catnav-interviews-active-3Post #293 – Memoir Writing Interview – Matilda Butler

Hi Jane Enright: Welcome to and congratulations on the publication of your new book, Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year and Created My Super Awesome Life.

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Jane, will you tell our readers a little about your book? It seems to be part-memoir and part-personal growth. How do you view it? 

Hi Matilda. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my story!

I often say:

“stuff with four letters ending in a T happens to all of us, it’s how you handle it that matters.”

Butter Side Up is the true story of how I survived, navigated, and thrived after sudden, rapid, unexpected change—thrice in 12 months. 

The First of 3…

This included recovering from a life-altering personal injury in 2017 where I lost part of my speech and hearing and suffered from short term memory loss. I was like Dory in Finding Nemo. I was working with a speech pathologist, healing from my injuries, when …

The Second of 3…

…my fiancé suffered his own devastating event; a catastrophic Traumatic Brain Injury.

On day 10 of his hospital stay he greeted me with: “Everyone is so nice here, I can’t remember who anyone is here, but you’re the nicest and the prettiest.” He awoke from a semi coma not remembering who I was, nor anything about our life together, or his life. I was thrown into a situation where I needed to not only take care of myself, but advocate for him because he could not advocate for himself. 

The Third of 3…

As my fiancé was being discharged into a supported living situation, I had a third experience occur; my best friend of 40 years was diagnosed with cancer. She went to the emergency room with abdominal pain, and left with a terminal diagnosis.  I spent over 100 consecutive days in hospitals advocating for people I cared deeply about, and an entire 12 months experiencing a lot of trauma and drama.

My Perspective

I’ve always been a positive person, but these events pushed me to limits I never thought possible. I believe everything happens for a reason, and for me, there were so many hints of encouragement to write a book that I could not ignore it. There was also a great desire to share my knowledge about navigating change with others. Although my journey was extremely difficult at times, I realized I had skills and know-how others did not that helped me successfully navigate change.

Afterward, I encountered many people who told me they could not believe I had landed butter-side up after all I had been through; they wanted to know my “secret” to successfully navigating change. 

Tired of Hard and Sad…

After all the dust settled, I decided I was tired of hard and sad and wanted the opposite of that. That’s when I decided to create my super awesome life that included writing Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life which releases today, June 7th, and the companion playbook Jane’s Jam: Inspiration to Create Your Super Awesome Life which is being released on November 1st. I felt a push to share my knowledge in a light-hearted but meaningful way with others so they could learn how to survive and thrive during and after unwanted change, and land butter-side up too.

Jane, thank so much for that overview of your incredible (and not in a good way) year and how you sought to create an entirely different life.

You had many decisions to make when you wrote your story. A question we have often been asked is how to handle real events and real names in memoir writing as well as how to make their personal story relevant to a broad audience.

What advice would you give to women who want to write about their lives but hope to provide readers with more than a retelling of their experiences?

Everyone Has a Story

Everyone has a story—-a moment in time when the unexpected happens and they ask “why me?” These can be moments that bring happiness and joy, or, it could be a sudden turn of events that makes us question everything.  When this happens, people often search for meaning. An understanding of not just why their circumstances changed, but how to make sense of it all and move forward in a meaningful way.

Life is a Journey Filled with Storylines

Sometimes the characters come and go, their roles change, as do ours.  Sharing our stories in a meaningful way allows us to share wisdom, kindness and gratitude. Although the modalities may be different, (audio, video, the written word), the impact can be powerful. I view storytelling as a gift to others facing a similar journey to inspire strength, hope, encouragement, understanding, and guidance.

Given that, I would recommend that you ask yourself:

  • Why am I sharing my story?
  • What am I hoping to accomplish?
  • What is the best modality to share these experiences in a meaningful way? 

If your path is to publish your story, I would recommend that before you send your query letters and manuscript to potential publishers do your homework and choose wisely. Short list publishers and publications that align with your goals and objectives—otherwise you may waste precious time and resources sending your work to people who may never read or appreciate it. Also, try to look at your creation from the outside in, rather than the inside out. Imagine yourself in the position of the reader. Then think of these four questions:

  • How will they feel or react when they read your story? 
  • Are there any lessons you can share?
  • Is there advice to offer?
  • Is there a personal anecdote that readers can relate to so they will experience your story and gain value from your storytelling at the same time.

Thank you, Matilda. I enjoyed joining you on

And thank you Jane.

Your comments provide wonderful guidance to memoir writers. 

And I want to invite everyone visiting to join Jane Enright over at where she talks about the inspirational concepts she applied to her life to create “Your Super Awesome Life.” 

CLICK HERE FOR: Jane Enright Interview on RosieCentral.

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AND REMEMBER TO CLICK HERE FOR: Our second interview with

Jane Enright on RosieCentral.

About Author Jane Enright

Jane Enright is an ordinary person who has survived some extraordinary things. An inspiring and humorous inspirational author, speaker, and positivity expert, Canada-based Enright is a former kindergarten teacher, strategic planner, and university lecturer, as well as the founder and CEO of Everything at My Super Awesome Life Inc. She is also the author of Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life and Jane’ Jam: Inspiration To Create Your Super Awesome Life.

Jane speaks to audiences seeking answers to overcoming a fear of the unknown, grief, stress, loss, depression, anxiety, stagnation, indecision, sadness, and more. From top executives to stay-at-home moms, she is helping audiences throughout North America land “butter side up” find joy, successfully manage change and choices, and learn how to create their super awesome life after unexpected change.

You can find Jane on LinkedIn and Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. For more information, visit her at,, and


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