Monday, September 27, 2010

Blogcritics.org book review and People First Radio interviews



Did you ever scare yourself with your own imagination? What about that night you were watching that cheesy horror flick and were afraid to look out the window? Or the time you scared yourself into a panic, convinced you hadn’t unplugged the iron? Now, picture your life if your brain continuously supplied these frights and you believed they were real. You hear people talking about you from great distances away, and are convinced someone is using you as a test subject for some bizarre psychology study. Welcome to schizophrenia.

Sandra Yuen MacKay began experiencing paranoid schizophrenic symptoms when she was a  young teenager. Frightened and ignorant of the disease, she kept it to herself. Her family could not differentiate “normal” teenage mood swings and behavior from mental illness. Meanwhile, she could not differentiate between reality and the false messages her brain sent her.

In My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness, MacKay details the thought processes that made life hell, and the work involved in recovering. Mood-stabilizing and anti-psychotic drugs certainly played a big part in her recovery (as well as her distress), however accepting the label “mentally ill” was not easy. MacKay was also blessed to have a supportive family who loved her unconditionally and a community that offered a variety of options to persons with mental illness.

Readers will feel her frustration as doctors and treatment team members spout platitudes, some of which seemed nothing more than “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” or “grow up.” Being familiar with her disease, we don’t know if she is remembering exactly what those helping her said, or her interpretation. That doesn’t matter — it’s her perceptions that formed her reality.

My Schizophrenic Life is not an explanation or definition of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. It is a chronicle of one patient’s experiences and how she was able to structure her life around the disease after many attempts. Some of the episodes she details are common to many paranoid schizophrenics; others are unique to her. MacKay’s writing reveals so much about her experience, not only in the stories she tells, but how she chooses to tell them.

Anyone interested in mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, can learn from My Schizophrenic Life. Its value is in its candid look into what is going on in the mind of the sufferer.

Bottom Line: Would I buy My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness? Yes.
Thanks to Bob Etier who wrote this great review of my memoir on Blogcritics.org. The review was picked up by The National Examiner and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The link is: Blogcritics.org Book Review The National Examiner gave the book a four star recommendation. 

Also coming up are some radio interviews. Two of them will be broadcast live. Here's the details:
Roundtable discussion on mental illness including me on People First Radio, CHLY 101.7 FM, Thursday, September 30th, noon, Pacific Time, broadcast live. 
Interview with me about my book on People First Radio, CHLY 101.7 FM, Thursday, October 4th, noon, Pacific Time, broadcast live.

Shows are rebroadcast on the following Mondays at noon. Also streaming online available on www.chly.ca
(Eventually the broadcasts will be made available to hear on http://www.columbiancentresociety.com/pfr.php but they will need time to edit and post.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Proud recipient of The One Lovely Blog award

I'm proud to be bestowed The One Lovely Blog award by A.F. Stewart. 

This is how the award works:

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I've chosen 15 blogs (in no particular order):

Jen Knox
A Word Please [Darcia Helle]
Maria Savva's blog
Stuart Ross McCallum's Blog
Bleak Landscapes [Jonathan Weyer]
Tiffany's World of Words
to live on the wind [Nanette Rayman-Rivera]
Ochani Lele
Nancy's Poetry
Laura Schultz
Linda M. Spear
Pete Marshall
Dianne's Wordshop
Thoughts Along The Road to Healing [Dan L. Hays]
Bernadine's Blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Press release, interviews, bookstores, etc.

This is a link to a press release on my memoir on PRWeb.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/09/prweb4496044.htm

It's exciting to receive this type of coverage on my new book. Thanks to my publisher, Bridgeross Communication for making it happen.

I have radio and internet tv interviews scheduled soon. I have a number of RSVP's for my book launch in October. Soon I will be approaching local bookstores to carry my memoir. I also joined some writer's forums and mental health sites to get the word out there.

It's exciting to reach this point in my life! Thanks to all the people that have supported me in this endeavour!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goodreads

Hello fellow writers and readers,
I found a website that's a real gem, called Goodreads, if you are familiar with it. I joined recently and made some connections with other authors. It's not only a good place to publicize one's own writing, but also to review other books, and get support from a community of writers and readers.

I met a writer, who is on Goodreads, named Stuart Ross McCallum who wrote a book about his struggle with epilepsy and undergoing brain surgery with amazing results. His book is titled, Beyond My Control: One Man's Struggle with Epilepsy, Seizure Surgery & Beyond. I am intrigued by his story, because my book is also a memoir about recovery. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, but also sometimes true stories can be very incredible and insightful.

To be honest, I don't read a lot of books, despite the fact I'm a writer. My concentration and attention span sometimes aren't good. At times, I have to read the same passage over several times but it still doesn't penetrate. I think it's because my mind is distracted by inner thoughts - a sign of a dreamer.

In the past, I did enjoy comic books or graphic novels because there's less text and I liked reading pictures. Comic books aren't just for kids!

Please check out Goodreads and you'll meet some interesting people and find some great books to read!