About Me

I am a writer and a book coach specializing in self-publishing and ethical book promotion. I love all things creative and human. As a Gemini, I have boundless energy and enthusiasm and my variety of interests include reading, writing, design, promotion, travel, photography and holistic living. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my two girls, homeschooling and learning alongside them.

Aside from my love of nature and travel, my most significant voyage has been an inner journey which led me to write my first book, It Rains In February: A Wife’s Memoir of Love and Loss, which tells the story of the year leading up to my husband’s suicide, and the grief and self-discovery that follows. After four years of writing, I self-published my memoir in October 2011. In December of that same year, my two lovely daughters and I, along with our entourage of pets, made a big move from the South African city of Durban to a small country village in the Western Cape, thus fulfilling two of my dreams in one year.

On this blog, I share a part of this journey and how, even though my dreams of a perfect marriage and lifelong partner were shattered, new dreams have been realized. I have no idea how my story will end, but we can find out together.
Much love,
Leila

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” ~ Pablo Picasso

 

23 Responses to About Me

  1. Jessica Rich says:

    am so glad i have found my way here!

  2. Fiona Keyter says:

    I lost my husband 6 months ago, he had the dreaded terminal illness motor neuron disease. I still battle without him and miss him terribly, but like you there are many people out there who have have suffered losses too, but I would like to read your book. I am a friend of your mother’s, but have never met you.
    Well done on your book, kind regards, Fiona

  3. Jenny Grant says:

    Hi – wishing you all the very best with your book – so terribly sorry that as a result of heartache and loss you are at this point in your life. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your girls xxxx J

  4. Barbra says:

    A heart felt Thank you for your beautiful words and ways – am quite choked with tears- please continue with your book, it has great value xx

  5. Lima says:

    I’m sorry for your loss but this page is dripping strenght from all your words, you’re admirable, really.

    I’ll take a look around if you don’t mind :) Have a nice day!

  6. cfchai says:

    Hi, nice blog.
    I used to dream of becoming an author one day but I have a long way to go.
    Somehow reading about you remind me that there are always hope in life and we must never give up no matter how many times we fall down. Thanks be being strong!

  7. June Collins says:

    The reason your story touched me so much is because of your ability to show the emotion you feel. The majority of stories/movies today are all about action – paranormal-fantasy – horror. Will we ever return to the days of Sydney Poitier “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner’ or anything that has the element of human feeling, not just sensation? Although your emotions were heart breaking – without emotion, humanity is nothing.
    I understand the idea of coming to terms with peace. When I was told I had a 20% chance to live, a few years back, after the panic subsided I fell into a peace so profound I could only describe it as bliss. I was not a gardener. Always been a business woman and mother of six adopted kids. Busy, busy, busy. For whatever reason I felt a need to dig up the dirt and plant a garden of seeds. Each day I watered them and waited. As the baby plants began breaking through I was filled with joy and hope. Miraculously I survived but I believe those little seedlings were a great help.I have not written about any of this in my books.

  8. Jennifer B. says:

    I read your book over 3 weeks ago and it has certainly stuck with me.

    I lost my husband of 15 years and the father of my two young children to suicide on my 40th birthday.

    As we approach the final days until the one year anniversary I have been writing on a blog to help with my own grieving (which got put on the back-burner while I helped my children and others deal with their grief).

    Your book helped me tremendously and invite anyone who is interested to read my story at http://wanttohearmystory.blogspot.com/ .

    • Hi Jennifer
      I am so sad to hear of your tragic loss and will be visiting your blog to read more of your story.
      Thank you for sharing it with me.
      Much love, Leila x

      • Jennifer B. says:

        Leila,

        Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. Your thoughts on how to handle my birthday/the anniversary of my husband’s death helped tremendously.

        Jennifer

  9. Sherry Senn says:

    Just finished your book. I was so saddened by the hopelessness your husband seemed to feel. For me, life would be hopeless without the relationship I have with Jesus Christ.

  10. Brenda Rhodes says:

    I am amazed at the love you were able to extend to Stuart in his final year! Your strength in a time that had to be so gut wrenching and painful is beyond belief. I wonder where you found your strength. He was a very lucky man to have had such a loving, forgiving wife as you by his side as he struggled in his final months. How you must love him! I wish much happiness in the coming years for you and your girls. I hope your healing continues and you are able to write more as it would be such a shame for your wonderful ability to not be used. I enjoyed your book tremendously. I cried along with you through many pages as you were able to make me feel your pain through you beautifully written words. Thank you so much for sharing you life with us. God Bless you and Jane and Rose. Love from Arkansas.

  11. Peg says:

    Leila, I just finished reading your book….my fist is still clenched…not in anger, but in awe…in saying to myself, in my own mind…yes,yes,yes…that’s what excellent memoir writing is all about. I’m taking a memoir writing class right now….never thinking that would be my style…but as I write and read great memoirs, I see a new door opening. I lost my husband almost 11 years ago..to a different disease….but some of the feelings leading up to it were so similar…I’m sure if I wrote about it many would be confused and upset for my holding on so long and to the end….but we do what we must do and we feel what only we in the situation can feel…Thank You.
    I’ve never written a review on Amazon, but I think “It Rains In February” is calling out to me.

  12. Deborah says:

    I feel that I just weathered a long, hard journey with you, that is the power of your words, your story. It was emotionally exhausting to the point that sometimes I just had to put the book away for a day or two before carrying on. I was well aware that you didn’t have the option of “putting it away for a day or two” while you were living this journey. My sincere thanks for sharing. (I got the kindle version of your book and hope that any future books you write will also be offered in a format for e-readers.)

  13. Vikki Grice says:

    just read your book.it broke my heart i cried the whole time but couldnt put it down.you are a very strong women.

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