Interview: Shary Hauer

Jen: Today we welcome Shary Hauer to Romancing the Book. Shary, will you share a short bio with us?
Shary: Shary Hauer is a Master Certified Executive Coach (MCC) with twenty years of success in Leadership and Executive Development with Fortune 500/1000 leaders, and the founder of The Hauer Group, a strategic consulting and coaching firm. Her business writings have been published in outlets including Working Woman and HOW magazines and The CEO Refresher; her creative nonfiction work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul and Sage Woman magazine. She lives in Clearwater Beach, Florida where she glories in the wonders of the sea, fosters feral cats, and volunteers for the hungry, homeless, and elderly.

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release.
Shary: Insatiable: A Memoir of Love Addiction is about how I, in my professional life, was a confident, successful, high-caliber executive coach who advised big-time corporate leaders around the globe—but my personal life was an entirely different matter. When it came to love, I morphed into an insecure, clingy, desperate woman consumed with finding and keeping the love of my life. Because without a man by my side, I continued to question: what good was I? In this book, I share my 25-year trek through the hellish, the humiliating, and the humbling in my single-minded pursuit of the most addictive drug of all: love. Readers will see what it’s like to be trapped in the torturous cycle of love addiction—what it’s like to be forever searching, needing, obsessing, scheming, and agonizing for love, suffering from a hunger that never ceases—and what it takes to break free of that cycle. For those who have a history of struggling with love, trying too hard to be loved, this is your story. And, if after reading the opening line of the book “I had our entire future mapped out before we had even met”, you think: “That’s me!”, I wrote this book for you.

I was compelled to write this book because I wanted to tell people about one of the least understood and talked about addictions. And, to help relieve the suffering of those stuck in some form of love addiction hell and may not realize it. While I suffered from love addiction for most of my adult life, I did not realize there was something actually called LOVE ADDICTION until 5 years ago. We all know about sex addiction, the salacious headlines, but love addiction is its silent sister. I wanted to give it a voice to help others.

Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Shary: Intimate, fearless, spirit-lead

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Shary: As Insatiable is a memoir, I told the story of my life as a love addict for 30+ years. There’s plenty of research there! Along the way, I gobbled up everything written about relationship issues, love addiction, and co-dependency so I could share resources and what I’ve learned with my readers.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Shary: I’m a memoir junkie! I adore deep, insightful ruin-to-redemption stories from courageous writers. Reading about the human spirit’s magnificent power to resurrect itself from astonishingly dismal circumstances is something I never tire of. At the moment, I’m re-reading Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman as I’m exploring different formats for my next memoir. Some of the
standout memoirs that have deeply touched me include Abigail Thomas’ A Three Dog Life, Meredith Hall’s Without A Map, When Katie Wakes from Connie Mae Fowler; The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher and Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living With Joy by Susan Spencer Wendell.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your book?
Shary: My book has only been out a week and my first book signing is tonight, so I’m just now getting the word out, just now having the opportunity to hear from my readers. That said, what has surprised and delighted me most so far is how many women, after reading advance copies or excerpts of the book, have said “That’s me, that’s my story!” Never in a millions years did I expect to hear “My sister is living exactly that life. She needs to read your book!” and, “I have a friend who lives in Chicago who could have written that excerpt! I got chills.” To connect at that level with so many people already is astonishing to me. I feel incredibly grateful and hopeful that my mission to get the word out about love addiction to help others will be fulfilled.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Shary: I want to write more about the lessons I and other love addicts have learned about how to break free of addiction and build a vibrant, healthy, beautiful life with or without a partner. I also have a huge calling to share more about self-love. Cultivating a high level of self-regard and self-compassion is the only way out of any addiction. I believe there’s plenty of opportunity to have a bigger conversation about self-love, particularly with women. I’d love to hear from some of the most remarkable women on the planet what they learned about self-love, so perhaps an anthology is in the picture for me.