Free offer: memoir about mental illness, child abuse and survival

This article has been written and published on behalf of Joan Sammon, for whom I edited and produced a memoir,  A life: I am what I am!


Joan Sammon grew up in Sydney. She is schizophrenic, dyslexic, gay, Jewish and a survivor of child abuse. She was 79 years old when she wrote her memoir which includes not only her life story but also poems, jokes, and short essays about schizophrenia, depression and other mental illnesses.

Joan wrote her memoir to help people who have survived similar experiences, and also to share her stories with people who have not had to deal with those issues so they understand what it is like to be schizophrenic; what depression is like; how things were for gay people growing up in the 60s and 70s; what it was like to be institutionalised for many years; and what it is like to live with memories of child abuse, and with mental illnesses.

Joan self-published her memoir in late 2019 to coincide with Mental Health Week.

Joan is now 81 and wants to share her story with as many people as possible.

sally-anne’s involvement

Hi, I’m Sally-Anne. Joan Sammon was my client in 2019. I assisted her to complete the writing stage, edited her life stories, poems and essays, and produced her memoir, as a self-published hardcopy book.

Joan’s original goal was not to make money, but to share her story to help people who have experienced similar disabilities or abuse, and also to help other people understand about these issues. 

As I explained to Joan from the outset, I have no expertise in marketing, and I don’t offer to do marketing for my clients. Once the 300 books Joan had initially ordered were delivered into her hands, our client/editor relationship ended.

However, Joan and I kept in close contact (via phone) and became good friends. I helped her out with some administration and advice. She sold many books  – mostly locally, on the Gold Coast, where she lives.

In early 2021 Joan ran out of books and ordered a reprint of another 150 books. She has sold sold some of those books but still has over 100 books left.

Now, at 81 years old, Joan wants to share her story to as many people as possible, whether or not they can afford to buy a book. That is why she  has asked me to publicise her ‘free offer’ via my networks.

How to request a free book

If you would like a copy of Joan’s memoir, and live in Australia, all you need to do is contact me, then post a ($2.50) stamped self-addressed (A5) envelope to Joan, and she will post you this book at no charge. That is,

  1. Contact me here (and please type ‘Joan Sammon‘ into the subject line.) I will then send you a reply email with Joan’s postal address.
  2. Write your name and address on the front of an envelope that is A5 size (approx 15cm X 21 cm). Stick a $2.50 stamp on the envelope.
  3. Enclose your stamped self-addressed envelope, and a note  asking Joan for a copy of the memoir, inside an envelope.
  4. Write Joan’s name and address on the outside envelope and post it.
  5. When Joan receives your request and the stamped self-addressed envelope, she will send you a book.
Pay-by-donation also welcome

Although this is a free offer, donations are also welcome.

For those of you who would like to give Joan a voluntary donation to help her cover the cost of producing her book: you are welcome to write a cheque or Post Office money order (to ‘Joan Sammon’), and enclose it in the envelope.

NB: if you have any queries about this book please don’t hesitate to contact me here.


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