As part of the Under Rose Tainted Skies blog tour, I'm pleased to welcome debut author, Louise Gornell, to talk about writing from real life experiences.
Hey guys! Thanks for dropping by and checking out what I have to say on writing real life experiences. Writing books is never as easy as sitting down at a computer and typing (wouldn't that be sweet?) But, for me, getting Rose down definitely raised the bar on what I thought was tough.
I had the absolute worst time writing Under Rose-Tainted Skies. Real talk? When I was first asked about what it was like to draw upon my own experiences, I thought about lying. I didn't want to scare people away from writing their own experiences, especially those folks who are still trying to get comfortable in their own skin. Diversity is so essential in books. So, I didn't lie because a.) I suck at lying, and 2.) I didn't think it was fair to pretend laying yourself bare for the general public to see was easy.
My brain works a lot like Norah’s. It’s fast, full, overzealous and programmed to seek out the most morbid thoughts. With that in mind, the reality of writing my own experiences was a blur of anxiety, which, in turn, called its cousins, Loss of Appetite and Insomnia to come over and join us. I cried. Oh boy did I cry. There was an endless supply of shame and oodles of insecurity. I was actually telling a blogger friend just the other day about how many times I would write a scene, delete it, only to undo that, then start the cycle over again. I was scared, you know? You see articles everyday that dismiss mental health. MY FAMILY WAS GOING TO READ THIS! My friends. And complete strangers. I know that I’m odd/quirky/crazy and I’m okay with that. I like me, but what about everyone else? What will they think?!
I’m very lucky to have had amazing support off my immediate family, especially my twin sister, and my BFF. I kept going because they reminded me I needed to tell this story. I couldn't not write it when they made excellent points and solid cases to dispute society’s definition of normal. Normal was such a huge thing I was terrified of not being. When I did finally hand Rose over to people who weren't obligated to love me, or even like me, and those same people told me how important Norah's story was for the mental health conversation, I remember thinking, it was totally worth it.
Published by Chicken House in July 2016
Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.
For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …
Make sure you check out the rest of the blog tour stops listed below.