Amazon Author Interview
The Day I Didn’t Kill Myself
Congratulations! Your book’s available to buy on the Amazon bookstore. How did you feel to see it there for the first time?
Oh my goodness what a thrill. Although it felt much more emotional to have the actual book in my hands when it arrived. I’m very good at starting projects but not so good at finishing them, so to see this come to fruition was extra special.
Have you always been a writer / wanted to become an author?
I never had ambitions to be, or ever thought I could be a writer or a poet. Life it seemed had other ideas for me. Twenty or so years ago when suffering from depression following my divorce, poems started to appear. Poems I only shared with my mum and dad. These dark, deep poems were clearly my way of expressing the feelings that I couldn’t voice. Back then depression was something to be ashamed of, to hide. With the help of my parents, a wonderful GP and counsellor, and many therapeutic interventions, I came through it and started a new chapter in my life.
I met a lovely man and during the many years of our happy relationship, the writing stopped – the poems disappeared. Fast forward to about 7 years ago when my dog had to be put down after a wonderful fifteen year companionship. She had also helped me a great deal to heal from my divorce and depression. The poems started appearing again; this time I only shared them with my partner. However, the writing was lighter, included more gratitude and I found I could write about pretty much anything. The poems could be funny, serious, observational and thought-provoking. I duly typed them up and printed them out, put them into my poetry folder and placed them on a shelf.
Three and a half years ago a new foot care client entered my clinic, we got chatting and he told me he was a writer. I told him I was an avid reader and he asked if I wrote anything. I don’t know why, but I told him about a poem I had just written a poem called “The Myth of the Welsh Dragon” which I happened to think was the best poem I had received thus far. He asked to read it and then asked for me to share more with him, which I did. He told me I should publish a book of my poems. My response was that I didn’t think they were good enough and if I wouldn’t buy a book of poetry from an unknown poet, why on earth would anyone else! Then he asked: “What’s your story?” I didn’t even know what he meant and said as much. He said, “well when did you start writing poems then?” I told him and he said “there you are then, that’s your story”. And so I started writing. I was literally guided by a light as the gentleman’s name was Brian Light!
There are many other synchronicities in the book but another main one is where the title came from. The title is from a poem of gratitude I wrote, in response to a reading I heard of Meggie Royer’s poem ‘The Morning After I Killed Myself’ which struck a cord and made me cry. I decided to publish the book because it was cathartic and healing for me to write and I hoped it would help others who have been or are in similar situations, to understand that neither depression, divorce or having suicidal thoughts necessarily mean the end of the world. I have already been told that it has helped someone release emotions they didn’t know they held inside from their divorce many years previously. I had hoped that I would touch at least one heart and help one person and it seems that is the case.
Any more books in the pipeline?
I am currently writing a chapter called ”The Power of Words” for a collaborative book called Rebirth: Rise of the Phoenix which will be published in June/July 2022, as part of the Healing Book Project series. This is about how healing and cathartic writing my book was for me and how it strengthened the relationship with my mum, but also about how powerful words that we use in our daily lives are. Words that are spoken to us or shouted at us by others and just as important are the words we use to speak to ourselves. It includes some bonus content in the form of a wisdom piece that offers practical ideas and tips to help. www.healingbookproject.com
I do have an idea for another book that is brewing. During my healing process I described in “The Day I Didn’t Kill Myself” not only did I find links to my feelings and behaviour patterns between when I was a child and when I was an adult, I also discovered that these links went way further back than that….to my first life on this planet. I realise that this might be a real stretch for some people to believe but it felt real for me so I will probably write it and then see if I feel it’s worth publishing.
What advice would you offer other aspiring authors who are thinking of self-publishing?
My main piece of advice is to set your own deadline but allow it to be fluid, so that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make it happen. I believe that can lead to overwhelm and then stuck energies. Learn an energy release method such as EAM (Energy Alignment Method) or Helix Method to release negative emotions, feelings and limiting beliefs such as imposter syndrome or I’m/my work isn’t good enough. Don’t make it all about the writing, remember to look after your own mental and emotional health & well-being as a priority. If you wish, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and with my energy therapist’s hat on, I would be more than happy to help with this.
Your book deserves to be given the best wings to fly as you possibly can, so invest in a professional proofreader and typesetter like Michelle; get a cover designed by a graphic designer and remember you will need to learn how to play the marketing game once the book is published, so get the help of experts. Pick up as many tips as you can from self-publishing Facebook groups; there are many out there so find those that fit you and your book.
And I’d like to leave you with some advice, which is based on my interpretation of The Central Paradox section in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” (which I highly recommend you read before you start writing): “when you write, make it meaningful and when you publish, make it meaningless”.
Thanks so much, Debs. Very best of luck with your fascinating book. It’s been great working with you.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
ABOUT THE BOOK
This memoir charts the journey of an ordinary woman who suddenly finds herself consumed by depression and despair following the breakup of her 15-year marriage through to a state of “delightenment”.
She finds herself in a position she could never have imagined. Her whole future changes overnight. Not only has she lost her husband, but she lost her best friend, her future life companion and her home. She is broken and lost. Her depression renders her numb and feeling unlovable.
One day, driving home on autopilot from her parents’ house, a voice appears in her head, urging her to drive off the steep side of the mountain. In that split second, a ray of grace hits her soul as if life itself calls her…and she drives on.
Who is she now? How will she find the way back to wholeness? A long and rocky road back to healing and loving herself begins.
Along the way, she finds emotional links to previously forgotten traumatic episodes from childhood. Interspersed with pearls of poetry that emerged from the empty black hole of depression and acted as her voice to release the angst she couldn’t express, The Day I Didn’t Kill Myself is told with honesty and humour. It takes you into the heart of this courageous woman’s journey, tells of how she stepped into her power, fell in love with life all over again, and found her purpose of helping other women to do the same.
Written from the heart, the author shares her message with authenticity and inspiration. Her mission is to help others understand that going through a life-changing process doesn’t always mean the end of the world.
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