Today we talk about Crossing lives, a book by Elizabeth Randall published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Elizabeth Randall, to get to know her better, where she found the inspiration to write her book Crossing lives, as well as if she sees herself in the protagonist of the story.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this story?
My career as a General Medical Practitioner exposed me to a lot of the issues raised in the book. I treated many patients with depression, bipolar disorder and dementia and experienced the effects of their illnesses on their families. I also delivered terminal care to many patients, often in their homes. In addition, I myself suffer from bipolar disorder. All this experience inspired me to communicate to my readers the way patients and families cope with such debilitating and stressful events. Many of the issues are painful and probably difficult for readers to talk about. I hoped that by putting them in the context of a family saga this would overcome the taboo that is often associated with them. None of the characters are based on real people but the emotional content is drawn directly from my personal and professional experiences.
- Do you see yourself in the stories of the protagonists you told? If so, what is it?
The character Abigail is a General Practitioner. Her experience of having to deal with a patient’s complaint and the effect of this on her mental health is a significant event in the book. She is burnt out in her struggles with her stressful job and the complaint is the last straw. All this I unfortunately experienced, so I felt I could communicate it truthfully to the reader. The inability Abigail has to support her parents, as a consequence of her depression, leaves her feeling inadequate and she leans heavily on her sister Helen. The support Helen gives her mirrors that given to me by my family and close friends. As a sufferer from bipolar disorder, I could identify with Ian’s struggles with mental health services and his difficulties adapting to life outside the hospital. In addition, my mother suffered from dementia from which she died. The tragic effects of this illness were therefore known intimately to me and once again I felt that I could convey this to the reader with honesty.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would hope that my readers would find my characters believable. It may be that the readers will be able to identify with one or more of them and imagine the situations described happening to them. Consequently, I would like to hear if they had sympathy for any or all of the characters and whether they have had experience of supporting family members with mental health issues and/or dementia. I would like to hear of the readers’ emotional responses to the difficult issues raised in the book and hope that readers would be honest about their reactions to the unfolding plot. It would be good to know the readers’ thoughts about the ending of the book. Were all the threads and themes resolved satisfactorily? It would be interesting to know if the positive messages become prominent as the book progresses. Finally, I would like to have the readers’ honest opinions of the novel and whether they would recommend it.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
The whole process of writing this novel has been satisfying and cathartic. It has been very important to me to get it published and ‘out there’. I wanted to bring difficult topics such as depression, dementia and bereavement out in the open to start a dialogue about how support can be offered particularly to people with mental health issues. The whole process of preparing the manuscript and liaising with Europe Books has been helped enormously by the friendly and helpful staff. I feel very excited to be nearly at the end of the process and look forward to holding the book in my hands. I only hope it is well received and above all that it is illuminating and helpful to my readers.
- Are you working on a new writing project?
I have several ideas for another novel but have yet to commence writing. I am waiting to find out my family and friends and the public’s reactions to this book first!
Europe Books thanks the author Elizabeth Randall once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Crossing lives. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I hope that this book will allow you to learn about issues such as mental health and dementia and start looking at them with different eyes, thanks to the stories and experiences told by the author. If you are already aware of these diseases, I hope that the situations that happen to the characters of the story can provide you with new ideas and new points of view that will help you to manage difficult situations that happen to you.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading and make the most of it!