Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress by Megan van Eyck, is a cautionary tale about the causal relationship between marital emotional neglect and questionable choices. It is a warning for the spouse who wants to dismiss an affair as just sex or for any woman who thinks love is enough to keep a man that isn’t really hers.
“You never know what happens between two people when they are alone” is a common sentiment reserved for married couples who appear to have relationships that defy the odds. The same can also be said for couples involved in long-term adulterous affairs.
Many people believe that infidelity is only about sex: two people, one hotel room, and a few hours to spare. And Megan van Eyck’s extramarital affair began just like that, with lusty hours spent between hotel sheets. But within a few months van Eyck realized she had found what she and her lover did not know they were both looking for: true love.
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress offers an honest look behind closed doors. It is a forthcoming, sometimes steamy, account of both the passion and the heartbreak associated with being a mistress; about the futility of sharing a love while not sharing a life. Van Eyck is reflective as she addresses her compelling and unusual personal history, which made being the other woman an acceptable option. She makes no excuses for herself, her mistakes, or her betrayal of her husband as she recklessly pursues love. She wants everything, unabashedly.
But her priorities shift when Carlos, her lover, is diagnosed with Amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder. Her concerns shift for hoping for a life with him to hoping that he’ll be able to live through treatment for this rare and incurable disease. In the end, van Eyck must not only come to terms with her loss, mistakes and regrets, she must come to terms with herself.
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress is must read for anyone that has struggled with love, intimacy or self-acceptance. Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress will captivate supporters, surprise critics and change the perspective of those that have ever considered having an affair.
We interviewed Megan to find out more about her book and her writing life!
Thank you so much for having me! Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress is my debut effort.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
I was in a really unique circumstance. I began writing my memoir before the Tiger Woods scandal hit the media, and I had every intention of going the traditional publishing route. But then 2010 became known as “The Year of the Mistress.” Suddenly there was intrigue surrounding the concept of the mistress. I felt I had to capitalize on the current media infatuation with “the other woman” and publish sooner rather than later. Going the traditional route usually means years, not months, until publication. Given the mistress hype, I thought it behooved me to write the best book I could and then get it to market as quickly as possible.
I also wanted to maintain control of my image and my story. Given that this is a memoir, any coverage my project receives is not only attention paid toward my book, but also toward me. I am a mother, wife, and former mistress. I am more than just a woman who slept with a married man. I am a woman with a life to protect.
Given all of that, self-publishing was the only way to go. Once that decision was made, selecting an on-demand printer was easy. CreateSpace is a subsidiary of Amazon and has a great reputation amongst other authors.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
When my book was finally available on Amazon I cried. I felt as if I had fulfilled my sense of obligation to the memory of my lover, Carlos, and to myself.
Ironically, my husband took me out to a very nice dinner that night to celebrate.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
Memoirs of a Widowed Mistress is more than a story about my affair; it is my story of coming to terms with myself, accepting a difficult childhood, and the lessons that love taught me. Because I doubted people would understand that at first glance, I contacted Pump Up Your Book and asked them to organize a blog tour. I believe that once people learn what my book is and isn’t, they will be interested learning more about my story, Carlos, and Amyloidosis.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
Well, I’ve only been published for a little more than a month. However, I’m looking forward to the journey that waits for me as both an author and a person.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
I guess my initial notion was that I would write a book and a publishing house would hold my hand as I made my way up the bestseller list. However, self-published and traditionally published authors are supposed to do a lot more than write books. In the industry it is called “platform building”—creating a following of people who care about you, your book, and what you have to say. Now a writer is expected to Facebook, Tweet, blog, all to create a long-term digital relationship with potential readers.
The big surprise for me was learning that writing a book was just the beginning.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
The other day I received a letter from a woman who had been in a situation similar to mine. Sadly, her lover passed away less than a year ago and she is still grieving. She said that she had been looking for someone to connect with, someone who could understand her loss and alienation. She said my story made her feel less alone.
I have also received other notes from readers who found my story inspiring and touching. So, I would certainly say that the most rewarding aspect of being an author is connecting to people in a real and substantive way around a subject that I couldn’t talk about with anyone in my everyday life.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
I keep a little plaque near my desk that says:
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
The journey of the author is the same as it is in every field or profession-wrought with overwhelming challenges and pesky obstacles. Inherent to success is risk and possible failure. I think the trick is to accept the challenge with grace and fortitude-and never settle for anything but your best efforts. And most importantly, to always get up!