I’m pleased to welcome Candice Derman to the blog today. She’s talking about her book Indescribable, the true story of childhood abuse she endured at the hands of her stepfather. Thanks for joining me Candice, first of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’m a wife, a mother, and a sister. I have a few close friends from my childhood, even though they are still in South Africa. I spend a lot of my time in my own head and I love ‘moments’, many of which involve a coffee. I feel happy in London, especially in Summer when the roses in Regent’s Park are in full bloom. I am always on the search for a good mascara and a physiotherapist, I recently had two back operations.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved writing. I kept diaries when I was younger. Writing has always been an outlet that helped me feel less isolated. I was inspired to tell my story because I have been living well for a long time after many years of hiding a dark secret as a child.
Tell me about your journey to publication.
I first published my book in South Africa. I was fortunate that my journey was relatively simple as my publisher believed it was an important story to tell. The same was also true for Quartet books in the UK. I have been blessed to have wonderful publishers that understood the value in ‘Indescribable’. Child sexual abuse is tragically too common.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
I’m between two very different books. The first is a novel about a mother and daughter. It’s a book about struggle and the demons each of them carry, intertwined yet separate. The other is a children’s book about a tiny girl who’s heart is too big for her body and how she’s learning to accept it. I need to settle on one and focus.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
It was a conversation with my husband. We were talking about how I was describing in my book things that were almost impossible to convey. So Indescribable seemed a perfect title because as descriptive as my book is, it has still been impossible for me to describe fully the act and the impact of the sexual abuse I went through as a child.
How did you celebrate publication day?
I celebrated by being with my family. The pride and love that they have for me is celebration enough!
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou
I’m passionate about reading to my daughter so I have chosen two children’s books
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
What are you reading just now?
What my Mother and I Don’t Talk About – Edited by Michele Filgate
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
My incomplete books, so I can finish them.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I just started on Twitter @i_ndescribable, as I am not a great fan of social media. People can also get hold of me the old fashioned way via Quartet books.
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I would have to be myself in my book because I have lived the awfulness of sexual abuse and know the feeling of emerging out the other side. I get to marry the love of my life after a week of meeting him and years later we have a little girl, Summer, who is a continuation of our love story.
From the back of the book
Indescribable is the chilling story of the abuse South African actress Candice Derman suffered at the hands of her stepfather, the man she called `Dad’. Told entirely from the perspective of her childhood self, Indescribable explores Candice’s traumatic past, opening our eyes to the complexities of sexual abuse and how easy it can be for such a secret to go unseen. First published in South Africa in 2010 to critical and commercial acclaim, this book gives important insight into the mind of a sexual abuse victim and should be compulsory reading worldwide.
Indescribable is published by Quartet Books in paperback and can be ordered directly from the publisher’s website here: Indescribable