At one point in Change of Season, Professor St. James gives Autumn some advice: “Write what you know, and write when you need to let go.”
This is a variation of advice writers have heard time and time again. At times, it’s almost annoying. Many of us write to heal, to share hard lessons learned along the way. Maybe we choose to write of divorce because we ourselves are children of divorce. Maybe we want others to feel less alone in the turmoil of life. Even Courtney Summers noted in discussing her protagonist in Cracked Up To Be that she was channeling a bit of her own experiences with depression.
A recurring theme in many of my stories is mental health: the ways we handle — or don’t handle — trauma and varying conditions, and how we survive to then thrive. With one in five people around you being impacted by mental illness, there is a huge group of people out there seeking compassion and support.
In fact, you’re looking at one of them.