Book launch couldn't have been better
My first book launch was last night. I was blown away by the kindness and support from so many friends, family members, coworkers past and present, former teachers, and community members who showed up (and those who couldn’t make it who sent sweet messages! Thank you!). I was amazed at how many people came out on a Sunday night after a big snow storm, on the first night of Hanukkah/a week before Christmas! If I were British I'd be chuffed.
Someone asked me recently if it felt real that I actually had a book out in the world, and it didn’t really until last night. Seeing so many people from different parts of my life—from two of my lifelong best friends to high school teachers and my godparents!—and celebrating with them all made this accomplishment, my lifelong dream, finally feel real. I did it. This book was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Feed Me came out two weeks ago and I’ve loved getting to hear so many readers’ thoughts. It’s also given me the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends and people I don’t get to talk to as much as I’d like. And celebrating with everyone last night felt magical. People kept telling me how proud they were of this accomplishment, which for me was not just about writing and publishing a book but about being as open and candid as I possibly could, to show up with my genuine self.
I studied poetry and fiction in college and fiction in grad school. And with those genres, I feel a little more removed from the work. Of course I put my self into it but it’s less personal than say, writing about spending a week in a teen psych ward or nearly dying. It's poeticized, changed. But this book is all of me. And it’s all out there.
Writing (and publishing) this book was a very scary thing for me. It’s incredibly raw, vulnerable, and honest. In one of my author pep talks when I was coaching first time authors, I liked to mention the line from “Almost Famous” when Lester Bangs, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, tells an aspiring young writer to “Be honest and unmerciful.” And I’ve tried to do that. I wrote deeply personal stuff and shared some of the struggles I’ve had in my life and how they’ve impacted me and, in some cases, my relationships. I’m so grateful that my family has been very supportive and understanding and particularly my husband, who told me to write whatever I needed to write. In his words, “That happened, so you can write about it.”
I tried in this book to talk about the things we often don’t talk about, namely mental health, eating disorders, and addiction. I want to demystify these things and normalize these conversations. We need to destigmatize talking about mental health and that starts with us talking openly about our own experiences. I believe that act alone can save lives.
I hope this book can be a lifeline for someone who needs it. I hope they feel a little less alone having read it.
I love hearing your thoughts about the book/your own stories! Email me at email@example.com. And please write a review! I’d really appreciate it.
Happy holidays, and be well, all.