TV and radio star, comedian and author Tanya Hennessy has been so busy this past year that she’s ready for a break. Really ready.
Since kicking off 2020 eating bugs on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, the 35-year-old from Newcastle has launched a hit podcast, been named one of WHO magazine’s ‘Sexiest People’ and brought the lols on Drunk History Australia.
And while the rest of us were hibernating during COVID lockdown Tanya wrote an entire junior fiction novel while waiting for Help Self, the follow-up to her best-selling first book, Am I Doing This Right?, to hit shelves.
“It’s strange because I wrote Help Self so long ago and due to COVID it’s taken so long [to have it published],” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“I actually finished it in January but by the time it got printed it was, like, the 9th of November and in that time I’d written a whole other book,” she laughs.
‘B*tch slap and a hug’
Help Self is finally out there and, much to Tanya’s delight has been described by a fan as a “b*tch slap and a hug at the same time”.
From tips for assembling the ultimate cheese platter to ditching toxic friends and looking after your mental health, the book is by design “a bit of this and a bit of that” — it’s a celebration of the way that Tanya and her readers are multifaceted and ever-evolving.
“My audience is unbelievable. I’m so honoured and lucky that people still give a shit,” she quips.
It also sees Tanya chart new ground by offering up advice to aspiring creatives on carving out a niche in the highly competitive Aussie media bubble.
“I’ve always been really guarded about that. I never really wanted to show how the sausage was made as it were but in this book I was like, no I’m going to tell people because maybe it will inspire someone who’s had a f***ing hard year with COVID to just keep going,” she explains.
‘Psyched’ for surgery
If the ‘crazy’ presales are anything to go buy, Help Self is on its way to matching the success of Tanya’s first book which debuted at number one in the non-fiction charts in 2018.
Now, she’s preparing to take a well-deserved two-weeks off but instead of embarking on a relaxing getaway, she’ll be spending it recovering from breast reduction surgery.
“I’m psyched. I’ve always hated my giant boobs, they’re [size] EE, almost an F. As a kid I used to tape them down with gaffa tape and wear really baggy tops,” Tanya says.
“I’m not a boob girl. I love ‘em on other people I just... mine are just so heavy and they’re hurting my neck and my back and giving me migraines.
“I’ve wanted to do it for 15 years and I’m finally getting it done. It’s really expensive too so I had to save up. It’s my I’m a Celeb money!”
While she’s not looking forward to the pain of recovery, having a fortnight off is feeling pretty sweet right now.
Help Self is out now in all good book stores and online.
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