Reinvention in Provence Rebecca Ronane on Her New Book
After many busy years in careers that required extensive travel, Rebecca Ronane and her husband, Alain Poirot, settled in Maubec, a small village in Provence. They relocated to the sunny South of France, from rainy London and Amsterdam. It took them over three years of searching to find a suitable property they could afford in an area they liked. Finally, in 1995, they discovered this village in the Luberon and bought a house that Rebecca describes as having terracotta tiles and old beams – the rest they overlooked. Recently, Rebecca completed her first book: Forward After 50, the Rising Reinventors.
Retirement Can Wait
However, in addition to the renovation project, neither of them was ready to do nothing during their retirement. Instead, Alain Poirot is pursuing a photography passion, and Rebecca, who looked “reinvention” in the face more than once in her lifetime, became a lifestyle and career coach. She also launched Network Provence, a women’s group that provides the opportunity to exchange ideas and connect with others in the region. We asked Rebecca to answer some questions about her recently published book.
Reinvention and a Book
Why did you decide to write a book?
Writing a book has never been on my agenda; that’s what writers do, not me. However, after almost a year of developing an email program called 30 Days to Kick-start your Life after fifty, my kick-ass coach Ruby McGuire suggested writing a book. One of my top core values is challenge. So, the idea of creating a book seemed outrageous, yet it attracted me as a goal worth pursuing. Moreover, the initial idea was to finish it in three (3) months, so I knuckled down and started.
How did you choose the subject?
In the beginning, the 30-day program inspired the book. It started as a self-help project for women who wanted to change their lives after fifty and to do so positively. After that, however, it morphed into more of let’s change our mindset and eliminate the negative bias by tackling many of the issues that might arise as we age.
You seem to create opportunities when there is a void, like Network Provence. Did you feel that there was a gap that your book tried to fill?
I realized that books that embrace positivity are a rarity; humans naturally lean toward negative bias. During my research, I went into Amazon books to look up similar subjects with the sentence women over fifty. After reaching the 10th page of a book on diet, I thought I might be onto something original. Frankly, I found it a disservice to women that our shape defines our age. Over fifty-year-olds are fantastic, with talent, wisdom, and experiences that we should be sharing. Instead, being categorized as a group that needs slimming down discourages women from sharing and contributing to society. We’re not over the hill; we’re still climbing.
Who are reinventors?
Reinvention has been at the forefront of my life since my mid-fifties. Often changes can come in different forms around this age, whether a health issue, a change in a relationship or losing a job, or children flying the nest. All of these tend to destabilize. However, doors closing are often opportunities in disguise. When this happened, I wasn’t happy as I wasn’t looking for a change. It took time, a lot of personal development work and resistance from the outer world telling me I was in my fifties and therefore give up. I reinvented myself, and I haven’t looked back. I believe I have created opportunities for myself each time I reinvent. This book is about having the mindset to reinvent.
I believe we, as women, can be a powerful force for good. I like to call us Rising Reinventors. We can reinvent the way people perceive ageing.
Each section ends with Chapter Reflection and Take Action. What are you hoping that readers do with these?
Reviews so far have indicated that “Forward after 50” can be helpful as a reference tool, depending on personal circumstances. Chapter reflection and Action steps challenge the reader to invest in some practical tasks and then take action. For example, if you fear losing your independence, sort out your finances and create your ideal environment for the next chapter in your life. The choice is there if you want to take the next step and act.
How long did the book take to write?
From the start until publishing day, the book took me 16 months. The writing potion took six (6) months, then a couple of months dedicated to editing and rewriting before professional editing and everything else that goes into creating a book.
What can you tell us about self-publishing?
The world of books and writing has been and continues to be a new adventure for me. I would never have achieved what I have done without the professional help of my coach Ruby McGuire, Swatt Books and Literally PR. Swattbooks takes you through self-publishing from start to finish. After writing and editing, there is more, such as typesetting, printing, professional editing, and marketing. Public Relations deals with publicity.
Hundreds if not thousands of books are coming out monthly, so you don’t want to get lost in the world of books. I understand that self-publishing means you will keep the rights to your book, which is essential if you have a business, you want the option to continue to market your book. When you hand your book over to a publisher, I understand that they will invest in marketing it relatively quickly before leaving your book for the next. Their interest remains in making money for their company.
Who should read this book?
Suppose you want to feel optimistic about ageing. In that case, this book is for you. This book helps reframe ageing in the minds of women over 50 by offering insights into the ways they might be limiting themselves. It’s time to rethink how we talk about ageing and associate getting older with regeneration rather than degeneration.
Forward After 50, the Rising Reinventors, is available globally in print and e-book formats on Amazon.
Network Provence website.
Discover the Rebecca Ronane, Forward after Fifty website for coaching information.
Contact Rebecca via email: Rebecca@rebeccaronane.com.