Next week, TO HAMLET, WITH LOVE, will be out on Kindle and paperback. Before the official release, I felt the need to write this post explaining the story behind it. As with CHANGING HANDS, I wrote from my own experiences and feelings.
So far in my life, I’ve been through very two very dark times. The first was in the mid- to late 90’s when I struggled with anxiety and panic disorder. The other was the past two years. I am not going to share any personal details but late last fall, I didn’t expect to be alive in the New Year, certainly not now a whole year later. I don’t say that to be overly dramatic, it is truly how I felt. I feel truly blessed to be healthy and almost entirely recovered now.
That being said, when I came through this very dark period–because I am a writer–I wanted to write about it. To work through it, as is my process. In doing so, I decided to travel back to that other very difficult time and use that as my setting.
Smack dab in the middle of the mid-90’s, I attended Portland State University. I had been in the dark for so long and walking into Lincoln Hall was like turning on a light. It woke me up. It gave me hope. I became part of a community of people that I will cherish always. One of my biggest regrets is walking away from all of that before I finished my degree in Theater Arts. The tough times just got too tough and I gave up.
In essence, I wanted to give my character Drew the chance that I never took. I wanted her to go back and finish what I didn’t. I also wanted to shine a light on the Portland Theater scene because it is amazing and creative and life-fulfilling.
Lastly, while my life has also been touched by substance abuse, I have never been an addict. I have watched several people I love struggle with addiction and it is heart wrenching. I hope that I was a source of support as strong as Drew’s best friend Abby.
My diatribe is over. 🙂 I hope you enjoy TO HAMLET, WITH LOVE. It is a work very close to my heart.