Interview with Aimee Cabo Nikolov – Author of Love is the Answer: God is the Cure
Peter: Aimee, your book, Love is the Answer, God is the Cure, is a memoir and it provides an account of a period in your life when you were physically, sexually and mentally abused by family members and those close to you. I know it’s a tough process for us to interview you with regards the memories, so please don’t feel it necessary to answer questions that you are uncomfortable with.
Peter: What was your main motivation and what did you hope to achieve in writing this book?
Aimee: Even though it was very hard to describe all that has happened to me I wanted to show it all in order to help others. I didn’t know that 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before 18 years. I want to spread the message that there is hope. The book did help in my own healing process too, the process of writing all these stories turned me from detached person to a person involved in them, I realized the extent of things that I have gone through, and I was able to star the healing process.
Peter: What was your darkest moment during the years of abuse, and how did you pull through?
Aimee: I was feeling sad that my mother didn’t believe me. I was feeling very alone but with God’s help managed to pull though. Even though my mother believed me when I first mentioned it when I was 8, my stepfather didn’t stay away for more than 1 day. At 15 she denied it and labelled me a liar. I had many dark moments later on too, there was a time when I was felling so hopeless that I took a full bottle of aspirins, then I got really scared and went to my boyfriend’s house who took me to the ER and just dropped me there. In another dark moment I overdosed on cocaine and woke up to the sound of “What’s going to happen with Danielle?”(my daughter) and I woke up, even though was very nice where I was before.
Peter: Your faith has been a crucial part of your ability to survive in the toughest times. Did you ever feel God wasn’t listening or why is he testing me so much?
Aimee: I was believing that the Devil is attacking me, and I had Gods help to push though. I believe I am one of the soldiers in the big battle of Good against Evil. My faith keeps me going, I pray daily now, always find time to be with God.
Peter: How do you feel now towards the people who abused you?
Aimee: I have forgiven them. I believe this is a big part of my healing process.
Peter: With hindsight, what decision do you wish you could have done differently?
Aimee: Getting pregnant so early in my life, at 18, and especially with the wrong person. Also, I should have spoken much earlier than 15, I waited for too long.
Peter: What advice would you give someone else in a similar situation that could empower them to seek help and support?
Aimee: Always turn to someone who cares, speak up early. There is help. Call the 800 numbers, go to your teacher, go to the social worker in school, go to the school counsellor. Be strong, even though you may think you are hurting your family it is for the best.
Peter: Your husband sounds a remarkable man and he has been incredibly supportive to you and Danielle. What was the most important aspect of his support in dealing with your past?
Aimee: Boris was with me during hard times, he was patient with me and understanding, but most importantly he expressed unconditional love.
Peter: Do you wish to use this experience and/or book to help others that may be in, or have just come through, a situation of child or domestic abuse?
Aimee: Yes, that is why I am publishing the book, to help others, to tell them that there is hope and that they are not alone.
Peter: Do you feel writers have a platform to influence society?
Aimee: Yes, I believe that, you should be honest and personable to let the reader see the human aspect of yourself. Writers can influence changes. Appearing at speaking events or volunteering for a good cause can help spread the word.
Peter: What authors have you most admired and have had an influence on you?
Aimee: Unfortunately I haven’t read a lot of books. I am trying to change that with my kids, constantly guiding them to read.
Peter: What advice would you give to aspiring or debut authors?
Aimee: Never give up, follow your dreams, keep moving forward.
Peter: What are the greatest obstacles to being an Indie Author?
Aimee: It is hard financially, but rewarding otherwise. There are many good professionals out there that are available to help with editing, cover design and marketing, do your research and pick the people who have been recommended by others.
Peter: Which websites do you feel are important to promote your books on?
Aimee: I am new at the promotion, but I believe Goodreads, The Reading Desk, Amazon, among others.
Peter: How much time do you spend on writing compared to marketing your books?
Aimee: The writing is over, at least for this book. Now I spend all the time marketing it, well my husband does.
Peter: What medium do you prefer to enjoy books on, paper, electronic devices or audio, and why? How important do you feel narration is or will become to the book industry?
Aimee: I prefer the old way, paper. But I understand that lately, audiobooks are becoming very popular.
Peter: What other projects are you working on, and can you give us any insights?
Aimee: At the moment I am just thinking about a second part of my memoir.
Peter: How can readers learn more about you and your work?
Aimee: Please visit my website – www.godisthecure.com. There is a lot of information and very interesting reviews on Amazon and Goodreads too.
Peter: If you wish to comment on how we as a society can take steps to protect our most vulnerable people (e.g. children, elderly, women etc.), please do. I didn’t want to put this in as a formal question if you had not considered it, or preferred not to say.
Aimee: I really think that we need to be more available for the most vulnerable people in our communities – children, and the elderly. Need to be ready to listen and be there for them, they really need to know that there is help available, there are a lot of organizations that are ready to help, do not be scared to speak out.
Peter: Aimee, it has been a pleasure talking to you and I appreciate this was a very sensitive exercise. It is wonderful to see that you have a settled life and developed a successful business with your husband and that your daughter is recovering from that brutal attack. I hope you have peace, happiness and success in the future.
Aimee: Thank you so much!