On Autumn Brody And Mental Health

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.

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Original Story Contribution For Fundraiser: Support TWLOHA

Amanda Todd’s tragic suicide couldn’t have come at an eerier time.  In continued evidence that fandoms are filled with caring hearts, one of the latest fundraisers is Fandom For Suicide Awareness.

For a minimum donation of $5 to To Write Love On Her Arms, a wonderful organization I support, you will receive an extensive compilation of short stories and fanfiction from a group of talented writers.  I myself have contributed a dark mystery short story to the compilation, “The Cruellest Month”.  This story will not be available anywhere else to read for a good deal of time, and is inspired in part by the Neil Gaiman short story “October In The Chair”.  As an assignment for my students I tutored, I encouraged them to choose a month and tell a fitting story.  I chose April.

As someone who survived a suicide attempt and struggled with trauma, this is a cause that is truly important to me.  Even if you’re not interested in the entire compilation, $5 is the cost of a Starbucks latte.  If you can give more, I encourage you to do so.

To learn more about To Write Love On Her Arms, click here for their site.

To donate for the fundraiser, click here and then forward your emailed receipt to fandom4suicideawareness@gmail.com.  The deadline for donations is November 1st, 2012.

More on Collide and the Change Of Season book tour will be forthcoming as well.