Taking a pause - NICKY'S CHANGE OF SCENE
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|January 24, 2022
Used to raising heartbeats in her romantic novels, the author is hoping her new project will help calm readers
Wendyl Nissen

Much-loved fiction writer Nicky Pellegrino, 57, has written 13 novels so far in her 30-year career as a journalist and they have all been bestsellers. Her new book Don’t Sweat It takes a look at menopause through her own insights and interviews with experts. Her next novel will be out in 2023.

Your new book Don’t Sweat It is required reading for any woman going through menopause. Why did you decide to write it?

I had been going through hot flushes, palpitations, rages, sleeplessness, anxiety, random itchiness, lost libido, terrible “build an ark” monthly flooding – all typical peri-menopause symptoms. Generally I have a policy of soldiering on through things, but just as I got to grips with one symptom, something else would startup. I was weighing up the pros and cons of hormone therapy, and generally thinking about being in midlife and undeniably old now, and then the publishers Allen & Unwin approached me and asked if I’d like to write a book about it all. I said yes.

You’re a very popular fiction writer, often sitting at the top of the best-selling charts for weeks on end. Was writing a non-fiction book harder, easier or much the same?

It was the same but different! I had to think about structure, telling a story and keeping things interesting just as I do when I’m writing fiction. But I also had to navigate through a lot of medical facts, and learn masses of new and often complex things, and then communicate them in a way that wasn’t complex. I do a lot of health journalism for the Listener magazine, so that gave me some of the skills I needed, but it was still a hugely challenging project. There were days when I really wished I hadn’t started, but then every woman I spoke to helped me understand that a book like this was needed.

You write about your personal experience of menopause in your book. How are your symptoms at the moment?

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