What's Next For Fictitious?

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I can hardly put into words how excited I am to make this post. 

This book has been such a long time coming. It has seen two release dates come and go. It has been delayed because of mental health and school and work and life. I have been hanging onto it, tweaking it, adding to it, editing it, rearranging it. 

Part of what makes me so apprehensive about releasing this book has been the content. All of my books are pieces of me - Ready Aim Fire is about my struggle with major depressive disorder, Basket Case delves into my experience with generalized anxiety disorder, and Exit Ghost deals with the loss of a family member and allowed me to verbalize my grief for my brother and grandfather. But Fictitious is different. Fictitious is about the one constant I have always had in my life: fiction. It's about the books I read as a child, the movies that inspired me, the plays and musicals and video games that opened my eyes to worlds real and imagined. It's about the characters that inspired me, the narratives that challenged me, the stories that shaped and changed and taught me. 

Where my other books are all about things that have happened to me, Fictitious is about the thing that I chose,  and continue to choose over and over again. 

This book is my soul. This book is all the pieces of me I've held close. The pieces I've been afraid to show other, but that are integral parts of me. When I started to struggle with my mental health while working on this book, I think I panicked. I started to hold all of these things - these paper people and pixelated worlds -a little bit harder. I wasn't in a place to share it yet, as excited as I was when I started. 

I'm back in a place where I'm ready to share this. As I said during the Power of Fiction blog series, I know that I'm not the only one who has found solace in make-believe. I'm not the only one who has curled into the pages of a book when the world gets too loud, too scary, too heartbreaking, too hard. I didn't realize this for a long time. For so many years, I thought I was odd for being this passionate about pretend stories and people and places.

But why? Why would I feel that way when these stories are made from someone who needed an escape themselves, or who needed to find a new way to look at the world around them? Why would I feel that way when the intention of so many artists is to connect with people? To transcend their mediums and reach audiences they've never met. As a writer, I know how important it is that my work influence not only me but other people. I know that it's not strange to find comfort in words and images. And so this book essentially says: Fiction is important, is powerful, is meaningful. Fiction is a part of my life, and it's a part of me, and it can be a part of you, too. 

I'm ready to make that statement.

I'm ready to share this book that bares my heart so openly.

And I'm going to do it on August 27, 2018.