This is Nanny Joan (Author Interview)

This is Nanny Joan looks like a fantastic personal story. Can you tell us a little about it?

This book is my candid story of life with my grandmother. She is a vibrant, resilient yet stubborn woman diagnosed with dementia in her sixties.

I have written this book as snippets of memories that become chapters in my book when joined together. My memories take you along a comedic journey as I share authentic stories and all of Nan’s crazy things she did.

Her life-altering condition quickly became a game of trying to contain an escape artist. I share her true story to keep her memory alive while connecting with others who also have a loved one living with dementia.


What inspired you when writing This is Nanny Joan?

Gosh. I have wanted to write this book since my early twenties. I never dared to complete it. I didn’t have a clue how to write a novel. Nan inspired me to write this book. She is the most giving, kind-hearted person I know.

Nan’s way of life was so different from anyone else I knew. People always chuckled out loud when sharing stories of her latest antics and suggested I needed to write a book about her.

My inspiration blossomed not only because I wanted to share Nan with the world but also to continue her mission of making people laugh and helping others.

Continuing her mission, I donate a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. This money will help fill the gaps in available services.


What will readers get out of your book?

I take my readers on a hilarious, heartfelt roller-coaster ride. Its journey was filled with happiness and blubbering. I infuse comic relief as I share what life can look like while living with a person diagnosed with dementia.

I hope my readers grow to love Nan just as much as I do today. She truly is a legend. One of a kind. My absolute hero. Yet, always just a fraction away from being batshit crazy.


Can you tell us a little about Joan?

Nan was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada. She grew up in a large family during drastically different times than we live in today. I often wonder if some of the hardships she had to endure were why she did many of the things she did.

Nan is intelligent, strong and independent. She would give them the shirt off her back if someone was in need. She lived in the moment with a carefree attitude.

Her adventurous wild side got her into situations you can’t help but shake your head at as it’s almost unbelievable.


What part of the book was the most fun to write?

I had so much fun retelling the stories of my childhood. Man, we went through some crazy times. While writing, I snickered at my computer screen, wondering how I survived some of her adventures. They might have been scary or traumatizing back then, but as an adult, they are hilarious.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing This is Nanny Joan?

The emotional roller-coaster was very challenging. Writing some chapters, I caught myself laughing so hard my stomach hurt, while in others, I had to stop and walk away because I couldn’t see my screen through my tears. Remembering those gut-wrenching moments was hard to swallow all over again.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I’m a country girl at heart. I love being outside when the weather is nice. I love to read, and I’m a huge movie buff. Snuggling up with my dogs and kids is one of my favorite past-times.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

I would love to connect with fellow readers and authors and those who are caring for a loved one like Nan. Swing on by to any of the below. I will be there.