Feeling the emotions of writing my book
The story behind the story
Launch day, (October 4th) is fast approaching. I can’t believe it’s only three weeks away. It’s hard to fathom sometimes, that a story I’ve created, babied and protected, will soon be available for the world to see. As nervous as I am, I have to say, I’m also extremely proud of myself and I wish my parents were here to witness this huge milestone in my life.
When I started this blog, (fourteen months ago. (Has it really been that long?) I wrote an article titled; It takes courage to publish your book. It was written, soon after I had signed the contract with my publisher and suddenly everything seemed so surreal. I am feeling the words I wrote even more so today. There are so many emotions that go into writing a book and this truly puts it all into perspective.
What inspired me to write Reckless Beginnings
Over the past couple of months, I’ve done a number of interviews on podcasts, websites and book blogs. The most common question was; What inspired me to write the book? A question I’m sure I’ll be asked, at future events. Then it occurred to me that I’ve not discussed this topic on my own site. So I think it’s about time.
Reckless Beginnings is women’s fiction based on True events that have happened in my life. Tammy Mellows, (the main character) is me. I wanted it to read like a story and not a memoir, (personal choice,) therefore, names, places and some facts about certain events have been altered.
I developed a passion for writing at the early age of fourteen. I think having an author for a father had something to do with it. It was around this time, one of my older sisters ran away and couldn’t be found. Unable to search for her, I became frustrated and began writing in a journal to gather my thoughts. My book begins with the disappearance of my sibling.
A few years later and with my sister still missing, chaos began to erupt in my own life. I was on a path of making hideous choices and in denial because I wanted the white picket fence and the perfect American family life and ignored any signs that may disrupt that dream.
I allowed my life to be dictated by a heroin addict, the father of my child. Believing that his needs were more important than mine, I got swallowed up in his lifestyle, losing my sense of direction, courage, and identity. Throughout the chaos, I continued to write in my journals.
During that time, I searched for books written by other women that found themselves in the same predicament as myself but came up short. I only discovered “How to” books, but they were not the voices I wanted to hear. I needed to know how they coped. What did they do? I wondered what their everyday lives were like; I yearned for some sort of connection with someone. I had so many unanswered questions.
I had an idea
That was when the seed was planted for my debut novel, Reckless Beginnings. But it didn’t happen right away. I tucked it away and continued to struggle with the battles in my life.
Twenty years later I still had not written the book, but the thought never left me. When my father suddenly passed away in 2010 and a year later I was diagnosed with breast cancer I began to think seriously about the book and began writing the outline. Eight years later it’s finally going to be published. (Phew.)
Writing it twenty plus years later was extremely difficult. It didn’t occur to me that I would have to revisit such a dark time in my life and allow all the emotions I felt back then to resurface, in order for it to show in my writing. At times it became unbearable and I had to walk away, regroup and attempt certain scenes a few days later or sometimes weeks later.
So why did I put myself through such pain?
While writing the story I gave myself the title; The Silent and Forgotten One and soon realized, anyone who is involved with an addict becomes such a person. You may ask, Why? It’s because over time we allow our lives to be consumed by the addiction. We become a shadow, believing their needs are more important than ours. we become afraid to speak, stand up for ourselves or make any kind of decisions to better our lives. It’s a lonely place and we only feel safe with ourselves and our own thoughts. We lead a double life, letting those on the outside believe everything in our lives is a bed of roses and yet in reality, behind closed doors we are living a nightmare.
When I couldn’t find any books written by others living such a life, I felt they should be heard and one should be written. I wanted to show the flipside of addiction. How it effects the significant other of the addict. Back then I was a victim, I now call myself a survivor.
I needed to dig deeper
I also needed to understand myself during that time. Why did I put up with the abuse, keep silent for so long and not leave right away? Most of it was because of fear but much of it had to do with denial and wanting what most normal families had. Writing the book helped me unravel all of that and I’m hoping it will help others come to terms with their situation and listen to a voice who has been there and find the courage to turn their lives around.
So there you have it. I hope this brings you some insight into the background of my book. Even though it was hard to write at times, overall I’ve enjoyed the journey and I hope you will enjoy the book.