Marti MacGibbon, human trafficking survivor and recovering addict, is an author, humorous inspirational speaker and standup comic who holds four professional certifications in addiction treatment, including the ACRPS, Advanced Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist. Marti is a member of the National Speakers Association and her articles have appeared in numerous trade publications and magazines. She’s been interviewed in Investors Business Daily and Entrepreneur.
Marti was one of the first women to work as a laborer in the Texas oilfield. She set off explosives for an exploration company for a brief period of time and then learned surveying skills, staking oil wells. She moved on to standup comedy and was scheduled for an appearance on The Tonight Show, but Marti became entangled in the California drug scene and plunged into the underworld and serious drug addiction. After being trafficked to Japanese organized crime and escaping, she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and was homeless for over a year, but ultimately found true love, recovery and forgiveness. Her darkly humorous and dramatic memoir, “Never Give in to Fear,” tells the story, and the narration brings alive a host of quirky characters and bungling criminals.
“Never Give in to Fear” has received critical praise from Foreword Clarion and San Francisco Book Review. The enhanced edition, “Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom,” received an editorial recommendation from Kirkus Reviews and an award for Best Revised Edition from Books-and-Authors.net.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? — Can I have two faves? Sonoma County, California, in the Russian River Valley. That’s where I met my true love, my husband Chris. And Los Angeles! I love L.A.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? — My father was an English professor who taught me to love literature. My mom was a voracious reader. They introduced me to the classics and contemporary writers, and took time to discuss books with me. And I grew up in a very funny family, which is one reason why my memoir, Never in to Fear, isn’t a downer. It has a lot of funny moments even though it talks about scary and tragic experiences.
How long have you been writing? – I began writing in 2002, in English class, with a narrative essay. I got an A+ and newfound confidence. I began writing Never Give in to Fear in 2004, with a working title, Long Odds, because the odds were against my surviving, let alone finding love, healing, and prosperity after all my past experiences. I took a few years off from writing to go to school and train as an addiction treatment professional, and after completing my training and accepting a position as a program counselor to homeless veterans, I gave all my time and effort to my job and to my clients. But my passion for continuing the work I’d begun on Never Give in to Fear spurred me to finish it.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? — My top goal was to not be boring. I included lots of the stories that I’d told in front of audiences, the real crowd-pleasers that were theater-tested. And I studied films and learned how a story unfolds. I also went to a really good screenwriting conference in L.A. and learned some important things, such as the arc of a story or scene, the development of characters, and the power of true stories. This knowledge helped me to make Never Give in to Fear a gripping read.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? – My professor, Dr. Wallis, by encouraging me. And reading good books helps a writer. I’m kind of a geek in that I’ve read a lot of classics – I’ve read the Iliad several times. I’ve studied mythology. From time to time I read Anna Karenina or Brothers Karamazov. I love sci-fi and fantasy, too. I read George R. R. Martin’s entire Game of Thrones series in a month or two. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 rocks.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? – Writing Never Give in to Fear taught me to embrace my past, learn from it, and whenever possible, look back and laugh. This is the message I want to give my readers.
Do you intend to make writing a career? – I’m still writing books. I also blog on my website, martimacgibbon.com. And from my speeches and standup, I continually come up with more stories for books.
Have you developed a specific writing style? – I’ve found my own rhythm and pace. Readers tell me that when they read my book, it’s as if I’m talking to them. And one reviewer on goodreads.com mentioned that as she read my book, she felt as though a good friend was confessing to her. And here’s an excerpt from a recent editorial review: “Her raw, honest, casual, funny voice permeates every page.” – Kirkus Reviews.
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Genre – Biographies & Memoirs
Rating – R
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