Sandra Danby, Author & Journalist, InterviewsGwen Wilson on Writing I Belong to No One

Just before I Belong to No One was released on June 30th last, author, journalist and fellow blogger, Sandra Danby, interviewed me by email. I was running on around five hours sleep a night, juggling many balls, feeling increasingly out of my depth, and I found myself having a brain dump when she posed her thought-provoking questions. They turned out to be very timely, as it prepared me somewhat for all the others that were to follow in the coming weeks. Short of time, I pressed ‘send’ without editing for brevity. I have since been able to extract “core messages” / “key points” from this information.

With many thanks to Sandra (, you can find what I had to say in full here:

Author Interview: Gwen Wilson

NB: Those of you who also follow Sandra Danby’s blog will have already seen this.


12 thoughts on “Sandra Danby, Author & Journalist, InterviewsGwen Wilson on Writing I Belong to No One

  1. Pingback: Book review: I Belong to No One | The Reluctant Retiree

  2. Thanks for posting this great interview Gwen – interesting and the questions were excellent. I’ve been feeling the need to try writing something creative versus my sometimes dull travel journals. It takes so much discipline – am working on the baby steps of writing down plot ideas, potential characters, situations. There are so many possibilities from travel discoveries. Don’t know if I would be brave enough to write about personal experiences. Hopefully will have my South African retirement visa by October ;o)!
    Also thanks for sharing Sandra’s blog – I will follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra will be delighted to have another follower, and I am glad you enjoyed the interview. I think the whole idea of a South African retirement visa is a story in itself. Why don’t you think about writing a 500 ‘word dump’ per day about what you are thinking, feeling, encountering, etc on the road to approval? It might be source material later. I am also thinking next time I might write in scenes, and see what happens when I join them up. There is an entire chapter in I Belong to No One that came about from a literal “cut and paste” of disparate incidents – all over the dining room table . . .


      • Great idea! The visa process itself is a bit daunting and preparing for each departure has unexpected twists and turns. One subject I SHOULD write about but so far is too painful is my investment hell story. While living in San Francisco I was victim of a California Ponzi scheme and lost most of my retirement funds. Although the brokers are in prison there is no money left to pay restitution. After almost 8 years of litigation against other defendants who we claim assisted in the fraud – accountants who put the paperwork together, etc.- everything collected has gone back into the legal fund to pay the lawyers PLUS addition cash calls were required. Finally decided to opt out of the continuing litigation as I don’t see a positive outcome and refused to invest any more time or money. Luckily I had this place in Oregon and am debt free so I’ve managed. Living here has been a drastic change from being in the heart of a thriving city. Haven’t gotten into many personal things in my travel blog. I so admire your ability to successfully write about painful, personal experiences.


        • My goodness! What a story. You must have experienced so many emotions going through that time. It is certainly a challenging time of our life once the regular income stops. I say to everyone retirement planning would be a lot simpler if we all came with a “use-by” date. The reason I was thrown into becoming a “reluctant retiree” was on account of the Global Financial Crisis (as we call it here in Oz). For years I had been pouring my monthly salary into my superannuation in preparation for the day I would retire, but I did expect to work another five or more years. My super was a legitimate scheme – nothing like your Ponzi experience, but for a time there, I had “lost” 70% of mine. Having seen it twice before (1987 and 2000), this time I closed my eyes and hung on. It has recovered, thank goodness. Without interest growth, natch.


        • Oh and I forgot to mention. Many years have passed between the events of I Belong to No One, and the person I am now. So, in a sense, I was writing about someone who is no longer me. It helped a lot in the writing, and the original purpose was to acknowledge all the wonderful supporters who had made up the tapestry of my life. I haven’t ever attempted writing about something that is a recent, raw wound . . .


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