MY PSYCHOSIS BEYOND THE BOOK
“there were sleepless nights (nothing new there for a writer) and the belief that every creak of the house and click of the dishwasher was someone trying to break through the front door…”
So, here we are. An idea that started over 2 years ago, but that I didn’t start fully writing until November 2016, has been published.
PSYCHOSIS, my new supernatural thriller, about a therapist whose world is turned into a living nightmare after he moves to a fishing village on the Southwest coast, is out now.
And what a journey.
As you will have seen in the ‘Making of Psychosis’ published a few weeks ago…. what? You mean you weren’t one of the 28,000+ Facebook people who have seen it so far? No problem. I’ll embed the link at the foot of this post for you. 😉 As I say in the video, I underwent my own watered down brand of Psychosis whilst writing the book by, somewhat involuntarily, subjected myself to social deprivation by spending a month on the beautifully rugged coast, but with hardly any human interaction, no WIFI and no cell phone coverage.
However, while my ‘psychosis’ was limited to sleepless nights (nothing new there for a writer) and the belief that every creak of the house and click of the dishwasher was someone trying to break through the front door, for many actual sufferers of mental illness, it is sadly not the work of fiction hence why, as Marco (the main character from the book) would put it, “we’re spawning a whole new legion of therapists” like him, presumably to deal with the ever-increasing epidemic of narcissism that is sweeping the globe.
So, there you have it, in two paragraphs, I’ve referred to two types of mental disorders to reflect a human state of mind that is nothing like the real condition. The real disorders have recently received a lot of press, with many celebrities queuing to raise awareness and dissolve the stigma associated with mental health in whichever form that may be. And when I’m talking about that, I’m talking, of course, about the real sufferers and not the ones we either attribute to ourselves or are branded with by others.
And when I’m talking about that, I’m talking, of course, about the real sufferers and not the imposters we become or brand others.
For example, I’m one of the many who believes he suffers from ‘mild’ OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). How many people do you know say that they are sufferers also? Chances are, there are quite a few. You, like me, may even be one of them. But the reality of this hideous mental disorder is far from the trivia of lining up a couple of ornaments on a window sill. We’re talking about a truly debilitating illness, where rituals, compulsions and patterns must be observed every waking moment of every day just to be able to function.
What about the ‘bunny boiler’? A term you most likely will know originated from that famous Eighties movie; Fatal Attraction, in which Glenn Close stars as the psychopathic spurned lover with deadly consequences. Yet it wasn’t necessarily that film that spawned the casual term ‘psycho’ that many of us go about our lives labelling anyone from the creepy stranger to a precocious child. Again, the reality of psychopath is someone who is suffering from a chronic mental disorder characterised by some very disturbing antisocial behaviour. We’re talking about someone who lacks sympathy, empathy or remorse. Someone who could stereotypically put a knife through your chest on their way to pouring milk over their cornflakes without blinking. There’s more about this in one of my other posts, creatively titled PSYCHO.
And what about the narcissists? I remember nearly a decade ago, when I first started writing COMING UP FOR AIR, hardly anybody knew what one of those was (including me). I had to conduct a lot of clinical research about one of the main characters from the book. She suffered from one of the most extreme forms of narcissism and put both her husband and her children through five years of hell because of it.
Interestingly, ever since I wrote the book and posted an excerpt about narcissism as a blog post, it has become the consistently MOST POPULAR post on this blog. And, if you take a look, I think it still is to this day (years later). What does that tell you? The post is called LIVING WITH THE DEVIL which is the title of the chapter from the book.
These days, given the ever-present ability to exhibit everything we do or say for anyone who cares to watch, it’s particularly easy to become self-involved. From ‘sharing’ through selfies and live broadcasts, we’ve become a world of arrogant, self-important, self-absorbed exhibitionists with a whole plethora of platforms at our disposal. There was a time when if you wanted to write your opinion about something, it was normally on a postcard to some TV show. Now anybody can express their opinion with instant gratification to a global audience and say some of the most spiteful things from behind the sanctuary of their device without repercussion.
But, yet again…self-obsessed perhaps, but a narcissist? Not necessarily. Yet, how many of these individuals would you brand a narcissist? Probably a few. When the reality, as you can read in COMING UP FOR AIR and LIVING WIH THE DEVIL is quite the opposite. Hideously so.
I could go on, but I could be here a while. Besides, you already know what I’m talking about. Don’t you? Sure you do.
Of course, the irony of this isn’t lost on me, and I’m sure it isn’t on you either. While those celebrities are now clubbing each other over the head to get into the spotlight and raise awareness about mental health, the reality is, that most of us already know. It’s our interpretation that needs work so that we may better understand the true effect of some of these illnesses that reach beyond the immediate soundbite.
PSYCHOSIS is available in paperback, for Kindle and audiobook (narrated by Rosko Lewis). Get it from Amazon, Audible and iTunes. If you would like to listen to a chilling excerpt, click on the link above to visit the Psychosis page.
You can also check out the Psychosis featurette below where I talk more about writing the book and what really went on down there.
Oh, and if you’re an avid follower/contributor to my social media pages, you will have seen the promo featuring Psychosis goodies (as creatively displayed by Steve above). If you are a regular contributor, like Steve, there’s a chance you might hear from us soon with either your own t-shirt, a free copy of the paperback or an Audible voucher for the audiobook!
In the meantime, I’m off to get some well-deserved (if I may say so myself) R&R before it’s back to the keyboard for INCUBUS.