Tag Archives: mental illness

On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened – Only $0.99 from 12/28 to 1/3

The Kindle version of my award-winning mental illness memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness will be on sale for just $0.99 from Wednesday, 12/28 through Tuesday, 1/3. Mark your calendars!

As always, the book is FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

***

It was the spring of 1989. I was sixteen years old, a junior in high school and an honors student. I had what every teenager wants: a stable family, a nice home in the suburbs, a great group of friends, big plans for my future, and no reason to believe that any of that would ever change.

Then came my mother’s psychosis.

I experienced first-hand the terror of watching someone I loved transform into a monster, the terror of discovering that I was to be her primary victim. For years I’ve lived with the sadness of knowing that she, too, was a helpless victim – a victim of a terrible disease that consumed and destroyed the strong and caring woman I had once called Mom.

My mother’s illness took everything. My family, my home, my friends, my future. A year and a half later I would be living alone on the street on the other side of the country, wondering whether I could even survive on my own.

But I did. That was how my mother – my real mother – raised me. To survive.

She, too, was a survivor. It wasn’t until last year that I learned that she had died – in 2007. No one will ever know her side of the story now. But perhaps, at last, it’s time for me to tell mine.

***

Now available in eBook and paperback (both standard size and LARGE PRINT formats).

Amazon (Universal Link)

Barnes and Noble

On hearing of my mother's death six years after it happened

 

 

My Interview with Dorit Sasson on Giving Voice to Your Story!

Well, here it is – my first live interview and my first radio show!

As those of you who saw my post last week already know, last Thursday I had an interview with Dorit Sasson on her BlogTalkRadio program “Giving Voice to Your Story.” Dorit is a freelance writer, coach, and memoirist whose memoir Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love will be published by She Writes Press in 2016.

I considered myself lucky to have such a good host, and I thought Dorit did a great job of making our talk sound more like a conversation than an interview. I also felt fortunate in being somewhat familiar with the BlogTalkRadio setup, which made me considerably less apprehensive. I knew, for example, that I needed to keep quiet once I heard the “Blog Talk Radio” intro, and also that the program would cut off promptly at the thirty-minute mark, so I was prepared for that. And although I tend to worry about technical issues, it went quite smoothly (on my end, anyway!) as all I had to do was call in at the appointed time and hang up when it was over.

As for the interview itself, I think it went pretty well. It was interesting discussing my memoir with someone who had her own distinct perspective on it. Dorit’s focus tended to be more on the mother-daughter relationship than on the illness, which is something that few people have emphasized, although it is, of course, a vital part of the story, and also a vital part of Dorit’s own forthcoming memoir. I really felt as though I learned something about my own book in the process, and I hope you will, too.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/givingvoicetoyourstory/2015/06/04/giving-voice-to-your-story-with-lori-schafer

Dorit Sasson, host of Giving Voice to Your Story and author of Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me About Faith, Courage, and Love

Dorit Sasson, host of Giving Voice to Your Story and author of Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me About Faith, Courage, and Love

In Which She Talks About Herself in the Third Person

So here it is – two firsts. My very first radio interview, which I’ve announced in my very first press release:

Award-winning memoirist Lori Schafer to appear on BlogTalkRadio show “Giving Voice to Your Story” on Thursday, June 4th

Author Lori Schafer will give her first live interview concerning her award-winning memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened on “Giving Voice to Your Story” on Thursday, June 4th at 11 am EDT. Schafer, whose memoir recounts her terrifying adolescent experience of her mother’s psychosis, won a spot on Dorit Sasson’s BlogTalkRadio program through a contest on the popular writer’s blog “The Write Life” earlier this year.

“I’m excited, but also a bit nervous,” Schafer admitted. “Dorit and I only met through the contest, so we don’t know each other at all. I have no idea what she’s going to ask me. It’s like a job interview – I’ll mostly be winging it and hoping to make a good impression on listeners.”

Schafer has high hopes for the interview, however. In fact, it was Sasson’s program that inspired her to begin a BlogTalkRadio show of her own.

“I’m currently looking at a fall start date,” she affirmed. “I had hoped to begin sooner, but my schedule has been so full this year that I had to postpone it.”

Schafer is planning an eclectic program featuring readings from her own work, discussion panels on topics of interest to readers and writers, and interviews like the one Sasson will be conducting with the author.

“I’m truly appreciative of this opportunity to interview with Dorit. Radio is a very different way of interacting with an audience, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing that. But the format feels strange to me – it isn’t like writing, where you get the chance to edit and re-edit your words if they come out wrong the first or second or twentieth time. Live is live – you only get one shot at getting it right.”

Schafer’s memoir has recently been the subject of critical acclaim. It was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2015 eLit Book Awards and was a finalist in both the National Indie Excellence and International Book Awards competitions.

“It’s a fascinating book, not only because of its subject matter, but because of its non-linear narrative structure. It will be interesting to discuss from both a literary and a psychological perspective.”

Listeners can tune in to the thirty-minute program live or listen to the podcast, which will be archived after the show airs at the following link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/givingvoicetoyourstory/2015/06/04/giving-voice-to-your-story-with-lori-schafer

Listeners are also encouraged to call in with questions and comments.

“I’ve really enjoyed discussing my book with readers on social media,” Schafer says. “But it can be hard to have a real conversation in 140 characters or less!”

Schafer, who originally intended to shy away from requests for live interviews, now welcomes them.

“Reader response to my memoir has been simply amazing. People have been incredibly supportive, but what’s really moved me have been the number of folks who have come forward to share their stories with me. It’s as if they, too, have been keeping this dark family secret and are glad to have someone finally reveal it.”

Schafer’s memoir is available in paperback at retailers worldwide and in eBook exclusively on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N0WYHDQ/). Interested parties may visit her website at https://lorilschafer.com/ for further information.

Dorit Sasson Interview

SALE! My Award-Winning Memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened Just $0.99 through 05/14

The Kindle version of my award-winning memoir On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness has been discounted to just $0.99 through Thursday, May 14th on Amazon.com.

Blurb:

It was the spring of 1989. I was sixteen years old, a junior in high school and an honors student. I had what every teenager wants: a stable family, a nice home in the suburbs, a great group of friends, big plans for my future, and no reason to believe that any of that would ever change.

Then came my mother’s psychosis.

I experienced first-hand the terror of watching someone I loved transform into a monster, the terror of discovering that I was to be her primary victim. For years I’ve lived with the sadness of knowing that she, too, was a helpless victim – a victim of a terrible disease that consumed and destroyed the strong and caring woman I had once called Mom.

My mother’s illness took everything. My family, my home, my friends, my future. A year and a half later I would be living alone on the street on the other side of the country, wondering whether I could even survive on my own.

But I did. That was how my mother – my real mother – raised me. To survive.

She, too, was a survivor. It wasn’t until last year that I learned that she had died – in 2007. No one will ever know her side of the story now. But perhaps, at last, it’s time for me to tell mine.

image

And the Winner Is… Me??!!

That’s right, I am proud to announce that On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness has been awarded a GOLD MEDAL in the category of Psychology & Mental Health in the 2015 eLit Book Awards!

Man_with_trophy

I’ll admit I had basically given up on entering writing contests. I entered a whole bunch back when I was writing a lot of short fiction and was even a finalist in two of them, but never a winner. Once I had accumulated a large pile of other writing credits, however, the potential benefits of winning a contest no longer seemed to outweigh the money and effort involved in submitting to them, and I wasn’t too terribly sad to scrape that time-consuming and onerous task off of my always-full plate. But, unlike literary contests, where the only people who are likely to see that you’ve won one are the obscure readers of even more obscure literary journals, having an award like this can actually really help with book sales, especially if you’re an indie author trying to prove your book’s worth to always-skeptical potential customers. So I sighed and dug out my spreadsheets and wallet and sent my book off to five or six such competitions on the oft-spoken lottery theory that you can’t win if you don’t play. At least it seemed reasonable to hope that the odds would be better than at a Reno roulette table.

Evidently they were, because here I am, now able to proclaim myself an award-winning author! I still don’t know whether, practically speaking, I’m going to get much out of this in terms of my writing career. But it sure is nice to enjoy one very bright spot in an otherwise rather dim-looking 2015.

And for those of you who might be inspired by my experience to submit your books to a contest, you might want to check out this list of book awards for self-published authors by The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/book-awards/

What about you? Have you ever submitted your work to a contest?

logoMark1 eLit

In Which I Make My First Attempt at Crowdfunding – and Other Tales of Terror

So today I have launched my first IndieGoGo campaign. (Yes, I know they don’t actually capitalize the Gs, but I really feel that they should. I think they’d raise more money for their vacations if they had the beat, but maybe they prefer to keep their lips sealed about it).

But, of course, IndieGoGo is not about spelling or proper capitalization or even 80s female rockers – those subjects about which we writers know so much – but about selling ourselves, about which we know so little.

I have ideas. At least a dozen very solid, potentially even achievable ideas regarding my books and my writing. I just don’t have the time, money, or capacity to make them happen.

It’s been a very strange time for me. A few years ago I was a confident and healthy young woman with my whole life ahead of me. Suddenly I’m a middle-aged lady who has no idea what she’s going to do for money during whatever life remains. It is not a pleasant feeling.

My year of disability runs out in June, which means I will have no income except for what I make from my book and eBay sales, neither of which is enough to shake even a short, skinny twig at. The irony is that I’m even more incapable of working now than I was a year ago, what with the frozen shoulder and all.

Oh, right, did I forget to mention that? Well, after several weeks of physical therapy following my shoulder dislocation, I still hadn’t made much progress with my range of motion – I had maybe forty-five degrees in a couple of directions, and close to zero in others. When I next saw the orthopedist, he diagnosed frozen shoulder, which is a condition in which calcium deposits build up around the joint following an injury. It’s more likely for this to develop when the shoulder isn’t moving – like when you’re in a sling for six weeks. Oh, yeah, and it’s also more common if you have other joint problems to begin with – which makes me wonder whether immobilizing my arm for so long was really the best course of treatment for a person like me. Because now instead of a six-to-twelve week recovery, it’s going to be six months to a year, during which I and my physical therapist attempt to break all the crap that’s grown in my arm. After which I may still need surgery. So nice to have something to look forward to in the new year!

But on the plus side, I am improving. I can wear most articles of clothing now – although I put on a dress last week and almost get stuck inside it. I can even drive a little – as long as I don’t have to make that big reach for reverse. I’m a long way from risking the freeway, but at least I can get myself to the grocery store and even the ice rink. Man, it feels good to skate again, and I feel so much better for the exercise. I put on eight pounds in the first two weeks following my injury, which wouldn’t be that big of a deal except that with my condition, every pound is a big deal.

That’s the up side. On the other end of things, boy, am I f***ed. There wasn’t a heck of a lot I could do for work when it was mostly my hands that were messed up, and there’s even less now. I can think of a few career positions that wouldn’t be agonizing – except that I might prefer to starve to death rather than spend the next twenty or thirty years doing them.

But that’s a problem for another day. In the meantime, I have a lot of ideas for my book – really cool ideas that I think could actually prove to be socially beneficial. But all of them involve investing money I don’t dare to spend on projects that may pay off in pennies rather than dollars, and not very many of those. This must be how it feels to be retired and on a fixed income. Draining your small amount of capital is somehow far more daunting when you know you can’t just go back to work.

Hence, the IndieGoGo campaign. I have several of these in mind for various projects I have in progress, but this one is the first, and so far, my favorite.

You see, a couple of weeks ago I got a five-star review from a psychiatrist who suggested that my memoir ought to be on the reading lists of high schools and colleges. Now I had already had the idea of trying to get speaking engagements at the high school level because, even though I wouldn’t expect to get much (if anything) out of that financially, I think that in today’s environment, in which mental illness has come to the forefront of social consciousness, students might appreciate hearing my story. Well, of course, not being able to get around killed that idea, and will likely make it impractical for a month or two more. But when I read this review, I thought – wait, that’s even better than what I was thinking. What if I approached a number of teachers and professors – which I would need to do by mail, anyway – and see if they were interested in teaching my book?

The more I pondered this idea, the more I loved it. In fact, it’s the perfect complement to arranging speaking engagements because then the audience will have read my memoir ahead of time. And since I could make bulk orders available quite cheaply (about $5/paperback copy) to anyone who was interested in using it, it would actually make for a very practical supplement in a course on psychology. No, I wouldn’t make much money on it, but at least it would get my name out there and, more importantly, it would get my story out there – and in the fall semester, when I should be up and about again. Will anyone actually take me up on this? No idea. It seems worth a try.

But this is the kind of project that doesn’t just take time, but also money. First I would need to order a large number of printed copies – I’d like about a hundred – and then I would need to pay to ship them. All in all, it would take close to six hundred dollars that I might never get back. Not such a big deal in the old days when I had three jobs – very scary now.

Now I want to make something clear right from the start. I’m going to post something here on my blog each time I run one of these campaigns because it only makes sense to do so. But I do not expect and, in fact, I will feel very uncomfortable if those of you who are my regular readers start contributing to these campaigns. Most of you have bought my book, and that’s enough. If you’d like to help, I’d be delighted if you share on social media or with parties whom you think might be genuinely interested, but let it end there. Nothing will make me want to stop fundraising faster than feeling as though I’ve created a sense of obligation, particularly when I have several other projects in mind.

With that being said, if you get a chance, go and check out my campaign and let me know what you think. I’m particularly interested in your opinions on how I set up the perks, which was tricky because you have to account for things like shipping and IndieGoGo’s fees – not as good a deal as it might be otherwise. In fact, I estimate that if I reach my goal of $750 that I will only net enough to send out eighty copies after the cost of perks. But of course we’ll see how it goes. Or should I say Go-Gos?

http://igg.me/at/letstalkaboutmentalillness

My Mental Illness Memoir Featured on Free Kindle Books and Tips and Bargain Booksy Today!

On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness is featured on both Free Kindle Books and Tips and Bargain Booksy today as part of my $0.99 promotion. If you get a chance, I would appreciate it if you could go in and “Like” the related Facebook posts. Evidently it helps with the algorithm or something – you know how that stuff works ;)