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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Interview with author Joan E. Childs, LCSW




1.      What inspired you to write your book?
On July 2, 1998, my beautiful, brilliant daughter, Pam, plunged to her death from her father’s 15th story window.  The shock and grief gave way to a muse that compelled me to journal my feelings and thoughts.  I served as a catharsis.  I had no idea it would be a book.  Grievers are nocturnal.  My pain morphed into a purpose and seven years later, I recognized I had something to share with others who had experienced every parent’s worst nightmare.

2. What is it about?
It is about my journey from shock and denial through all the stages of grief with bargaining being the only exception.  It was my personal experience that I shared unwittingly as a way of coping with my grief.  It begins at her funeral and takes you back through the trajectory of her fate from before diagnosis and treatment to her death.  I never believed that Pam would commit suicide.  It was her disease, Bipolar I that was her executioner and pushed her out the window.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
Death of a loved one is inevitable, certain and an unavoidable and inexorable part of the human experience.  No one escapes.  The purpose of this book is to share “how to” find life after loss.  I learned to accept my daughters death and move on with life.  It is a story of tragedy.  It is my mission and how my pain morphed into purpose.
I, like many others made the choice to not just survive but chose to emulate The Phoenix, the mythological bird who rises from the ashes to grow stronger than before.  If I did this, so could others. By sharing my story of hope and courage with others who are suffering the loss of a loved one, I am also hopeful to wipe away the shame and stigma of mental illness.

4. What advice do you have for writers?
Write what you know about and have experienced.  If it’s fiction, write it as if it’s not.  Be authentic. 

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I am not sure of how to answer this question.  It is nearly impossible to get published without a literary agent unless you are a known author.  Books are not unlike music or art.  They are food for the soul and with the advancement of technology, there are many ways to enjoy reading.

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
I had none.  I let my heart write the words.  They spoke my truth and carried my message without conscious awareness. I never once thought that this would become a book.  It happened as a manifestation of my grief.  It is now being made into a movie.
 
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
My book is an existential, personal journey.  People who have suffered the loss of a child or loved one would find my story healing.  It would take courage to read it, but the challenge would be rewarding. 

For more information, please see: www.joanechilds.com

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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