Sigrid Macdonald - D'amour Road - Interview

Last week I had the pleasure and priviledge of having Sigrid Macdonald on my radio program via audio clip talking about her book "D'amour Road". Because the mp3-thing doesn't work for me, here is a transcript of what she had to say.

Should you be interested in more information about the book, please check here, or if you want to purchase the book you can do so on

Thanks to Sigrid for making the effort, it's been very much appreciated.

Hi Iris, this is Sigrid. Thanks so much for having me on your show today via audio clip. I understand you’re going to talk about my book “D’amour Road” and I wanted to tell you and your listeners a little bit about it. There are two main topics in “D’amour Road”. The first is missing women and the other is midlife crisis.

In terms of missing women I had a very personal interest in that topic, because in 1995 an acquaintance of mine by the name of Louise Ellis went missing and her partner was suspected of harming her. I had known Louise for two years although we had never met in person. We talked on the phone all the time and I was part of the search team that went looking for her. I was really devastated when she disappeared and I don’t want to tell your listeners the end of that story -- what happened to her -- but several years later it seemed to me as there ... that there was almost an epidemic of missing women and young girls, certainly here in North America. One after another we had people like Laci Peterson, Chandra Levy, Elizabeth Smart, women and girls usually – I can’t really remember too many guys -- I ... I think there were one or two, but it was generally a female thing --who were there one minute and gone the next.

And although I knew Louise, we weren’t best friends. So I decided to write, to fictionalise, her story by asking myself what would it have been like if she and I were really close, if she was in my inner circle. How would I have felt then? Because as it ... as it was her disappearance just ... uhm ... haunted me and stayed with me for so many years. But I hypothesized what if it had been my best friend and I created a story between two women who were just about to turn forty, and here’s where we come to the midlife crisis part.

And one of them is named Tara and she’s the protagonist, the story is told from her perspective, and she’s best friends with Lisa, who is kind of Louise Ellis because it’s just ... the story is loosely based on the Louise situation. And I wanted to give Tara some humour, because it could be a dark story to talk about missing women and I didn’t ... I didn’t want that. So I gave her a lot of my own neurosis and my angst and difficulty around turning forty, because when Louise disappeared I was forty-two and I remember reading about her in the newspaper that she was forty-six and I was thinking “Oh, how ancient”. Which, of course, was only a couple of years away from me and now I’m ... I’m long past forty-six.

But when I turned forty I was working at a local university in a women’s collective with all kinds of very, very young women. They were eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-two and I adored them, but it made me feel quite ancient and I didn’t want any of them to think of me as their mother, so I pretended to be thirty-nine for three years in a row ... very classic ... ahh ... you know, trouble around the big four-zero – some people have it at forty, other people have it at fifty. I had it very bad at ... at forty.

And so I’ve given Tara an obsession with her hair and there are two reasons for that. One is that she wants, well three actually. One is that she wants to maintain her youthfulness and her attractiveness. Secondly I wanted to, as I said earlier, add a little bit of humour and third, obsessing about her hair, or cutting her hair, or colouring her hair, or whatever she did to her hair was one of the few things she was able to control in her life when other things were spinning out of control.

And that’s pretty much the gist of “D’amour Road”. I hope that your listeners will check it out and thank you again so much for giving me the opportunity to join you on your awesome show. Take care and have a great day.

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