Today’s interview is with Jane Wyker, author of Soul Selfish: The Awakening of a “Good Girl”, a memoir which shares the vast experience of Jane’s 46-year inner journey. Jane is, in a word, AMAZING. Her book rocked my world and corresponding with her lit a fire under me.
Working in over a dozen different psychological, mind-body and spiritual disciplines, Jane had the courage and faith to follow the guidance of many teachers and, ultimately, her own soul. Now 80 years old, she models a life that is created from within, demonstrating that sustained happiness rests upon soul connection.
I have always felt like a complete weirdo. The label of “weird” has been alternately used to express confusion from others about my behavior or hurled as a coldly vicious insult. I grew up hearing it on the playground, year after year…after year. I got called weird in first grade and as a senior in college. I literally cannot count how many times I’ve seen a person freeze their expression, look me over and then say, “You’re really weird, do you know that?”
For years I had a love/hate relationship with my weirdness. In middle school I became hyper-observant about the dress, mannerisms, language and cultural codes of eighth-grade girls. I memorized them all and tried to imitate them. It didn’t work. My weirdness leaked out. In high school I tried to camouflage myself by joining dozens of different groups—Theater, Track, Yearbook Committee, National Honor Society. It didn’t work. I still said and did things that were undeniably weird. I still got the look.
Why doesn’t my book look like the other popular books in my genre?
I get this question, in various forms, from my clients all the time.
Sometimes it’s an issue of genre-blending. For instance, up until a few years ago most of the sci-fi/western writers out there felt like freaks, because this was a very small genre with a select audience and there was not yet a level of cultural acceptance that came with it. If you were writing sci-fi/western stories in the year 2003 you might have just given up altogether when you got back rejection after rejection from agents who didn’t really understand what you were writing or how it might sell.