Meeting Martina

Wednesday 7 October 2015

laura and martinaFor as long as I can remember, I’ve always surrounded myself with books. Having the chance to escape to another world by reading a book has always excited me. So naturally as I’ve got older I’ve found myself working in a bookshop and attempting to write my own book.

Having a child means that writing normally gets pushed to the bottom of my list of things to do, so my novel is currently on the desktop on my laptop giving me side eyes whenever I fail to click on it. That doesn’t mean I don’t write, my blog is full of everything from snippets of days out to heartfelt opinion pieces about the struggles of being a young woman.

When I joined the Young Women’s Trust Advisory Panel I wanted to meet like-minded women, and help others that may be struggling in situations I have been through. It’s opened the door to so many amazing opportunities, one of which was interviewing bestselling author Martina Cole on stage at the recent Futures Fund event.

To interview a woman that has experienced similar discrimination and struggles to me was eye opening. Not only because it left me feeling shocked that she went through the same, but also to know that nothing has actually changed when it comes to how women are treated in each generation.

Before the interview I was a bag of nerves, Martina Cole is a big deal in the book world and once news got out, my colleagues were buzzing with questions for me to ask and persistently asking if I was nervous (thanks everyone!). Luckily as soon as we started talking all those nerves melted away. Not only was she easy to talk to but she made me feel so relaxed it felt like we were just having a natter over some drinks.

Martina has an amazing collection of stories from her past and present that would be a bestselling book if she ever wrote an autobiography. They left me awed and inspired, to know that she successfully wrote a book when she was younger than me, with a child in tow and juggling multiple jobs gave me that push to get home and continue writing. To see how she went from so little and achieved so much with her life left me proud to be a woman fighting for what she wants in life.

Chatting to all the other panel members there, we all left with a resounding strength to know that no one can stop us doing what we want to do. Only we hold the key to our future and we can make it happen. Being a woman shouldn’t hold us back from our dreams.

Photography by Zoe Cura