Sophie Lyons is a British writer and patient advocate currently living in Toronto. She received her BA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and Columbia College Chicago. Her non-fiction writing has appeared in the BMJ and HelloGiggles. She runs a blog on being an adult with a congenital heart condition at achdandme.com and lives in a house full of vegetarian / vegan hippies.
Why do you write?
With fiction, I write to lose myself in the head of someone else, without having to interact with real humans. It makes me more empathetic by imagining how different people may face similar difficulties as my own. This has allowed me to understand different points of view more easily, again without having to interact with real humans (win win). It also lets me cryptically write about my ex’s and stupid crushes without them ever knowing.
With non-fiction, I write to understand my true feelings about something that has happened. A lot of my non-fiction stories either come out whole in a day or two, or never get finished. There’s a lot of anger and grief in my non-fiction writing, even if that manifests as humour, and by sharing this, even if it’s just with my laptop, it helps me process things a lot quicker.
Who do you hope reads your work?
People who can find their own meaning in my work, or people who feel a connection. For non-fiction, I want to reach others who identify as physically or mentally different. For all the inclusiveness trickling through into the mainstream, difficult conversations about disability and illness are still harder to find than they should be.
Where does the anger in your work come from? How does it manifest?
The piece I’m reading for An Angry Reading Series comes from feelings which grew after reading The Matter of The Heart by Thomas Morris, but otherwise anger can spark out of the blue. Whether it’s a stranger commenting on old surgery scars, or getting frustrated at the way the world is, life is full of potential things to be angry about. My non-fiction work is currently undertaking a journey of finding a balance between being a full-on whiny bitch, and making productive, thought-provoking work about these issues.
Angry book recommendations for angry readers?
The Sorrows of Mexico, Lydia Cacho & others
I saw Lydia Cacho speak about this book before I read it. She is an incredible journalist who has risked her life to reveal truths about corruption throughout Mexico, and to report on the disturbingly high number of journalists assassinated throughout the country.
Sophie Lyons will be reading with An Angry Reading Series on March 9. Come through!