Frontlist | January 14 Arts and Entertainment Source
Teresa Thompson Van Noy could have let her tragic childhood stay neatly buried in her past, well shielded from her three daughters and friends.
But the Benicia podiatrist kept the monster in the closet long enough. With the encouragement of a writing instructor, she put the tragic tales of an abusive mother into a memoir, “Wildflower,” released a few weeks ago.
From concept to the finished work took close to five years, Thompson Van Noy said by phone.
“Definitely a long process,” she said, acknowledging that “pretty much all of it is true. Everything in the book happened. Some of the names have been changed. Some things in the book are a combination of things for the story’s sake.”
Until deciding to let it all go in her first non-fiction effort, Thompson Van Noy’s youth “had been a shameful secret,” believing that was OK because “it didn’t interfere with my life. The past is something that’s been hidden.”
But when her instructor at the writing workshops insisted that a book on Thompson Van Noy’s struggles — including living homeless in San Francisco — “could help a lot of people,” she started writing her memoirs.
It was bit by bit at the start.
“I didn’t want to dig up all those memories,” she said. “They’ve been locked away. I’ve been doing fine with life without having to dig up that.”
Eventually, “I started writing,” Thompson Van Noy said. “I brought it to my critique group in Benicia and would bring pieces and read them, and I would cry.”
Source: Times Herald