The Women's National Book Association recently interviewed Nita Sweeney, author of Depression Hates a Moving Target, for the Featured Member Interview. This interview was conducted by Mango's own Brenda Knight! To read the entire article, visit: https://wnba-sfchapter.org/featured-member-interview-nia-sweeney/
Featured Member Interview – Nita Sweeney
Brenda Knight (BK): When did you know you were a writer, Nita?
Nita Sweeney (NS): Way to lead off with a stumper! Did I know I was a writer in 5th grade when I held the one and only copy of my “first” book, Sheshak the Wild Stallion, which I both typed and bound myself as a class assignment? How about in 1996 when Dog World published my first feature article or when Dog Fancy published my cover article? Definitely in 2019 when Mango published Depression Hates a Moving Target, my first actual (not typed or bound by me) book and I held it in my hands.
Still, self-doubt arises again and again. I have befriended it. Part of me may never think I’m a “real” writer, but I don’t let that deter me from writing.
(BK): Runner biographies and memoirs are a “thing.” Did you ever think you would write one? (or did you?)
(NS): At 49, when I took up running, the last thing on my mind was writing a running memoir. I just didn’t want to be miserable anymore and hoped exercise would help me crawl out of an emotional black hole. Soon, friends and my mental health providers began to comment about my improved mood. They saw it before I did.
But I’m always writing something. So, in 2011, after my first half marathon, I used National Novel Writing Month to record how this middle-aged woman leashed up our dog and went from eating Hershey bites on the sofa to running a half marathon. It took another year and a half for me to realize I wasn’t writing about how I took up running. I was writing about saving my life. That’s when I knew I had a story.