It Has Long Been A Dream Of Mine – Interview with Author Chantal Russell

by Marilyn R. Wilson

Chantal Russell (002)

Please share a bit about your journey to become a published author?

I met Julie synchronistically when she was living on Bowen Island.  As soon as I found out about her Inspire a book workshop, I signed up right away. It’s been along time dream of mine to write a book, but I never knew where to start. Working with Julie was the catalyst I needed to begin! She helped break the process down into simple, doable steps and, with her guidance, I was able to write and publish my first book in less than a year!

How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or ?

Since I have a five year old son and manage a busy yoga studio, I had to schedule writing time every week in large chunks. I blocked time out to write a few times a week and treated it like it was my job, non negotiable, even if I didn’t feel like writing during those times, I would still sit and usually after a few minutes of writing, inspiration and creativity began to flow.

What did you find most difficult about the writing and publishing process? What was the easiest?

I found the editing process the most difficult as having to shift things around made me want to rewrite the whole book sometimes! Dealing my “inner critic”, the voice inside my head telling me I don’t have anything meaningful to say was also at times a challenge.  I’ve learned to acknowledge yet ignore that part of my mind and focus instead on the enjoyment of the writing process, and trust my own inner knowing. The easiest part for me was writing the first version of the manuscript and being in the “flow” of writing. I also really enjoyed designing the cover and the layout for my book, as I love the creative process of design.

What title (or titles) have you released? Please include a short synopsis of what your book is (or books are) about.

This is my first book. It’s called WildFire Within, Rising from the Ashes. It is the story of my soul healing journey, and what I learned through the deeply transformative and liberating wildfire initiation of cancer.

While giving birth, a daunting lump exposes itself on my neck, quite literally, between contractions and I am diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a mere two weeks after my son’s arrival. At only twenty-eight years old, I am simultaneously catapulted into the world of parenthood and pathology, and forced to navigate the challenges of new motherhood as a cancer patient.

After the treatments end, I go into remission and the real healing begins. Questioning my marriage, motherhood and the purpose of life, I embark on a journey to restore my health and sanity. What I discover is that wellbeing is not about drinking green juice or mastering yoga. Rather, I come to understand that vitality and joy come from embracing my wild humanity, restoring the sacred feminine, and embodying who I really am.

Do you have any new books in the planning or writing stage?

Yes! The next book is already presenting itself in my creative field. I’m going to take a little break and plan to begin writing it in the spring.

What would you like readers to know about you?

As a mama, entrepreneur, and yogini, I am passionate about living a soul-centred life and dedicated to awakening the healing power inherent in every human heart. I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a faculty member at The Vancouver School of Yoga, and founder and director of Bowen Island Yoga, located off the West Coast of British Columbia where I live. I’m also the director of the yoga and nutrition program at The Orchard Recovery Center.  I teach workshops throughout Canada and Europe, and run yearly yoga retreats in Costa Rica.

When not teaching or writing, I can be found gardening with my husband and son, reading by the fire, or travelling the world in search of good waves, healing foods, and nourishing conversation.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

My hope is that this book serves to empower and liberate each one of us to savour our soul, and rise to the call of our own unique heroine’s journey.


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