Savant Books Announces the Release of Erin Lee's New Novel, "Crazy Like Me"Savant Books and Publications LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, announces the release of Erin Lee's tongue-in-cheek drama of therapy and recovery, "Crazy Like Me"
Erin Lee's CRAZY LIKE ME (Savant 2015)
PRLog - Aug. 9, 2015 - HONOLULU -- Take a few unhappy couples. Add broken hearts, anger, envy, betrayal, and hope. Stir continuously for 50-minutes. Simmer and repeat. Soon, lives collide in yet another of Dr. Katherine Murphy's group therapy sessions. Who will bubble over this week? Might it even be Murphy, who struggles with her own relationship demons? Sometimes it’s not about a happy ending; it’s all about the crazy journey.
Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist living with her family in southern New Hampshire. She's published numerous magazine articles, particularly on the topic of mental illness, most recently in Behavioral Healthcare magazine. A trained journalist, Lee has also worked for a variety of daily and weekly newspapers. Her other writing interests include poetry and journaling. She earned her master's degree in psychology in 2013 and works as a home-based family therapist.
"I’m thrilled to bring Katherine and her lively group to life. Their quirks, pains, joys and triumphs are something we can all relate to. Everyone has a wild Uncle Earl. But what makes Crazy Like Me so much fun is watching him give life advice to the crazy cat lady or the very therapist he pays to fix him," says Lee. "'I know my readers will fall in love with the man who dresses like a rainbow, the woman stepping out into the world for the first time in her adult life, and the spunky couple who has something to teach us all.”
Crazy Like Me by Erin Lee - 324 pages - 6" x 9" Trade Book - Color Softcover. ISBN 978-0-9915622-8-2 . Suggested retail price $16.95. Released in June 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
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Savant Books and Publications LLC is a publisher of enduring literature and media for the 21st Century. For more information visit www.savantbooksandpublications.com
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Have you ever wished to be a fly on the wall of a therapy room? Are you curious about other people’s lives? Do you wonder if they are as messy as your own? Is everyone crazy, like me?
There is a saying among therapists that we are all a little crazy. This may not be a bad thing. Who doesn’t have a wild Uncle Earl who wears mismatched socks and drinks too much at family barbecues? He’s quite loveable, the way he brings stolen lollipops for the children without fail. Would life really be as interesting without Grandma Ethel’s insistence that a wedding just isn’t a proper nuptial without lilacs and a marching band, complete with a tuba player?
If therapy room flies could talk, they would tell you that life is not always easy. And boiling a week’s worth of emotions, troubles, and fears into less than an hour’s time can be even more challenging. As humans, we struggle with the same issues – learning who we are, what we want out of life, who we want to be, and how to get there. We all run into obstacles. We fall, we get up, and the ride isn’t always smooth. If we’re lucky, we do it together – for good or bad.
When I first became a family therapist, one of my greatest challenges was moving between sessions with shy teens incapable of eye contact to teens unable to take a breath because of their manic mothers. I took on their anxieties and problems and felt like I was on a rollercoaster. The vicissitudes of several consecutive 50-minute-hour daily mini dramas almost made me abandon my dream of helping others. Then, I remembered the big joke: We are all a little crazy. I figured; why not celebrate our common nuttiness? I decided finally to enjoy the ride.
“Crazy Like Me” was born as a wink to our shared human experiences. I often wondered what it would be like to put that shy teenager in a room with the manic mother. I had a feeling they could help each other. When I finally did, I saw the magic of human connectedness.
A work of fiction, “Crazy Like Me” is the story of Dr. Katherine Murphy, a psychologist who has the guts to take on that same challenge and allow her clients to learn from one another. Her recipe is simple: Take a few unhappy couples and a dash or two of lonely singles. Add broken hearts, anger, envy, betrayal, and hope. Stir continuously for 50-minutes. Simmer and repeat. Soon, lives collide in the craziest of ways.
I did not know what would happen to the doctor and crew when I first put these characters in a group therapy room together. But, like a fly on the wall, I found myself learning more than I ever imagined from Katherine and her eccentric clients. I stopped looking at the clock and let them take me on their journey. They made me laugh. They made me cry. They warmed my heart. Best, they surprised me. They are, after all, crazy, like me.
In “Crazy Like Me,” you don’t need to be a fly on the psychotherapy wall to meet characters who will inspire you, challenge you, and make you laugh out loud. Instead, come as you are to Katherine’s Friday group sessions. Here, you will meet a man who dresses like a rainbow and has a matching personality, a terrified grandmother stepping out - runway style - into the world for the first time, a spunky couple fighting for their children, and a girl who needs her pet lizards to feel alive. The rules are simple – respect one another and keep things said in the group in confidence. Before you know it, you too will be looking around the room thinking they’re crazy, like me.
Only other writers, who are also crazy and were absent the day God handed out self-esteem, will get this. (Before I continue, please forgive the typos, grammatical mistakes, etc. will be inevitable in this blog after being awake more than 72 straight hours). There’s big news on both book fronts: First, Wave is now in the hands of proofers who are checking on little things like commas and semi colons. I doubt my mother has slept any more than I have in the last few days, helping me to get rid of the tiny mistakes that go along with a 60,000 word manuscript. (Thank you, Mom!) Just when I thought sleep was on the horizon, I got a call and email from my Crazy publisher, who informed me that Crazy will be out in two weeks or less. This sounds like great news, right? It is, I think. Sort of.
It’s one thing to write a book. I’ve been doing that on my own, for myself, for the past ten years. But it’s a whole different story when people are actually going to read what you wrote. This is where Erin’s social anxiety and – well, chicken shit – come into play. I think I may throw up or move to the north pole.
Over the past year, I’ve met many authors. It’s part of working with a publisher. I’ve talked to them and learned that there are two types. There are those who can’t wait to see their names in print and believe they have written the next best seller. Then, there are the recluses, like me, who aren’t really sure exactly what they are doing. Sure, I set out to write a book. I did that. I sent it out to publishers. Check. Yep. That was me. But I’m not sure I really thought about what it would be like to have my words out there for all the world to see.
The truth is, I’m terrified. Writing a book is like speaking before you think. It’s words slipping out of you that you can never get back. You can chase them, you can try to reword them, but you can’t change them. I love Crazy Like Me. My editor, Colleen, helped me to take what started off as a venting session and turn it into a funny, tongue-in-cheek look into the mysterious man – woman – behind the curtain known as a group therapist. But that doesn’t mean everyone will. And I’m not sure I’m ready for the critiques.
I’ll write many more books. It’s my retirement plan. But no character will ever take the spot Katherine Murphy holds in my heart. I just wish I could summon her now, to help me get this book into the world with the confidence she’d want Brenda to have. I’ll do it, and I won’t chicken out. I’m off to find Brenda’s shoes. Wish me luck! See you (or come find me hiding) in two weeks!
To my fellow writers like me, who aren’t sure they can stomach release day? Hang in there. You aren’t alone. All those things you warned me about? I get it now. We’re walking the same journey. An exciting one, for sure! But scary all the same. Thanks for being there, guys.
I was sitting in a mandatory work training when a copy of the latest proof of “Wave to Papa” fell out of my bag. My boss picked it up. She saw the cover and byline, and whispered “Do you do cocaine? Where do you find the time? …Do you sleep?” I choked on my coffee.
Fortunately, we were working in small groups and no one was officially speaking as this show, which brought on quite a few laughs, went down. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer her. Aside from the fact that I don’t do any illegal drugs, I do see her point. The look on her face was comical – a mix of amazement and contempt. This is a boss who often comes to me to write up quick treatment plans and other paperwork because I type so fast and don’t seem to require more than four hours of sleep a night. And while her question was great as a first-day-of-spring-but-stuck-inside tension breaker, it got me thinking on the drive home.
What makes me stay up at night while the rest of the world is sleeping to write? First, it’s my oldest child, type A nature never to quit. I always finish what I start. But there’s something more to it than that. It’s not just that my kids are watching me and that I want to show them that you have to keep working at something to achieve a dream. Instead, I determined, it’s that I truly am passionate about what I am doing.
I’m not sure if it’s the topics of my books or my innate love of written expression that I love so much. It’s likely a combination of both. Obviously, as a therapist, people interest me! But telling their stories and giving voices to those that don’t have voices is where my heart really is. Clearly, my characters are fictional. But they come about through a special blend of qualities I admire in various clients from different walks of life. There’s something special about finding out what a single mother with five kids at home has in common with a stressed out bachelor who drives a new sports car. My passion is in finding their common ground and story – and then putting it to the page.
I’ve had some pretty big stumbles on the journey to print “Crazy Like Me” as of late. First, there are ongoing conversations between editors and the publisher regarding tense changes. Currently, the manuscript is in the present tense. That was done intentionally – an early-on editing change that made the characters jump off the page. But, because it’s not the traditional way to go with a first novel, there is now resistance to this change. And as debates swirl around editing of this manuscript – one I hope is through polishing on time in only a few months – I’ve had to harness the passion I feel in my mission to share stories to keep myself writing. Truth is, I wanted to quit. Heck, I want to quit! But I won't.
It’s easy to quit. It’s easy to say “publishing is too hard” or “I’ll just be a reader.” Heck, it’s probably easier to start a coke habit and spend the night hours watching TV and painting my nails. With the right combination of meds, my clients all seem to sleep! But there’s something about believing in yourself, even with people working against you, that keeps me jotting down the smallest ideas in the oddest of places at the strangest hours.
When faced with the temptation to quit or start that drug addiction, I remind myself of a quote in “Crazy Like Me” – “Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the journey.” This is something I repeat to my clients all the time.
Maybe my long nights and own story are not much different than those of my clients. The point could be to continue to climb these hills, hoping – even if blindly – that there will be a reward on the other side. It’s a way I encourage clients to define themselves through narrative therapy and a definition I’m finding is beginning to ring true for me too.
What I’ve learned? Just like my clients and characters share similar challenges and triumphs, I do too! I’m as much a part of this story as they are – sober, crazy, and ready to keep on keeping on! Tonight, as I dive into a third-round polish mark up and put “Wave to Papa” on the shelves for a bit, I’ll remind myself that it’s passion that has me doing this. While it may be crazy, it’s also why I can continue to believe in me – no different than how I believe in the lives and stories I’ve grown so zealous about writing about. So, here's to another round and many more sleepless nights. Thank you, Passion!