I’m delighted to host today’s stop on the blog tour for Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry. Not only does it look like an amazing book but I just love the topic that Liz has written about for If Only I Could Read Faster. ‘Writing and Depression’ is such an important topic, mental health affects one in four people so if you are lucky enough not to have mental health problems you no doubt know many people that do.
Writing and Depression
I’m a writer… and I struggle with depression, like so many people. Struggling with the physical symptoms of depression: lethargy, insomnia, panic attacks, agoraphobia disassociating, memory issues, lack of concentration all makes it difficult to write. I’d struggled for years, having ideas for crime fiction novels and not being able to complete them. Then a couple of years ago a major reassessment of my medication and the help of a fantastic counsellor made me think I could take more control of my life. As I began to have some better days I started to write… and the more I wrote the more I realised that this is what I wanted to do. Taking my daughter to an Open day at Leeds trinity University, I spotted a leaflet advertising their MA in Creative Writing. I recognised the name of the main MA tutor (Martyn Bedford) – I’d read and loved one of his early books… a little seed was planted.
Eventually I applied for the course and, at interview, Martyn suggested I finish my first draft (It was close to completion anyway) and use the MA to ‘fine- tune’ it. I was still unsure whether I’d be well enough to take on such a huge commitment, but I worked on steadily with my counsellor and was eventually able to commit.
For me starting the MA at such a lovely university with such amazing tutors and fantastic students was the best thing I ever did. It wasn’t easy but I persevered with a lot of familial support and it got easier. The focus and the perceptive workshopping helped me to raise my writing to the next level. I’ve been lucky enough to get a two book deal with Bloodhound Books. Unquiet Souls is newly released and I’m over the moon!
For me writing releases endorphins. It makes me feel happier and that has a knock on effect in other areas. Yes, I still get huge mood dips, panic attacks and anxiety; my concentration is limited and my memory is erratic, but, when I write, I try to accommodate this… and most of all I’m kind to myself.
If you suffer from depression writing is a great therapy… for me the biggest bonus is that I don’t need to leave the house if I don’t want to do it.
by Liz Mistry
The first in a gritty crime thriller series based in West Yorkshire
featuring DI Gus McGuire.
Published by Bloodhound Books 30th July:
Kindle £1.99 and paperback £8.99
What is the link between the abduction of a little girl and a dead prostitute?
When the body of a prostitute is discovered DI Gus McGuire is handed the case. But what first appears to be a simple murder soon turns into an international manhunt for the members of a twisted child trafficking ring.
McGuire who is suffering with problems of his own, he must pick his way through the web of deceit and uncover the truth in time before the body count rises.
Can McGuire identify The Matchmaker before it’s too late? And can he trust those he is working with?
Unquiet Souls is the first book in a dark and compelling new police series.
Liz Mistry was born in West Calder, Scotland and educated at Stirling University before moving to Bradford for her PGCE, where she settled with her husband, Nilesh, her three children, Ravi, Kasi and Jimi and her two cats. Liz taught in Inner city Bradford schools for many years. Suffering from depression for many years, Liz used her writing to help her through the darkest times. She is currently part-way through an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, which she acknowledges as being instrumental in developing her confidence as a writer. Liz is co-founder and main contributor to The Crime Warp Blog (http://thecrimewarp.blogspot.co.uk/ )
Liz is available to write articles on many subjects including; ‘Writing with depression’, ‘Why choose an MA in Creative Writing’, ‘Why crime fiction does it for me?’, ‘Creating a villain’, ‘The cross- genre nature of crime fiction’ … and more.
Contact her on:
Bloodhound Books website: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/
If you struggle with depression or any other mental health problems then there is help out there. The charity Mind has a lot of helpful information. If you need someone to talk to urgently then you can call The Samaritans on 116123, free from any phone in the UK.