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Knowledge Base .: Meet The Author .: General Non-Fiction .: Irene Spencer Author of Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife Discusses Her Life As The Wife of a Polygamist and Her Book

Irene Spencer Author of Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife Discusses Her Life As The Wife of a Polygamist and Her Book

Click Here to Purchase From Amazon Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife

Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of is pleased to have as our guest, Irene Spencer author of Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife.

Good day Irene and thanks for participating in our interview.


Could you tell our readers how you became the wife of a Polygamist and what role did your parents play?


After four generations of polygamy, I married my sister's husband at age sixteen because it was required of me in order to become a goddess and join my husband on his own future world.

My mother married her sister's husband and became a second wife and my grandmother was a second wife also.

I was the middle child, one of my father's thirty-one children. He spent over two years in prison for polygamy, which heaped more guilt onto me to follow in his footsteps.


Why do you feel that this was an important book for you to write and for all of us to read at this time?


At first I wrote my memoir for my children. I thought it was important for them to know about their heritage and why I broke the generational cycle.

The last few years polygamy has been a hot topic, from Big Love, Warren Jeffs, Elizabeth Smart and Tom Green (His first wife Linda is my niece). 

I felt that I could no longer remain silent and see the abuse of women and children. Polygamous women had no voice. We didn't dare reveal our true feelings for fear of rejection from our husbands and leader. I didn't speak up before because my mother didn't and neither did my grandmother. I want to be the voice of all victimized women, who through fear have remained silent.


What was it like to share your husband with nine other women?


Heartbreaking! Can you imagine attending four of your husband's weddings and placing the bride's hand in his, giving her to him for all eternity? It was only my deep fear of hell that made me do it. 

With nine other wives and fifty-eight children to support, none of our physical, emotional, spiritual, or financial needs were met. I hated his rotation list because I wanted him when I wanted him and my body never knew a thing about turns.

I was constantly waiting, never knowing when he would drop in to say hello to me or the children. Jealousies ran rampant among us and you could cut the air with a knife. Each wife was vying for even a crumb of his attention.


Since you divorced your first husband and remarried, have you kept in contact with the nine other wives? Have any of them tried to contact you?


I did leave Verlan for three years, but returned to him shortly before he was killed in a tragic car wreck. Yes, all of us see one another at funerals, weddings, and some holidays.

The children are all very close and stay in contact and really love on another. It's amazing the bonds they have with one another.


Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?


I wrote my book over seventeen years ago and gave it to my daughter for safe keeping. Without my knowledge, she let her pastor and many members of her Church read it.

Everyone came back shocked and said they couldn't put the book down and encourager her to pursue publishing it. With her help and over twenty rejections behind us, God intervened and sat my incredible literary agent Thomas J. Winters on an airplane next to one of my grand-daughters. The rest is history!


What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?


I had to come to my oldest daughter Donna's house in California, where I could have peace and quiet. I write everything free hand and thought I would learn to use the computer, but I only got as far as solitaire.

Thanks to my precious grand-daughter Brandy, who typed and re-typed my manuscript. I don't what I would have done if I didn't have her for a personal assistant because she does everything on the computer for me, not to mention she keeps my make up and hair looking stylish and professional.

Another major challenge was the anxiety I experienced imagining the back lash I would receive from the only polygamous group of people I had known all my life. I didn't think I could take their rejection, but I realized it was not only important, but it had to be told. I could not sit by and see young fourteen and fifteen year-old girls married to men old enough to be their fathers. Some one had to stand up for these women.   


What has been your overall experience as a published author?


I have learned so much. It is possible for a person like me with only a ninth grade education who doesn't know a noun from a verb, to write- if they will just write from their heart. My writing has brought me so much healing. A person can become bitter or better, and I chose the latter.


Will there be any unique ways you'll be marketing your book that is different from how others authors market their books?


We have given out thousands of business sized cards promoting my book. You can only imagine what a great PR team I have with all my children, grand children, relatives and friends promoting my book. Also, I keep very busy with speaking engagements in every spectrum. 

My message is to inspire and empower everyone to listen to their inner voice and never accept a script that someone else has given them.  No one knows better than ourselves how to live our life.


How can readers find out more about you and your endeavors?


Readers can find out more about me by reading Shattered Dreams: My Life As A Polygamist's Wife and by checking out my website I keep it updated on a daily basis with all of my endeavors. Readers can also e-mail me with questions or leave comments in my guestbook.


Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered and what is next for Irene Spencer?


I am working on several other books that I hope to publish soon. You can only imagine the stories I have to write about with my thirteen births, an adoption, 119 grand children and 41 great-grandchildren.

I also want all my readers to know that they to have a story, if their only willing to share it with the world. We are all the same. We all have sadness, joy, and dreams. When we touch another person's heart through our sufferings we instill hope. I want to empower women that are in hopeless situations to take a step away from their self-made prison. There is a future for all of us, but we must step out and claim it!

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

To read a review of My Life as a Polygamist's wife CLICK HERE

Click Here to Purchase From Amazon Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife


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