Interview with Sharron Ann Sibley,
Author of MEN, MONEY & GYPSY BLOOD
Question: What inspired you to write this book?
Sharron Ann Sibley: After my dreamboat doctor husband left me to raise our two boys by myself, the reality hit me: if I didn't make some changes, my life was going to be very difficult. In order to survive, I had to become a pacesetter, otherwise I was dooming myself to a lifetime of working for minimum-wage as an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant, and the evening shift at the Ponderosa Ballroom, a wild Texas dancehall. I wanted more than that. And now I want to inspire other women to want more than that for themselves.
Question: Did anything surprise you while you were writing the book?
Sharron Ann Sibley: The unresolved pain we carry around with us. That surprised me. It turns out that some of the things I thought I'd put behind me weren't really behind me. Writing about them tore the scab off old wounds.
Question: What was the hardest scene to write?
Sharron Ann Sibley: They were all hard to write! But describing the deaths of people I loved, people who were the world to me, took its toll. When you write, you relive all the pain. These tragedies are as real to me now as they were when they first happened.
Question: What can you tell us about the book?
Sharron Ann Sibley: One of the key themes in Men, Money & Gypsy Blood is about surviving the challenges in life, regardless of what obstacles we encounter. Resourcefulness begins in the heart. Some of the toughest lessons in life are opportunities in disguise. They are not to be feared, but harnessed. Once you recognize that fear has no power over you, you soon realize that nothing is impossible. You must never give up. You can survive!
Question: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Sharron Ann Sibley: I wanted to be an Olympic athlete. I also wanted to be a Perry Como dancer, which is why I was at the dance studio a lot of the time during my young life. I was always more of a lady-jock than an egghead.
Question: What advice would you give young women just starting out in life?
Sharron Ann Sibley: Plan on making your own career and your own money, including what you might need for retirement, which is never as far away as you think. Get all the education you can afford. I started as a stockbroker when I was in my forties, and I did it without my M.B.A. Soak up as much information as possible from books and films. Lean on those you trust, especially your closest friends and family members who really care about you.
Remember that you can't avoid pain. Pain is inevitable. You're going to go through it at some point, so learn how to deal with it in your own way. Also remember that while it's important to do what you love, career-wise, you can change your mind and career as needed. Do what you love to do for a living, and you'll never work a day in your life.
Find a mentor. It's a must.
Don't marry too early. Life is to be enjoyed in all stages.
Question: What do you hope readers will take away with them after reading your book?
Sharron Ann Sibley: Whatever hardships you face, you can get through them. Desertion, lost love, lost health, poverty, no hope, no degree, too many mouths to feed, it doesn't matter. Whether you know it or not, you have within you the strength, intelligence, and will to survive anything life throws at you.
Question: What is the key message of your book?
Sharron Ann Sibley: Pain is the crucible that shapes us, but never lose sight of your dream. It's never too late. You're never too old. And the rules should apply equally to all of us. No matter who you are, no matter what you dreams, you can make it. You can survive with grace and achieve success at something! Take a chance on life!