Today we talk about The Whistleblower’s secret, a book by Mary Whelan published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Mary Whelan, to get to know her better, where she found the inspiration to write her book The Whistleblower’s secret, as well as what prompted her to share her life experience with her readers.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write your book?
One day my brother’s friend Maurice unexpectedly knocked at my hall door holding his book in his hand which had just been published. He thought that my brother would be interested in it. I congratulated him and we started chatting about his book, which led me to casually say, that I myself have always wanted to write a book. He told me emphatically that I was to go ahead and do it. I laughed and said I would have no clue what to write about. I showed him an academic thesis I had written. Being a historian, he pounced on one specific page, detailing how I broke into the male-dominated world, to make history as Ireland’s first female basketball referee to achieve the Grade 1 and international FIBA awards. He was convinced that people would want to know, as he put it, ‘How did you do that?’ He was animated and full of enthusiasm. He truly believed that the secrets to my success and how I surmounted the obstacles would inspire the readers. It was his conviction and belief, that I had a story worth telling, that inspired me to write The Whistleblower’s Secrets.
- What particularly significant experiences in your life find expression in your story?
There are a number of significant experiences in my life that find expression in my story which is a true story. My whole experience about my rise from an ordinary, everyday Dublin girl to fame and success, by making history twice within my sporting field, is a captivating and heart-rending read. Having come from a traumatic childhood where deafness was my constant companion and the many lonely hours spent outdoors on the schoolyard basketball court, to the prestige, glitz and glamour of the packed indoor international basketball arenas, invites the reader to become immersed in my experiences. The backdrop of this story traces my life through the Ireland of the late 1950s spanning the decades from the 60’s to date and how each decade brought its own challenges and societal demands. My experiences are expressed through various themes such as unconditional love, influential relationships, the positive side of perfection and wholesome friendships. From a sporting perspective, it oozes love and passion for basketball, athletics, dancing and all the training regimes spoken about. My story unveils the qualities I cultivated and embraced to accomplish my status as an elite athlete. It also dives into my immense struggles, battles, traumas and obstacles that I overcame on both my personal and sporting life’s journey, where I had to soldier on regardless.
- What prompted you to share your life experience with readers?
I was shocked and horrified by Maurice’s idea and suggestion of writing about ‘Me’. It was never ever my intention to write a book about myself. My head was spinning and I was reeling at this proposal. It took me two weeks to get my head around the idea. However, after much thought and consideration, his enthusiasm, conviction and encouragement, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a whirl. I was spurred on by the fact that he, a renowned author, believed that my story was one that could truly inspire people. This, along with the knowledge that my secrets to success could be of value to people from all walks of life, motivated me to want to inspire others. ‘If I can do it, you can do it’, is a mantra I’ve always lived by and is one that has been positively demonstrated to me by others. Therefore, for me, to do the same felt natural. I believed that sharing my life’s passions would help to ignite the fire and inner spirit, that I connected to in myself, in others. As it is a book about courage and bravery in facing and overcoming life’s challenges and chasing your dreams, I thought it would prompt readers to do the same.
- How did it feel to see your first book published?
Exhilarating! Unbelievable! A monumental feeling that’s hard to convey in words. To say I was over the moon and ecstatic doesn’t describe it. It actually felt as exhilarating as when I achieved my Grade 1 and FIBA awards. It was a dream come true. The excitement that the publication of my book has generated amongst my friends is extremely heart-warming. I find it very touching at the number of people who have expressed so much pride in my achievement. My hairdresser commented to me the other day that he has been cutting people’s hair for years who have endeavoured to write a book but have never accomplished it. In fact, I am the first person he knows that managed to go the full distance. He was ever so impressed and delighted for me. I am sad as I remember the important people in my life who have died and missed out on seeing this book come to fruition. However, I know they would be very proud of me, and they will always be with me in spirit. Of course, there’s also a certain nostalgia in reminiscing and reflecting on the purpose of my existence and past experiences and how these have shaped my sense of self in the world today.
- Are you planning to write more books?
As my editor said, ‘Never say never’! Who knows what the future holds? Writing this book certainly hasn’t put me off writing another one. My experience, while it was tough on one hand to write about myself, it was also easy. Once I sat down with my cup of tea and my favourite bar of Cadbury’s milk chocolate and I put pen to paper, my story unfolded and flowed freely. Thankfully, at no stage did I ‘Hit The Wall’ in encountering ‘Writer’s Block’. This may be because I had a genuine passion to share my message and to empower others to reach their potential in the way that I did and to believe that despite the trials and tribulations of life, anything is possible. Many people have asked me this question recently and my answer to this is, ‘I don’t want to think ahead to the next book just yet, I want to live in the moment and savour all the joy, pleasure, excitement and delight that this experience has given me’. I want to stay present to each unfolding moment and be open to the opportunities that may arise as I continue on my journey. Europe Books have been a pleasure to work with and have been extremely supportive of me as a first-time author. So, the ‘Never Say Never’ more than likely will come to fruition.
Europe Books thanks the author Mary Whelan once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book The Whistleblower’s secret. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I hope that you let yourself be carried away and involved by the author’s life experiences and that you can draw food for thought to reflect upon what is important to you (or what could become so) with different eyes and perspectives. But above all, remember that even facing obstacles or difficulties, we must never give up and always remember who we are, what our values are and where we want to go…because in life you never know what’s going to happen!!
So, my dear reader, I just have to wish you to enjoy this inspirational reading!!!