Eight years ago I went to see a psychic. Don’t judge me. I needed some reassurance at the time. This is what the psychic medium Dorothy Chitty said:
I started writing when I was first discharged from hospital way back in 1996. But, like psychic Dorothy said, I put it aside. It sounded self pitying and nothing I could feel proud of or wish to share with anyone. I tried again years later but I also put that aside. I wasn’t sure if the voice was authentically mine.
Two years after this psychic reading with Dorothy I committed to finally writing my book. That commitment meant I sat through all the difficult moments that would have made it easy to give up. After two and a half years I completed the first draft of My Beautiful Psychosis.
I tried to find an agent but it was a despairing process: either hearing nothing or receiving rejections. I questioned whether to continue with the book at all. I had wanted a publisher to validate me as a writer.
I took a break before deciding to keep going with it. Another two and a half years of editing, re-drafting and re-working and the book was finished. I sent it to Dr. Russell Razzaque to ask him if he would write a Foreword. He said he got lots of requests but, after reading it, he was genuinely blown away. He wanted to help me find a publisher and of course, was happy to write the Foreword. It was Russell’s positive response that gave me the encouragement I needed to hold out for a publisher.
Dr. Russell Razzaque introduced me to Tim Read, author of Walking Shadows: Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth. Tim is a progressive psychiatrist who also has publishing company, Muswell Hill Press. I told Tim I was looking for a publisher who could get me nationwide television and radio exposure. He said to hold out for a larger publisher and get back to him if I didn’t find one.
After receiving rejections from the bigger publishing houses, for not having a large enough platform, I set a date to self publish. I was determined to get it out into the world, with or without a publisher. I had come to the end of the road.
Then I remembered Tim’s words. I got in touch but his company had been bought by Aeon Books, a company that specialises in alternative and complementary medicine. It was no longer his decision. He would have to go through them. This was my final pitch. I had nowhere else to go.
Aeon Books said that memoirs of personal breakdown/breakthrough can be difficult for publishers in terms of covering costs. However they were impressed by the quality of my writing, my links with Open Dialogue and my interest in marketing my work. It was a yes!
This is the biggest news of my life so far and a dream come true. I no longer need a publisher to believe in me or my writing but it is certainly AWESOME to have found one.