Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Formula 1 reporter turned fiction writer says anyone can write their own story

Connor Lalande
Shawville Sep. 20, 2023
“I have all these stories inside of me. They are always calling out to me saying, ‘it’s my time, it’s my time, it’s my time’. They need to get out, and I have to let them go,” explained Sandra Lemire Wolf, her arms waving expressively with a characteristic energy that emphasizes her point.
“When you first write a story, it feels a bit like being naked in front of people. You wonder, ‘will they like it or not?’ But at the end of the day, this is what I’ve written and they either like it or they don’t. I don’t write to please other people, I write because these stories are important to me,” she said, gesturing to a paper-back novel sitting on the table in front of her.
Lemire Wolf is a Sand Bay-based author and the novel she was pointing at is her newest literary offering, published this month.
The third title in her list of published works, Le rôle d’une vie (or The Role of a Lifetime in English) is a tale about the folly of celebrity and the exploratory quest for self-love in the face of exterior pressure.
A complex parable imbued with salacious conflict, Le rôle d’une vie is a meditation on the lifelong odyssey for self-esteem.
Lemire Wolf didn’t always write fiction. The Montreal native is a journalist by training who for years covered the high-octane, traditionally hypermasculine sport of Formula 1 racing.
With her press pass in hand, Lemire Wolf followed the Formula 1 circuit as it dashed and throttled around the world. Covering races and the between the line’s stories for some of the sport’s biggest publications, Lemire Wolf’s reporting career brought her to glamours, far-flung locations like Monaco and Barcelona and put her in contact with many of the sports leading figures.
She credits this experience for the refinement of her characteristic confidence and uncompromising thick skin.
“When I was covering Formula 1, it was unbelievable the things people would say about me. I remember another radio station, a competitor, was saying that I was going out with a driver to try and get a scoop on stories,” recalled Lemire Wolf, a slight laugh conveying justifiable consternation.
“The thing is though, the more people would say these trashy things about me, the more popular my reporting would get. When I look at myself in the mirror, I know who I am and that’s all that matters. If I start thinking about what people think of me, I will just get sick. I mean, who cares? Just do your thing, the rest is not important,” she said.
Lemire Wolf put aside the brunt of her Formula 1 reporting work and began a career in web design when she started a family.
But as time went on, her passion for storytelling never waivered. With an observant eye and a vivid imagination, Lemire Wolf had been introspectively assembling what would become the blueprints of her fictional catalog for decades.
With life less cluttered with the demands of international Formula 1 reporting, she found herself digging deeper into the stories that had been churning within her mind. Taking these persistent ruminations as a call to action, Lemire Wolf decided to put her stories to paper.
“It’s something that you can’t ignore,” emphasized Lemire Wolf. “You have to find a way to express yourself.”
Though by its nature an arduous task, Lemire Wolf acknowledged that it is the process of writing itself, rather than the finished product, that elicits the most creative satisfaction within her. Possessing an early-to-bed, early-to-rise mentality, Lemire Wolf says it is amongst the witching hours of the night - the solitary moments between three and five o’clock in the morning - that she does her best writing.
“I like it to be silent when I’m writing,” Lemire Wolf said. “I work mostly during the night. I go to bed really early, so I wake up sometimes at three o’clock in the morning. I’m somewhat of a party pooper because by nine, I’m asleep. But that’s my time of the day. Before the sun comes up, the phone won’t ring, my dog is snoring on the bed, that’s my favourite time,” Lemire Wolf said.
Lemire Wolf’s stories weave intricate, edifying narratives about self-growth that she says are tied to her own personal journey through life. While thus far fictional, her stories are reflections on her own lived experiences; avenues to explore the nuances of the human condition. She understands the deeply personal elements of her stories and takes great pride in them.
“If you start writing about something, there will always be a little bit of you in it,” Lemire Wolf said. “You cannot avoid it.”
With three published works done-and-dusted, Lemire Wolf insists she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. With stories piling up within her – many of them decades in the making – she says that there is no time like the present to get them out.
“You have to enjoy the moment. I have the chance to be able to write stories for people who enjoy reading them. What more could you ask for? That’s beautiful. That’s awesome,” she said, reflectively.
Asked what advice she would bestow upon an inspiring author; someone who had always envisioned themselves writing a book but who, for whatever reason, had shied away from the challenge?
Lemire Wolf, true to form, attested to the power of self-confidence and espoused an assured belief that it is through challenging oneself that the merits of personal growth are attained.
“I have many people who approach me and say, ‘you should write my story because I have a great story and you know how to write’,” she said.
“I say, ‘you should write it yourself’. You don’t need me to do that because I won’t be able to capture it in the same way you will. I won’t see your characters as you will,” she said.
“Write it yourself. Don’t worry about the spelling and the other technical factors, just write it. Everyone can do it.”

Sandra Lemire Wolf, her new book Le rôle d’une vie (or The Role of a Lifetime in English) in hand.


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