I’m doing something a little different today. Today’s blog post is actually my first foray into blog hosting! The author I am showcasing on my blog today is Clarkson Graham, who has written his first novel entitled Married To Crazy. The book is a memoir that details Graham’s abusive relationship he went through with his partner, Olga. (The names have been changed to protect identity). I am a big fan of stories about the human experience, and I admire Clarkson Graham’s courage to write this story – and raise awareness on something that goes unnoticed, this being the issue of abuse when it happens to men.
Below you will links to Clarkson on all social media networks, as well as a giveaway of his book that is taking place.
What inspired you to write your book?
I guess you could say that a story just fell into my lap. My marriage to Crazy was so unbelievable that some of my close friends and family encouraged me to write a book about it. I started writing my thoughts down one night as part of my healing journey, and the next morning I decided to commit to writing and publishing a book in the hopes that it would help someone else one day.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I guess I would say that my writing style is open, truthful and straight from the heart. I wanted to tell the reader an authentic story that outlined what I went through. I am not a creative writer by and means and as such, I described the events in the exact manner in which they occurred – only the names, locations, dates and times have been changed to preserve the privacy of the people involved.
How did you come up with the title?
I woke up one morning and Married to Crazy suddenly came to me. I was trying for months to think of a captivating, yet truthful title and this one seemed to hit the mark.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want readers to be aware that abuse can come in many forms (i.e., emotional, verbal, physical) and that men can be victims of abuse as well. I think that male abuse is still a bit of taboo topic and I am hoping that my book will encourage men to seek help if they find themselves in a similar situation. I want to educate people about the fact that sustained abuse can lead to serious health consequences, and specifically in my case, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. Finally, I want to inform victims about my recovery process so that they may be able to follow a similar path.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes, my book is based on the actual events that occurred during my marriage to Crazy.
What books have influenced your life most?
The two books that influenced me the most in my life are as follows; 1) Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, and 2) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would consider Laura Hillenbrand a mentor.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading a couple of books right now. The first book is called, Full Castrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and the second book is called, Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel.
What are your current projects?
I do not have any projects going on right now. I have a busy day job and considering the fact that I just published my book this year, I need a break.
Do you see writing as a career?
No, not at the present moment. I am not a writer by trade. I have a very challenging and fulfilling career that I quite enjoy. That being said, you never know what the future holds.
How did your interest in writing originate?
I didn’t have an interest in writing growing up. I wrote because I had to write. Writing does not come easily to me and so I really have to work at it.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I don’t have any current work in the pipeline at the moment.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would consider Laura Hillenbrand to be my favorite author. I love the way in which she eloquently depicts her story in a way that captures and holds the reader’s attention.
Who designed the cover?
I had a person by the name of Cindy Cake design my book cover.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my book was having to relive and write about all the traumatic and destructive events that I endured during my marriage to Crazy. That being said, reliving these events helped me in my recovery process I was able to effectively deal with all the pain and put it behind me for good. Writing is a great forum for dealing with your emotions.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
My self-confidence was shot following my marriage to crazy. I felt like less of human. Writing the book and achieving that goal enabled me to rebuild my self-confidence. I also learned that I was far stronger than I once thought I was.
What genre do you consider your book?
My book is memoir and therefore, it falls within the historical genre.
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
Yes, I sure did. I was one of the characters.
What are your expectations for the book?
I do not have any defined expectations. Initially, my goal was to complete my book, and have it published. I also hope is that my book helps someone who is currently in, or recovering from, an abusive relationship.
Please tell us a bit about your work.
My book is a raw and emotional account of my marriage to Olga, the supposed woman of my dreams. It is a story of how her behavior became progressively more volatile and abusive over the course of our relationship, leading up to the one appalling event that drove me to my breaking point. It is a story of how I came to realize my desperate situation, how I managed to escape, how I suffered through the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and how I finally embarked on the process of rebuilding what I had almost lost – myself.
How long have you been writing?
I have done a lot of academic and business writing however; this book was my first official project. I guess that you could say that I am a novice writer for sure.
Who is your favorite character in your book?
I do not have a favourite character in the book.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
I did a bit of research on names, and in other situations, I used the names that popped into my head.
Who was your favorite childhood author?
Dr. Seuss was my favorite author as a child.
Where are you from?
I am from a small town in Chelmsford, Ontario.
Tell us your latest news?
I am on a virtual blog tour from November 11- 28, 2013. I am promoting my book and hope that I will reach people who may need to know that they are not alone in their journey.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing to help foster my recovery. In order to heal effectively, you need to deal with all of your painful emotions, and writing is great forum for this.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I do not think of myself as a writer. I am just someone who wrote a book to help himself, and to help others.
About Clarkson Graham:
“I am not a victim, nor will I be. I am a survivor. As a survivor, I was able to subjugate my feelings of weakness and powerlessness and eventually discover the desire, courage, and fortitude I needed to access the support and resources that were necessary to begin the recovery process. I can say that my continuing growth and development has been defined, in part, by my ability to triumph over a complicated life situation, and now, with this book, I am sharing my knowledge and insight as I continue on my healing journey.“
About Married to Crazy:
Married to Crazy is how Clarkson Graham met and fell in love with Olga, the woman of his dreams. Their courtship, engagement, and eventual marriage followed. As their relationship progressed, Olga’s behavior became progressively more volatile and abusive. All along, Clarkson lived in the hope that he could “fix” her problems and live up to her perplexing expectations, until one appalling event drove him to his breaking point. Following therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, Clarkson finally put his life back together again and was then determined to share his experience, and especially what he had learned, with other people—and particularly with other men—who might find themselves in a similar situation.
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarkson.graham
· Twitter: https://twitter.com/Clarkson_Graham
Where to Purchase:
· Website: www.marriedtocrazy.ca (physical only)
· First Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card plus autographed copy of Married to Crazy
· Second Prize: Autographed copy of Married to Crazy
· Third Prize: Autographed copy of Married to Crazy
Click here to enter giveaway: https://www.facebook.com/MarriedtoCrazy?sk=app_228910107186452