Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Why I Wrote Memoirs

The following is an extract from an article by Rachel McGrath of Indies United Facebook Group.

Brenda Mohammed is a multi-genre author living in Trinidad and Tobago who has now written and published sixteen books.
Six of her books are memoirs and so we asked Brenda to share what instigated her journey to write such personal stories and share them with the world.

Brenda's response:

When I retired from the Bank at an early age, I was depressed.
Everyone in my family noticed that in the weeks leading up to my retirement that my demeanour had changed.
I had ceased to be jovial and fun loving.
My husband and my sisters did their best to brighten up my days and I managed to force a smile or a giggle to appease them, but no one realized that I was feeling as if I had come to the end of my life.
I went through the motions at the grand retirement party, which the bank staff hosted at a popular restaurant in South Trinidad.
Customers and staff were present.
The ambience was enchanting, and the speeches were great.
Superiors, colleagues, customers, and staff showered me with praises and gifts.
Their words brought tears to my eyes. However, all I could think about was, ‘What lies ahead for me?’

Fortunately, for me, my husband had planned a trip for both of us to attend a friend’s wedding in Virginia in the USA.
We left the morning after the retirement party.
All during the flight, I kept remembering the words of the many who spoke at the party.
It all seemed like a dream.
When we arrived in Virginia, I felt relaxed.
Virginia is remarkably beautiful.
We had so much fun over the next three weeks that I forgot all about the bank.

We returned home after a glorious vacation. I gave away all of my working clothes as I felt that I no longer needed them.
I decided to dabble in art.
Out of nowhere, my talent for art surfaced and I painted several pieces, which I framed and hung in my library.
I applied for other jobs and received positive responses from many firms.
I accepted a job in an Insurance Company, and of course had to buy a new wardrobe of clothes.
Since I did not have to work full time, I needed something else to keep me busy.
It was then that I decided to write My Life as a Banker: A Life worth Living.
The book has been very popular with fellow bankers in Trinidad.
I revised the book in 2014, published it on Amazon and Create Space, and donated copies to the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago, and my Alma Mater St. Augustine Girls’ High School.
My Life as a Banker - A Life worth Living" is a banker's memoir, in which I describe changes in the banking system and changes in the bank's attitude to its employees throughout my working years in a Trinidad bank, with ties in the United Kingdom.
Personal details of my life are the highlights of the memoir.
Reviewers have described the book as Fascinating, Intriguing, Inspiring, Positive, Heartwarming, and Motivational.

Later on, I was having so much fun as a retiree, that I wrote, Retirement is Fun: A New Chapter.
The book is a sequel to "My Life as a Banker - A Life Worth Living."
I learned through my many experiences at the end of my banking career, that retirement is a time to enjoy life.
I faced many challenges such as cancer, deaths of loved ones, and an accident in Miami, which made her realize that life is very short. On the other hand, I landed a new job in an Insurance company and had numerous travel opportunities after I left my job at the bank. I have proven that when one retires from a first job one does not retire from life.

My recovery from cancer inspired me to write another memoir, I am Cancer Free.
It is a book about my battle with Ovarian Cancer.
The killer disease threatened my life and financial well- being.
My strong faith in God saw me through all the trials I had to undergo.
Cancer does not have to be a death sentence.

My career in the Insurance Industry was successful.
I qualified each year for membership in The Million Dollar Round Table [The Premier Association for Financial Professionals], and this gave me many opportunities to travel to different parts of the United States to attend conferences.
My frequent travels worldwide prompted me to write another memoir, Travel Memoirs with Pictures: Exploring the World.
It is an entertaining book filled with reflections of my travels around the world.
I also relate the family adventures and treat readers to a pictorial story of priceless memories.
I describe places visited and the wonderful times my family and I had in our tourist trips.
The book is great to read while on a vacation or for some travel inspiration.

I was later inspired to write yet another memoir – Your Time is Now: A Time to be Born and a Time to die.
I had a driving force within me to write this one.
I based the content on powerful words spoken by King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes about times and seasons. "There is a time to be born and a time to die, and a time for every purpose under the Heaven."

Both My Life as a Banker: A Life worth Living and Retirement is Fun: A New Chapter were nominated in the Category Bio/Memoirs for Metamorph Publishing Summer Indie Book Awards 2016.
The final results showed that My Life as a Banker: A Life worth Living placed second in that category.
I am Cancer Free: A Memoir won the McGrath’s House Indie Book Awards in the category Non-Fiction in November 2016.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all my Facebook friends, family, former banking colleagues, and friends in Author groups, who all voted for my books.
All of my books are registered in the matchbook program on Amazon. When you buy any book in Paperback you get the Ebook FREE.
Here is my Amazon Universal Link