Book Cast of the Week: Melanie Cantor, ‘Life And Other Happy Endings’

For this week’s Book-Cast, we are joined by Melanie Cantor reading from her book ‘Life And Other Happy Endings’, a book that proposes the question: what would you do if you had three months to live? This is a refreshingly honest & candid conversation on Melanie’s life & inspiration behind ‘Life And Other Happy Endings’. We discuss past relationships with spiritual reiki masters, having sex on Hampstead Heath, the trappings of being a “well behaved woman” & dealing with rejection as a debut writer. 

In this Book-Cast we cover: 

  • Changing the title of the book from ‘Death & Other Happy Endings’ to ‘Life & Other Happy Endings’ for the paperback version of the book due to the times of pandemic.
  • Melanie on the protagonist Jennifer Cole & her diagnosis with a rare blood condition that is life threatening. Instead of Jennifer jumping in a bikini & heading to Thailand, she writes letters to the three people in her life that have let her down or upset her. 
  • The question of “what if you were given three months to live – what would you do?”
  • The trappings of being a “well behaved woman” & the unleashed freedom that comes with 3 months to live.
  • Having sex on Hampstead Heath
  • The deconstruction of sibling relationships & family dynamics. Labelling children as ‘the clever one’, ‘the pretty one’ & ‘the selfish one’.
  • Melanie on her experience writing her first published novel. 
  • Melanie on dealing with rejected manuscripts as an Author & remaining determined.
  • The inspiration behind the novel: with Melanie’s past relationship with a reiki master in which she was 14 years older than her partner. Dealing with people’s observations & the age gap that makes it difficult to plan for the future. 
  • Melanie’s experience holding up the man in the relationship for 5 years & the cathartic, empowering moment she wrote him a letter after the relationship ended. 
  • “Everything leads to something & nothing is wasted” – Melanie’s insight into regrets.
  • Melanie’s past career as a PR agent for celebrities for decades & her second career as a writer. 
  • The very human experience of emotional turmoil & emotional growth.
  • Joanna Briscoe’s writing course that helped propel Melanie’s skills & career as a writer. 
  • Melanie’s past idea that she was a literary writer, but instead she is a page turner that is more commercial. Coming to terms with this, & adding an intellectual twist to a page turning book.
  • Melanie’s experience “finding her tribe” at writing courses.
  • “I’m so glad I never gave up.” says Melanie on her past knock backs as an Author.
  • Melanie on her next book “ Happy Families & Other Filthy Lies” due June 2021.

Buy ‘Life And Other Happy Endings’ in paperback from your local Bookseller:

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