An Interview with the Author of "I Married Me!"
Sophie bought her wedding dress from Beyond Retro and as champions of self-love, and people doing whatever they want in general, we are excited to announce that four years after her ceremony Sophie will be launching her new book with us in Brighton! READER, I MARRIED ME! is Tanner's first novel, described as ‘engaging, uplifting and empowering’, the book follows the main character Chloe’s journey to self-discovery.
After captivating the attention of the media for her radical act of self-love, Sophie’s book is sure to inspire and encourage other women to abandon the relentless cycle of dating and take time to appreciate and love themselves.
We can’t wait to celebrate with Sophie at our Brighton store on the 18th of May and ahead of the launch we spoke to Sophie about love, life and living as a sologamist.
Q- First off, how have the first four years of sologamist marriage been for you?
I can honestly say these past four years have been the best in my life. Making a public commitment to face my disappointments and embrace my dreams has been more powerful than I ever imagined. Obviously, I’m never going to be perfect and I’m always going to make mistakes (because I’m a human!) but I’ve learned so much on this journey of self-love and met some amazing people along the way. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, I have to remind myself of my vows to love and respect myself and it really helps!
Q- What was it that inspired you to marry yourself?
Well, I was recovering from a bad break up. It wasn’t the first time I’d been cheated on but, somehow, this time it had really knocked me. I couldn’t help blaming myself and feeling like it must be my fault. Then, one morning, a few months down the line, I woke up and was so relieved to feel my usual sense of optimism returning. The sun was streaming through the window and I looked around my bedroom and realised that I wasn’t the loser; I loved my life - my family, friends, home and, most importantly, myself! I wanted to jump up and celebrate the fact that I knew I could be fully happy without another ‘half’ to complete me. In our culture, everyone blindly applauds you when you announce you’re ‘in a relationship’ but you don’t get nearly the same reaction when you decide to focus on your relationship with yourself. In fact, everyone pities you when you’re single. I decided it was time for that to change and I figured - what better way to celebrate self-love than with a wedding?!
Q- What does sologamy mean to you and how do you deal with people who don’t understand?
For me, sologamy is an ongoing commitment to self-compassion. After all, kindness begins with the self. And, once you start to acknowledge and accept things about yourself, I think you’re in a much better position to have more meaningful relationships with other people. Not everyone gets this, there are many who read the clickbait headlines and react in anger or ridicule. It’s kind of bizarre how nasty the trolls are, I don’t really get it, because there’s nothing more harmless than working on loving yourself! However, the way I deal with it is to write a novel about it - it’s been very therapeutic.
Q- Tell us a little about the book and what did you find most difficult about writing your first novel?
READER, I MARRIED ME is based loosely on my own experiences of sologamy but it is fiction. I’ve dramatised all the different layers there are to self-love. It’s a light-heartedly subversive challenge to the traditional rom-com narrative which suggests you need to find ‘the one’ for your ‘happily ever after’. I’ve always wanted to write a book and this has been such an awesome learning curve. I guess the hardest thing was realising that the action in a book isn’t like the action in real life - where you might be in lots of different locations and meeting lots of different people every week. I had work hard to keep the story arc focused on the key themes; luckily I had the excellent guidance of my publishers at Trapeze Books.
Q- What does self-love mean to you?
Self-love is a bit of a buzz-word at the moment. For me, it’s more than taking a hot bath and treating yourself to a glass of wine or chocolate. It’s about paying attention to what’s going on in your body and mind, it’s about acknowledging that there are some things you can change and learn from and others that are out of your control. I think self-love is also about gratitude and being ‘happily ever now’ - it’s important to want what you have and not always have what you want.
Q- Your wedding dress was vintage from Beyond Retro if you could have had the wedding dress of any celebrity from history who would you choose?
Oooooh, if I get the choice I’d probably have to go with the queen of style - Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel!
READER, I MARRIED ME! is available from the 18th May and you can get your free ticket to join the celebrations in Brighton here.
words by Eloise Gendry