Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interview with debut memoirst Tara Meissner

Welcome to October, Readers! Where has the year gone? Fall has arrived here in New England with the cool evenings and warmish days bringing lots of color.

My special author guest today is debut memoirist Tara Meissner and her book Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis. The book cover really captures my attention.

Tara has graciously provided an e-book copy for one lucky giveaway commenter on this post. So if you'd like to be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below and a way for me to get in touch with you if you're the lucky one! 

Tara Meissner is a former journalist and a lifelong creative writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and works part-time at her local library. Tara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Mike, and their three sons. She writes longhand in composition notebooks. Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is her first book.

Welcome, Tara. Please tell us about your book.
Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis chronicles my journey to mental wellness following what is commonly referred to as a nervous breakdown. The first-person narrative describes my enduring a psychotic break in 2010 and the yearlong recovery that followed. As a person living with bipolar disorder, I shared my account of reality to add a voice to the conversation of mental illness.

What inspired you to write this book?
It was with great care that I put this story on paper in the spirit that it may spark understanding and acceptance. People with mental illness often walk silently, too afraid to appear crazy. However, I was more fearful of secrets; I vowed to live my life out loud. With the memoir, I found a whisper that revealed the tragedy of psychosis in the context of a bipolar illness and the hope that treatment offers. My voice is quiet and capable of telling just one story of a disorder that manifests itself uniquely in each person who is afflicted. I aspired to clearly and accurately reflect on an illness that has crippled my mind and efforts to the point of insanity.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm working on a novel.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Only in hindsight can I see that I have been a writer since the first grade, when I, like my peers, learned to write. It always seemed audacious to consider myself a writer. It was hard to feel deserving of the title. I think I actually accepted the fact that I was a writer around the age of 25 when I had business cards at the newspaper that stated "staff writer." Even now, I am not sure if I am a writer or if it is just something that I do.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have plenty of time to write. I also find time to be with my three kids, my husband, volunteer in the community, and work part time at the library. Most of the time there is a balance, sometimes it gets out of whack. I don't really have a routine, other than capture the moments that exist and do the most with them. I feel best when I can work on a writing project for 10 hours in a week. I also feel best when I can journal everyday for about 10-15 minutes.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write longhand in composition notebooks for my journals and on legal pads for my writing projects. Over the years, people have given me lots of beautiful journals for gifts. I can't write in them. I am just too messy to write on the fancy pages. I do love to collect them though!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A clown, I wanted to make people happy.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for showing interest in mental health.

Thanks for visiting today, Tara.

Readers, remember to leave a comment if you'd like a chance to win the e-book!


Crystal Otto said...

I absolutely love this interview ladies! As a friend of Tara's I got quite a chuckle out of her response to what she wants to be when she grows up. It's SO Tara to think outside the box. So many people say "I'm afraid of clowns" and Tara just says "I want to make people laugh"...LOVE IT!!!

Tara Huck said...

Thank you Lisa for the opportunity to talk about writing and mental health.

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