In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about a crime writer Anastasia Tyler and the story behind her first crime novel. We also talk about aging and the main causes of body image issues, how they come up, and how she overcomes them.
You can READ the interview transcript HERE
10 Facts About Anastasia
(at the time of the project)
1. 53 years old.
2. Anastasia was born in Canada. She grew up in England and moved to Australia when she was 15.
3. But Anastasia is actually a seventh-generation Australian. She comes from convict stock. Her great-great-great-grandfather stole a pocket watch from somebody in London and got caught. He was sent to Australia for a term of seven years but never went back.
4. Anastasia was married twice and has one daughter, she's 25. She just took her for her 25th birthday on a safari to South Africa.
5. Anastasia has lived in lots of different places in Darwin, North Queensland, Brisbane, Tasmania, Sydney, the country, New South Wales, and Abu Dhabi
6. Anastasia has lived off the grid for a year at the Sydney skydiving Centre at the bottom of the cross strip with no power and no water.
7. Anastasia is a Hansard Editor at the Parliament House.
8. Anastasia has just recently had her debut crime novel published. And she’s just been on the road for about two weeks for her promotional tour. The name of the book is Survival Mode.
9. Apart from writing the novel, Anastasia has also written quite a few short stories and nonfiction.
10. In 2016, Anastasia was diagnosed with breast cancer. And that's one of the things that sort of propelled her to finish writing her book and do lots of other things that she really wanted to do.
Hi, you're listening to the My Body, My Story podcast.
It all starts with what's going on in your head. Attitude is everything. And that's true, not just of how we regard ourselves physically, but emotionally what you can what you say you can and can't do.
This is the 45 over 45 chapter where we celebrate Rule Breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their sensuality beauty, soul, and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and we listen to the stories about participants. If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the My Body, My Story projects and today with us in the studio Anastasia. And while she's sitting in the makeup chair, and Bella is creating her magic and doing makeup, I'll be asking her a few question. Morning, Anastasia.
Welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project. Thank you. And let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.
Okay, so I'm going to start from here and kind of work backwards. So this actual experience is something I've been wanting to do for decades. But you know how the universe sometimes just wait makes you wait for things until it's the right time? Well, this is the right time. So yesterday, I got my divorce through which there's a story back there as well. So I've just recently had my first my debut crime novel published. And I'm actually on a promotional tour. And I've just been on the road for about two weeks travelling around doing launches and that sort of thing. Yeah, yeah. But it's been, like exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. But the book itself, you know, almost didn't come to be because although I'd been writing it, and editing, editing it for quite some time. And I thought my husband was quite supportive. One night, he turned to me, and in an hour and a half long tirade told me that he'd hoped that I'd never had my book published, because you know why? Because you're a wanker, and it went on like that for like an hour and a half. And it kind of took that to the penny to drop that, you know, he probably wasn't the guy that I thought I married. And so girls, what do you do you walk your finances out the door, right? So I did, and I left, I packed a suitcase, I left in the dead of night, and I moved states, I've changed careers. But I kept editing and pitching. And about three months after I left, I got a book deal. So you know, sometimes things happen in a way that isn't necessarily very pretty. But this journey has probably been far more empowering, because it's been my journey and only mine. Then if I had a man holding me too tight, do you know what I mean? So that's kind of like, the nutshell.
Other things about me? Okay, so one of my big things is that I feel like I'm living on borrowed time, and making up for lost time. Because in 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And that's one of the things that sort of propelled me to finish writing that book, and do lots of other things that I really wanted to do. And again, it's a blessing in disguise, because had I not had that wake up call. And if I hadn't sort of created that fire in my belly, I would not have done half the things that I've, I've done and that make me feel really proud about where I'm at now. So they're the most recent things.
A few other things. I have one daughter, she's 25 I just took her for her 25th birthday on safari to South Africa which is another you know, one of those things that I just wouldn't have done previously. I was dragged around rather than brought up I'm, I was born in Canada. I grew up in England, I moved to Australia in when I was 15. Moved to Darwin. Since then I've lived in lots of different places in Darwin, but North Queensland, Brisbane, Tasmania, Sydney, country, New South Wales, I've lived off grid for a year at Sydney skydiving Centre at the bottom of the cross strip there with no power, no water there things. So that was the first husband, I'm not very good at men. And so yeah, I've just I just, I spent three years, two or three years, travelling constantly house sitting around Australia and the world. Apart from writing the novel, I've also written quite a few short stories and nonfiction. I started a travel writing thing before, just before COVID hit, which was not good timing, but that's alright. And sort of, well, I can keep going.
Yes, yeah. Keep going. It's interesting.
All right. So I was sent to boarding school when I was nine years old. And that forms part of the basis of the background to the story of, of the crime novel. And it was more Jane Eyre than Mallory towers. And writing the novel kind of made me feel I was angry when I started. Basically, I was angry with my mother, she'd recently died. And I hadn't sort of had that conversation with her. So it was very much a little bit of a therapy thing. writing it, but you know, I've forgiven everyone, including myself now. So that's all which is the most important thing, isn't it? Yes. Especially ourselves, we are often the last to forgive ourselves. Which is a shame. But yes, so that's, that's, this is where I am now.
So what did you do before writing? You said you change career
I was a high school teacher for 15 years. I taught in Darwin and Queensland and ICT and overseas in Abu Dhabi three years. Well, yeah, that was pretty interesting.
I lived in Dubai for 13 years.
My goodness, oh, you know about it. And, yeah, so now I'm an I'm an editor at hand side of Parliament House, which is a little bit of a little bit of a game change. But being in there in question time, it says not that dissimilar to, you know, year 10 on a Friday afternoon.
So, if someone wants to read your book, is it one book published?
So if someone wants to read it, find it, buy it where they can do it?
The name of the book is Survival Mode.
Yeah. And it's written under Anastasia Taylor, and it's available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You know, you just Google that comes up every week comes up everywhere.
I'm looking forward to read it.
But I've been really surprised by it. Like I said, I've been going around. It's been on the market since the end of July. And I've had really good feedback. Love people said that they've picked it up and just, like read it in two sittings, which is does wonderful things to my heart to hear that. Yeah. So.
So how do you market yourself as a Canadian author or Australian?
Australian. I lived to Canada when I was two. So okay, so I haven't been back yet. But I would like to. And yeah, and my strip. So I'm actually seventh generation Australian. I come from convict stock. My great great, great grandfather was sent out here. He got caught. He stole a pocket watch pickpocketed a pocket watch off somebody in London. And he was sent, you know, for the term? Well for seven years, but who? They never went back, did they?
How come you were born in Canada?
because my mother is quite an intrepid person. She was the first she was the first person first woman from her town to go to university. And it caused quite a stir at the time and people would stop her father in the streets and say why are you why are you sending a woman to a girl to university it's just a waste of money. She's just going to go off and have babies and blah blah, blah. Anyway, she she went to university she went to University of Queensland she was the first female debating coat debating I call the leader of the debating team. And she decided that she wanted to go to Canada. And so when my, my, my, when my father proposed, she said, that's fine, but you'll just have to follow. So, so he did. And they spent five years there. And I was born.
So it was just a trip there.
Okay, perfect, interesting, interesting story. So, let's move to the ageing and body image questions. Yep. And what does ageing means to you? So how old are you now? And what does it mean to you?
I'm 53. At the moment, yeah. It's a mixed bag. Really, I love in some respects, it's the best age ever, because you have got so many bags of wisdom and experience and you know, you know that you can do stuff, because you've been there yet. So that that sort of self doubt. While it's still there a little bit is far less than it was when you're in your 20s and 30s, and even 40s. So there's that positive side to it. But there's the the opposite, which is, you know, that they say there's nothing more invisible than a middle aged woman. And that scares the bejesus out of me that I'm just not ready. I will, you know, to be invisible. There's that Dylan Thomas poem, do not go gentle into that good night. rage, rage against the dying of the light. And that's kind of how I feel. Yeah.
I heard from quite a few women saying that they feel invisible. But I think that with your new book, and hopefully, more to come, yeah. You already gave yourself a deal against Yeah, I guess being invisible.
I'm doing everything I can. I'm trying everything I got at it. Absolutely.
So if your body could talk, what do you think it would ask you or tell you?
It would say: “Why do you hate me?” No, sometimes it would say that. But no, my body's been through an awful lot with breast cancer and ectopic pregnancy and reconstruction surgery and, you know, whatever else. I think I think my body would say that it's a metaphor for the resilience of My Spirit. Because not only has have I been through a lot physically, and, you know, regenerated kept regeneration going. That is also I believe, I feel true of my emotional self as well. In fact, Anastasia means it's, it's the Greek for resurrection. Yeah. So I think, I think maybe, I don't know if I was, if knowing that has helped me with resilience, or whether, because you know, whether it's the chicken or the egg, whether because I was named that I'm more likely to be that. I don't know, but I feel pretty. Not much keeps me down. And if it does, I'm not there for long.
You can pick yourself up and
yeah, I allow myself to have downtime. So, you know, you've got to reflect and learn from experiences, but get back on that horse.
But what do you think are the main reasons or main causes or body image issues we all experience? Some people experience all the time others from time to time.
Yeah. gendered expectations and dangerous assumptions are big ones. So, but I think the biggest one for us individually is, what's going on in our head and how we talk to ourselves and how we place ourselves in the world. And we are our worst critics when we should be our greatest champions. And like, as you know, as I said, there's nothing more invisible than a middle aged woman. We take We tend to take that mantle of, of middle aged and we read stuff, what that means into it. And we carry that and we become that. But if you if that doesn't fit for you will insist that you just make up your own rules and you decide what you are and what, what you carry and what you give to the world. Because one thing I've learned is that if we're not kind to ourselves, we don't treat ourselves right. If we don't just treat ourselves, no one else is going to, and nor should know, should they it's not their responsibility, our happiness, happiness is not somebody else's responsibility, as neither is somebody else's happiness, our responsibility. I think we pet we spend too much time trying to make other people happy.
It's interesting. You're one of the very few participants who started with the self-reflection answering this question not like, usually the answer is it's the media was the reason for body insecurities and you started with it's all within us. And I actually agree with you. Like, the media is just a trigger for the insecurities we haven't seen.
And I guess the media is kind of what I'm thinking of when I talk about gendered expectations and dangerous assumptions assumptions about just because you've got that number next to you that this is what you're necessarily what you necessarily are, or should be. And it's just a load of bullcrap.
We should all have biological age, in our past.
So how do you think it can affect the negative body image can affect any relationship like, personnel, co workers, friends,
It all starts with what's going on in your head. Attitude is everything. And that that's true, not just of how we regard ourselves physically, but emotionally, what you can what you say you can and can't do, but also. Well, every aspect of ourselves is it starts with how you think about yourself and your attitude towards yourself in the world and where you lead, you see your place in that, and everything flows from that. So I'm going to the how that knocks on to every other aspect of our lives. I think it absolutely does. Because if you if you have that negative self-talk, whatever it it's bound to, and you you, you didn't you diminish yourself, and the possibilities of what you can do, just because you think you can't. And I think we've all been there at one point or another more than once. Yeah.
Should you believe we can have limitations in inside our heads? Like everything is possible if we take right attitude?
Potentially? Yeah, I mean, obviously, that there's, you have to be a bit realistic about things like I'm not going to become a brain surgeon. But but you know, absolutely, yes. Yes, you can, you can achieve a lot more than you think you can. You just got to take that leap of faith.
So if you have any, from time to time, how do you overcome your body related insecurities? What's the go to method and also continuing this question? Has it change with age? Did you have different methods when you were younger? Comparing to now.
Yeah, when you look back in the year, you didn't realise just how fabulous you would be until you got to go out that couldn't miss that opportunity. More of that. But yeah, now I, I felt because of the reconstruction, I've got scars, and when I first when I left my husband and I started dating, I had my breasts reconstructed, but there was no nipple. So that was a bit weird. So like the bra had to stay on but this self-taught so I learned a lot about self-acceptance through that. I was being driven by a, I don't know there's only one way to put it like just an overwhelming urge to chase men basically, because it's been such a long and not very fulfilling relationship. So I, I just kind of told her to shut up. And let me get along, do the things that I knew I had to do. And then then I guess I turned to validation to from others. So if I was desirable with these scars and shortcomings as it were, then maybe there was something worthwhile about me. But since then, I've gone a step further, I guess now, and I understand that it doesn't really matter what they think, or whatever it's about how I feel. That's, that's the most important thing. So you know, I'm making friends with carbs again. And things like that.
You can afford it, you look really great.
I lost like 12 kilos, since I left. So in the last year, in that kind of light, looking for validation from other places, rather than from within, but I'm much happier within now. So yeah, so it's all the time. We're talking about turning inwards rather than outwards sales.
So looking inside yourself and finding strength inside yourself.
Yeah, and validation. And Sophia, Lorraine said, sex appeal is 90% what they think you've got, and 10% What you've actually got. So again, it's about sort of just, I don't say performing, but knowing your worth, and that that oozes out. Yeah, if you like, yeah.
Nicely said. My last question, and I love it, because we have so many different answers to that. What is your favourite saying, or quote about being a woman or maybe your own thoughts?
Now I've got my favourite one at the minute because they, you know, they change but Calamity Jane, she said, I figure if a girl wants to go ahead wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one like that. I did have a calendar for my daughter with that as the thing with a lot of photos of, you know, the inspirational women that in our family. And yeah, they'll just and I have that above my desk, and it resonates.
Excellent. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and your story and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day. I wish you all the luck with your book, and hopefully it will become a best seller and you will do many more and it will fulfil you with your inner joy and you will not need any validation from anyone.
If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at email@example.com That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com
This is the 45 over 45 chapter of MY BODY MY STORY podcast, where we celebrate rule breakers and role models - the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their SENSUALITY, BEAUTY, SOUL, and TRUE ESSENCE.
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