This book gives readers a glimpse into the life of someone living with bipolar disorder. It’s not a clinical book filled with facts and figures, but a book of humanity.
Spanning childhood to early adult, through stories of abuse, being bullied, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, inpatient stays on psych wards, a night in jail, his college days in the fraternity, hitchhiking across America, and his time in a third world country, John gives the reader a personal and up-close look into his life as a manic depressive. The stories are sad, shocking, and at times funny as he shares his antics while at his most manic and delusional.
Throughout his journey, John also struggles with his faith in God. More than the Madness is a testament of one man’s journey to grow closer to God while gaining a better understanding of himself.
John wrote his story to help educate others on mental illness and remove some of the stigma associated with it. It is his hope that readers will get to know the person behind the diagnosis; take away the labels and meet someone's son, friend, and husband. See that there is More Than the Madness.
Where you can find More Than The Madness:
Interview with John:
1. What made you decide to write your story?
This book was started about ten years ago. Every since I was a teenager I wanted to write but never aggressively pursued it. One day I felt inclined to write so I attempted to write a couple of science fiction stories. I got frustrated. Then I decided, why not write stories from my life? I had a very interesting life. Besides it would be easier to write when you had the entire story already in your head instead of making things up. So I began to write what became “More Than The Madness”. At that time the manuscript consisted of short stories. Each chapter stood as individual works. I shared these with my friends. When I started accumulating a lot of material I realized that one day it could be made into a book.
2. What is the most important point you'd like readers to take away from your story?
This book is my memoirs. It deals with my successful struggle with bipolar disorder. The most important point I’d like to make is that I am, despite my mental illness, a human being just like everybody else. That there is “More Than The Madness”. My ailment is just one aspect of a complex creature. As such I would like to dispel the stigmata that are associated with mental illness.
3. Have you written anything before? If so, please tell me about it.
I have written a host of poetry. I have had my poems published on over seventy outlets. I have four books of poetry. “Murmurings Of A Mad Man” was my first book. This is a book of poetry dealing with a very low time of my life. I was committed to a state psychiatric hospital called Greystone. The book is written with strict meter and rhyme. My second book of poetry is called “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent”. This book has some of my best writings in it including my award winning “Tea With Joe Hill”. As the title suggests this book is written for the oppressed peoples. Some of the subjects are historical figures and people from my life. “Sunset Sonnets” is a book of sonnets dealing with the subject of death and dying in a very positive and spiritual way. My last poetry book, which I self published, is entitled “A Day’s Weather”. I wrote this book at age twenty two and it serves as a marker to my thoughts at the time. The manuscript deals with a day’s weather, with a poem corresponding to a weather condition.
As far as prose I have a book of science fiction stories called “Words Of The Future”. These are unique quirky stories of which I take pride in their originality. Also I have two horror books out published by Jaded Books Publishing. The first is called “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” and the second is called “Satan’s Siren”. These follow the adventures of an Anne McFry. There are more books planned for the series. Also under contract is a book called “In The Mind Of Maggoo.” This book deals with a man in a nursing home who can only move the pupils of his mind. His mind is inflicted with marvelous dreams and thoughts of his past.
4. What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?
I enjoy writing tremendously so that is a primary motivation. I hope to make a living from it as my wife is ill and I cannot work a traditional job as I need to take care of her. In my poetry I often try to contribute to some greater, nobler cause. To change the world for the better if you will. In my fiction writing I hope to entertain people. In both cases I hope to make people think.
5. If you could give your readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would advise writers to never give up. When I started out I got rejected an enormous amount of times both in poetry and prose. A good part of successful writing is finding a friendly market for your work. That is if you write political poems don’t bother to send them to a romance magazine. Also I tried to get my science fiction stories published by the big names in the industry. While this was certainly worth the try I discovered there are a host of other, lesser prominent markets. I believe exposure is key to success. Remember that many famous writers got severe rejections before they had any form of success.
6. What was your greatest challenge to overcome as a writer?
I think the greatest challenge of writing is to have confidence in your own ability. This keeps hope alive. Certainly in the very beginning when I was writing prose it was difficult to get down the mechanics of writing a story. This took a lot of effort to overcome. Poetry, to me, was far easier to grasp. Still in that day in, day out struggle a writer needs to be motivated. If you think you’re going to fail you won’t have the courage to write.
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