Award winning medical journalist and author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad In America, Robert Whitaker, became curious when he read about two World Health Organisation studies that showed longer-term outcomes for schizophrenia patients in three “developing” countries were much better than six “developed” countries. Despite limited resources how was it that outcomes for schizophrenia in places like India… Read more →
Inspirational Mental Health Talks Series #4 Catherine G Lucas – Healing Schizophrenia
When she was 20 years old, Catherine G Lucas ended up in a psychiatric hospital. She had the wisdom to work with a therapist and found that within her experiences lay an opportunity for healing. Gradually, with the help of her therapist, she learned how to take better care of herself. Catherine went on to found the Spiritual Crisis Network,… Read more →
Inspirational Mental Health Talks Series #2 Eleanor Longden – Hearing Voices
Dr.Eleanor Longden started hearing voices when she was a student. At first they were harmless and narrated whatever she did. But they became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, and made her life a nightmare. She was hospitalised, drugged and labelled schizophrenic. Eleanor went on to earn a master’s in psychology and demonstrate that the voices in her head were “a sane… Read more →
My Beautiful Psychosis Book Cover
After 6 months of sending out proposals to agents, looking for someone else to believe in me, and receiving either rejections or worse still, no response at all, I’m feeling despair.
I sent a total of 34 proposals out: 18 of which received rejections and 16 I never heard back from. The standard response went something like this:
“Thank you for sending us this material, but I’m afraid it isn’t suitable for us. I’m sorry to disappoint, and wish you luck with your future writing.”
Only one agent gave me feedback as to why they didn’t go for it:
“Thanks so much for contacting us. I’ve read the sample material with interest. While I liked the chapters I wasn’t sufficiently swept along by the narrative to know that I’d be the best advocate for the book. Sorry! Best of luck elsewhere.”
The email I cherished the most, which I devoured like a drop of rain in the desert, came from Cara at the HHB Agency:
“Dear Emma, Thank you for your submission to HHB. I enjoyed reading your work, you write well, with intensity and style. However, as a small agency we are only ever able to take on a limited number of authors and I am afraid in this instance, we were not able to take you work further. I wish you all the best. All best, Cara”
One of the reasons I wanted to find a publisher was because I felt I wanted support to get the book out into the world. It is an entirely different process from writing the actual thing and requires very different skills. I’ve come to accept that I’m going to have to climb that particular mountain alone.
Thankfully there is help online at every step of the way.
The first thing I’ve done is to learn about cover design. I had a meeting with a graphic designer friend who very humbly said she wasn’t up for the job. I found a designer online, called Derek Murphy, who shared the secrets to designing a bestselling book cover. I’ve talked with bookshop assistants to find out what they think. I’ve played with different ideas and now, with a drum roll, I unveil the cover of my first book.
A huge thanks goes to artist Adriane Vinter from Norway for permission to use her image ‘Straight Jacket’.
Do You Really Want To Lose Your Ego? What It Is Really Like…
The first time I was about to lose my ego, I had this sudden terrifying thought that I was going to die. A feeling of impending annihilation took hold of me. It seemed totally illogical because there was no actual physical threat. It was as if a part of me knew that my ego was about to shatter. Because in… Read more →
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