She’s So Inspiring – Emma Hanningan

She's so inspiring

My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they  choose to live it have really inspired me. Some are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and  they are all special. I feel honoured and privileged that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!

Meet Emma Hannigan.

Emma is a bestselling author of ten books (nine novels and one non-fiction title.) My mum “introduced” me to Emma a couple of years ago. She had read Emma’s book Talk to the Headscarf and insisted that I read it. My mum is an avid reader and is always making recommendations which I usually studiously ignore but she insisted this was one book I didn’t want to miss. And she was totally right.That book chronicled Emma’s battle and triumph over cancer with humour, wisdom and spirit.  Emma’s story inspired me, enlightened me and made me laugh out loud. I was so moved by the book that I actually wrote her a proper fan girl email. A review of that book is a blog post in itself, but I knew that a series of interviews featuring inspiring women would not be complete unless Emma was in it. So I stalked her down like a crazy stalker fan girl person and she answered all my questions. She is as funny as she is brave, and she’s also so inspiring! She’s also here on the blog! Squeeee!

Emma Hannigan 3

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Emma Hannigan and I’m an Irish Author, living in the seaside town of Bray. I am proud to be an ambassador of my town along with Katie Taylor (world and Olympic boxing champion.)

I began writing from a hospital bed in 2007. I didn’t plan on becoming an author but now I can’t imagine doing anything else! I’m a mum of two and married for the last seventeen years.

I’ve been diagnosed with a beaten cancer a grand total of nine times. While I write and speak about cancer, it most certainly doesn’t define me.

Talk to the Headscarf

Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not. 

I am positive in my out approach to life.

I am a shopaholic.

I am lucky to have a fantastic family husband and children.

I am not into exercise, even though my husband is a triathlete and Iron Man.

I am not able to live in chaos, I need organization in my life.

I am not too old to dance around the kitchen to very loud music.

Complete this sentence, ____________________  changed my life. How and why?

Cancer changed my life. It made me realize that it’s a privilege to be alive and that I need to appreciate what I’ve got. I live for the moment and know I am lucky.

What has been life’s greatest lesson?

Having my son and daughter. They helped me to see the world through fresh eyes when they were tiny. Nowadays they let me know (when they’re actually talking to me) that most of what I once believed is wrong! They make me laugh, cry and want to burst with pride each and every day. I am so blessed to have them.

What is your biggest achievement?

My children and my books – but I kind of think of my books as my extra kids. Shush, don’t tell anyone!

What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?

Being faced with the fact I could die prematurely. I learned to take each day as it comes and think positively. I also know the grass isn’t greener on anyone else’s lawn. We all have adversity in life. It’s how we choose to deal with it that counts.

She's So Inspiring - Emma Hannigan

Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?

To be there for my family and to try and dispel some of the fears surrounding cancer. Reaching out to others reaps the most incredible reward.

What are your words to live by?

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. (Oscar Wilde)

Emma Hannigan 4

If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?

Katie Taylor. She’s World, European and Olympic champion in women’s boxing. When she started out, there was no women’s boxing at the Olympics. She has lifted barriers and made room for women on the world’s stage. She had a dream, she worked seriously hard and has achieved it. She’s a wonderfully calm spirit and is without doubt one of the most awesome people I know.

She’s an amazing role model for others and I’m privileged to call her a friend.

If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?

Shop with a millionaire’s credit card!

You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?

I get back just as much, if not more than I give out. The people I meet and the stories they share make my life worth living. I firmly believe that you reap what you sow. I am surrounded by incredible people who love me. That makes me a winner!

Thank you for sharing, Emma.

Emma has just finished her ninth book, The Secrets We Share. You can find this and all her other books here.

Emma Hannigan 2

Let Emma inspire you a little bit more…

on the blog 

on facebook

and on twitter 

* Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click to buy the item, I make a little commission but you don’t pay any extra.