quality auditor and assessment preparation specialist for those small hospitals, using my nursing and management skills to ensure they met the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards – mandatory standards for all hospitals across Australia.
Through writing, speaking and my Radio show, I want to empower and inspire others to get through trauma, build resilience and lead happy lives.
The hardest and most challenging learning has always come from being a wife, mother, and nanna! I love gardening and being with my llamas and goats. 😊😊😊
How were you introduced to writing?
I’ve always written in a diary and have done a little bit of journaling. I have a huge imagination, and when I was little, I wrote short stories and songs.
I have been through a lot of trauma in my life and by the time I got to 40 I had my first breakdown. I knew that life could not continue in the way that it had in the previous 40 yrs, so I set about making some changes. I did a lot of self-development, self-education, and counseling to try to help and heal my mind and body. Part of that healing involved journaling about the pain and the experiences of my life. As I started to heal and tell people portions about my life they seemed to elicit tears, happiness, hugs and “you should write a book.” This went on for about five years and then finally I decided in 2018 to get on with it. I fluffed around for six months and then finally made a decision to write in July 2018. Stopped what I was doing, shut my company down and wrote for 5 months straight. Finished the manuscript in November 2018 and my book was published in January 2019. Id finally discovered something I loved to do with a passion – writing!
What was the one thing that impressed you the most about becoming an author?
The process of writing – putting the jumbled thoughts from my brain onto paper and seeing what comes out, what it looks like on the paper, how it feels to put emotions onto paper. I find it soothing, cathartic and wonderous. I enjoy how much credibility it gives you to the world when you get to say, published author.
How is your writing making a difference for you right now?
Oh wow, so many things have happened – I have learned mountains about publicity, marketing, social media and “getting yourself and your book out there.” My confidence has grown exponentially, I have my radio show, I’ve been able to partner with others to write chapters in their books, I’ve started blogging, I have my own website, I’m building my social media platforms, I’m scheduled for some wonderful magazine articles, I get asked to speak at events, I’ve met the most amazing people, connected with great people. I’m working on another book and eBook!! Finally, I’ve found my path and that’s all because I allowed myself to put my own vulnerabilities, mistakes, and life on the pages of a book.
As a child, what was your relationship with books?
I was a bookworm, and I loved to read. It was the way I escaped from the world. My earliest favourite book was Pookie – Pookie in Wonderland by Ivy Wallace – stories about a little winged rabbit – I loved those stories that my first-grade teacher would read to us each day at school. This followed with classics like Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Watership Down by Richard Adams and Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews, plus many many more. I loved fantasy, got lost in the pages of a book and would read for days straight lost in a good book. They were my escape from reality.
What is the most important thing about what you want to do?
Without a doubt, you are helping people! We are encouraging people, inspiring people and sharing stories with people.
Do you believe books can change the world?
I very much believe that good books have the power to change the world, but good books aren’t always read by the masses that need to read them. A good book can lead changes in attitudes but only in so much that the author can get that book to the masses. No every one reads, not everyone has access to books ☹
What do you hope people will take away from your writing?
Empowerment, inspiration, hope and a glimmer of light in a dark world, empathy, compassion, hope and a way to heal.
What is your ultimate goal?
To build emotional resilience and hope in people by embracing vulnerability and change in their lives.
What results have you experienced, good or bad, about being a part of the publishing industry?
The bad – I’ve gone from a well paid, owning my own company being very stressed and working with not so nice people to very little pay but living and loving life so much more.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Ignorance! Put simple it’s a plague of the world whereby people lack the knowledge and understanding to make a difference. They have closed their minds to any other reality than the one they see and the only want of thinking. If more people opened their minds to different realities, different ways of thinking, there would be more tolerance, peace, love and understanding across they world.
Contact Toni Lontis