Tag Archives: Mental Illness

“The Truth She Knew,” An Interview with the Author, Jennifer Owenby

Did you ever read a book and wonder what the motivation was behind the author who wrote it? Me too!

So, I decided to contact the author, Jennifer Owenby to find more about why she wrote “The Truth She Knew.” Please click HERE to read my review of this book.

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Here’s what Jennifer Owenby had to say:

What’s The Truth She Knew about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Here is the back cover verbiage:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.”

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.

Why did you write The Truth She Knew?

I wanted to bring awareness to issues that are typically discussed behind closed doors. I wrote about several including mental illness and abuse from a daughter’s perspective. I have a soft place in my heart for teens and young adults in their early 20’s. I’ve found through talking to many kids in this age group that they are confused by things they experienced at home and sometimes blamed themselves when it shouldn’t have fallen on their shoulders. Mental illness is real and can show up in many forms. In Mama’s case, there was a religious and manipulative element.

How did it feel to write about someone with mental illness? How did you “get inside their head”?

It was tough. Thankfully, I had access to a few amazing mental health therapists that answered questions and directed me to good reading material. Mental illness is very complex and not a one size fits all.

I also love psychology so it was something I was interested in learning about.

Do you have a message with this book series?

Yes, that was the motivation behind the books. There is hope and help if you’re in an abusive situation or have a loved one that is mentally ill.

Did you draw from personal experience?

I am a survivor of domestic violence. My life is so beautifully and wonderfully different than those years I spent running and hiding. I went through some very dark times and lost hope more than once. It was my two kids who kept me going when I thought things would never get better. And as I begin visualizing what I wanted my life to be, to look like, and taking steps in that direction things began to change. I’m so very blessed today. There is hope and help.

You mentioned this is a series? What can we expect for Lacey, your main character, in book 2?

The Truth She Knew is about so many important issues, but book 2 focuses on Lacey’s journey and how the cycle of abuse continues. Her path to find safety lands her in an unimaginable situation and she experiences a real wake up call. My main message─there is a cycle, and unless you reach out for help, people will continue to make poor choices and find themselves in the same situations over and over.

What do you say to people who have read the Truth She Knew and reached out to you for help?

I can listen to them, empathize, and direct them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233, and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). In fact, those helplines will be listed on my new website and in book 2.

Where can readers find out more about you?


Author, Jennifer Owenby

If you’re interested in upcoming giveaways including gift cards and signed copies, please follow my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby/.

Also, my website is in progress atwww.jaowenby.com

Twitter @jaowenby

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/jaowenby1/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/jenniferowenby9/

You can also search The Truth She Knew and read the 5-star early reviews here http://bit.ly/28LFell

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about “The Truth She Knew.” This is one of those books that haunts you with the realities of dealing with mental illness. You won’t be able to put it down!

Interview by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#Bookreview. Conditions by Christoph Fischer (@CFFBooks). Because Normality Is Overvalued. And ‘Conditioned’ is coming soon.

Hi all:

I’m organising more interviews and in the meantime, I thought I’d share some reviews of book by independent authors that I’ve read while  I was away. I have plenty to choose from, but I chose to talk about Conditions today, not only because I’ve enjoyed Christoph Fischer’s writing in the past, and he is always hard at work promoting other writers, but because I saw that his new book, Conditioned, the continuation of the adventures of those characters will be on the 16th October and is already available in pre-order. So, what better?

Title:   Conditions
Author:   Christoph Fischer
ASIN: B00NZ1VTBU
Published:  16th October 2014
Pages:  224
Genre:  Family life

Body of review:

Conditions by Christoph Fischer
Conditions by Christoph Fischer

Conditions by Christoph Fischer

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.

The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.

Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.

Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

 

Here is my review:

I’m a psychiatrist, and what is normal and how we define normality are questions that the more one works in the field, the more one wonders about. Absence of a diagnosable mental illness is not the same as what society might think as “normal behaviour”. And each individual’s opinion on the matter is even more varied. Culture shock, for instance, results from differences in what is accepted behaviour in countries far apart (although not necessarily as far as we might think). Being transplanted into a culture or a situation brand new for us might make us question if our version of normal is the correct one. Even what might be normal for our neighbours we might consider utterly bizarre.

The author of this novel explores the reactions to a character, Charles, who has a psychiatric condition (a mental disorder unspecified in the book), by a number of people, including relatives (his brother and sister-in-law), close friends and acquaintances, complete strangers and previous employers. Charles’s diagnosis is left intentionally vague (we can speculate, based on the description of his behaviours, but that is not the point of the story. Charles’s behaviour is peculiar and bizarre at times, but he does not appear to be a danger to others and most of the time remains capable of making his own decisions and explaining himself, although not always) probably to avoid the temptation of turning the book into an apologia or a treatise to defend the sufferers of a particular illness or disorder. It is not about one set of symptoms or even one character, but it reflects back to us some of the standard reactions to people who might be affected by such a disorder. Are they really unable to do a day’s work, or is it all an excuse? Are they telling the truth or are they making up stories to get attention? Why should they be treated differently and given special privileges when they aren’t pulling their weight? Are they just exploiting the system? Should they just be locked up?

The novel is written in the third person, at times by an omniscient narrator that shares the internal thoughts of some of the many characters, at times the third person narrator simply shares what is happening, without taking any specific point of view, but rather that of an objective observer. That contrast allows us to get a better understanding of the psychological make-up and reasons behind some of the characters’ reactions, and we can compare those reactions to the facts.

Although we never get to see things from Charles’s perspective, we hear the stories of his friends (some closer than other) who are gathered, at the beginning of the book, to help him and accompany him on the occasion of his mother’s funeral. There are a number of works of fiction where a funeral brings people together to discuss the deceased, and in the process discover the true selves of those in attendance, although here, there is less discussion of Rose, the mother, and more of Charles. And also of the rest of the guests. We get to learn about them, their relationships (or lack of them), their sexuality, their weaknesses, their beliefs and interests, mostly through their conversations. All the characters have interesting backgrounds, lives and stories, and we become as curious about them as they are about each other. And we want to learn more. There is plenty of dialogue and not much description or narration. It struck me that this book would make a great play with many juicy parts for talented actors and actresses.

When we get to know both his friends and those who aren’t that close to Charles, we come to understand that all of them (and by extension, also us) have their own conditions, and we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Even the most enlightened of us can have prejudices and misjudge others if we are not open and  refuse to take them on their own terms.

Conditions has a fascinating array of characters and is a book that will make all readers think. I believe there is or will be a second part that will follow some of the characters’ stories. I’m looking forward to it. This is the second book I’ve read by this writer and I’m happy that he has so many books available and of varied styles and genres. I’ll keep reading him, enjoying his stories and watching his career.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon 
Format & Pricing: 
Paperback: $8.99
Kindle:  $3.71

And now, here is a link to the cover reveal of Conditioned where you can get more information from the horse’s mouth:

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https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/cover-reveal-conditioned/

CONDITIONED dives back into the world of gardener Charles, his friends and the state of his mental health – one year on. We meet loner Simon and his battle with the outside world, co-dependent Martha and her abusive husband Clive, neurotic poet Catherine on the verge of getting married, Tony, who finds his strange brother Charles a challenge, psychic Elaine looking for a new direction in life and quirky widow Sarah Roseberg who has a go at sorting out all of their problems.

CONDITIONS aimed to sensitise readers and make them think about tolerance and acceptance. CONDITIONED wants readers to look beyond their attitude towards Conditions and examine what we all do and what we can do to overcome our challenges. The sequel is another snapshot of this circle of friends. Some will have improved their lives, others will not.

I can’t wait!

You can also follow news about Christoph’s books, here.

And check out his blog, where he writes about the characters and also about why he decided to write about mental health issues.

Thanks to Christoph for your book, thanks to you all for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK! And I’ll keep you updated!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO of “Conditions” Christoph Fischer @CFFBooks

Title: Conditions
Author: Christoph Fischer
Published: October 15th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ASIN: B00NZ1VTBU
www.christophfischerbooks.com
Pages: 222
Genre: Drama, Fiction, Family

Conditions

After the death of Tony and Charles’ mother, the two brothers struggle to reconcile and develop a relationship, of which they have never had throughout their lives. Tony, the older brother feels discarded by a family that dedicated all its energies into the younger brother Charles, who is mentally challenged.

Materialistic ideals propel Tony and his wife forward into challenging his place within the remains of the family. Kind, gentle Charles, with the help of his loyal friends, copes with circumstances that lead the two brothers on a journey of self-renewal, causing them to face past prejudices and to deal with mistaken beliefs about themselves and life in general.

I was struck with the realization of how aptly this book was named, “Conditions.” Each character in this drama had circumstances of some sort they also had to face. Everyone traveled a path of their own choosing to reach a favorable understanding of their own situation.

Charles and Tony seemed to be equal victims at the hand of their parents. Coping with mental illness in the form of Aspergers within a family is difficult at best. Add stereotypes and an overprotective, well-meaning mother and you conclude that everyone has failings. No one is perfect. I wondered numerous times about the meaning of the word normal. When it comes to family, what truly is normal?

Christoph Fischer

Author, Christoph Fischer @CFFBooks

This story is character driven and requires you to interact with numerous aspects of the human condition. From mental illness, homosexuality, greed, guilt, addictions, to undiagnosed social issues, this book illustrates that everyone has some type of disability, real or perceived. The key at the heart of the story is finding acceptance and moving forward.

I found this book to be a thought provoking take of the struggles within a family unit. There was no single hero. In its place, I felt like each character achieved an independence from the family, while still remaining part of the collective family. Even the word ‘family’ was redefined with the support that Charles received from friends who were not relatives.

I love characters that face struggles and learn something from the situations they are placed in. “Conditions,” will make you think about family and the unique place each of us holds within our own families. I still cannot get the characters out of my mind, as they touched me deeply with their journey. The story made me question my own family relationships and to wonder if as families, we are all are too quick to judge each other.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $8.99
Kindle: $2.99

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@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

 

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