Monday, June 3, 2013

Author Interview: Carrie Lange

Today I have an amazing guest author: Carrie Lange. Carrie's novel is a heart-wrenching tale of overcoming grief and guilt--a story I will never forget.

She also runs the Little Blog of Letting Go, a site dedicated to suicide prevention, support for depression and grief, and encouragement for everyone.

1.   Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do apart from writing?

I am a wife, insurance agent, and mother to two children, three dogs, one tortoise, four rats, and one ant colony. I live near Seattle, Washington and apart from caring for my family, taking care of my insurance customers, writing and blogging, my interests are suicide prevention, reading, camping, anything to do with Star Trek, white water rafting, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and archery.

2.   You published your debut novel last April. Letting Go is a touching story of regrets and redemption, with the added bonus of having a paranormal twist. In a few more words, how would you describe it?

Letting Go is based on my experience as a suicide survivor, after my fiancĂ©e, Dan, killed himself several years ago. It’s like The Five People You Meet In Heaven told from both sides of heaven, The Lovely Bones meets A Grief Observed. It’s a character-driven narrative exploration of grief, mental illness, suicide, regret, and letting go of things that cannot be changed.

In my efforts to prevent suicide, all proceeds will be donated to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgHelp is available 24/7 for those in crisis.

3.   Would you mind telling us why and how you wrote the novel? I imagine it must have been a very difficult emotional experience for you. What message do you have for readers?

The book was originally written for my teenage daughter, who began struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide the past few years. In her struggle to understand her own depression, she kept asking me about Dan’s death. Although very young when he died, she loved him very much and had a difficult time understanding his sudden loss. As she grew older, and began to realize what happened, her questions became more pointed. Letting Go first began as my way of explaining to her an unexplainable act.

One of the main characters, and the one readers seem to love the most, Tar, was not a figment of my imagination. My daughter told me about talking to Dan’s friend. She told me Dan wasn’t up in heaven with God, but with his friend, Tar, who was dead too. That night – after watching Galaxy Quest about five times in a row – I had a dream about Tar, which probably explains why he looked like Alan Rickman to me!

My goal with Letting Go is to both prevent suicide and help survivors understand why people become suicidal. I also want to help all people gain a better understanding of the grieving process.

After Dan died, the people in my life were, for the most part, uncomfortable around me due to the circumstances of his death. They also did not understand my grief, nor did I. The grief and isolation I experienced was so profound that it almost led me to commit suicide myself. I want others to be able to recognize and anticipate the intricacies of depression, grief, and suicidal behavior.

I wanted to show a real portrayal of profound grief, because I think many of us have never really seen it. The grief-stricken often hide it away from their loved ones, as I did.

4.   Are you working on any new writing projects?

I have started writing a Fantasy book, and must admit, it’s been much more enjoyable writing it than Letting Go. Writing Letting Go took an emotional toll on me, and I’m having fun with my new venture. But, it’s a long way from being finished, I better get something new up on Critique Circle soon!

5.   Do you have any advice on how to tackle loss and guilt?

It’s a strange irony, but the people who love you the most, often are incapable of providing you with the support you need. If you are struggling with grief of any kind, my main advice to you is to find a support group. A suicide survivor group, grief support group, or any kind of group that focuses on the kind of loss you are experiencing. People grieve over more than just the death of a loved one. Divorce, loss of a job, growing elderly, the list goes on. Try, check the resources page of my blog, or just google what you’re in need of.

If you are feeling suicidal – get help, reach out, realize that treatment is available. Depression is not a weakness, it’s a disease like any other. Please get the help you need!

6. Do you have any advice for new authors? Is there anything you would have done differently?

My main piece of advice is to stop dreaming about it and start doing it! I put it off for years because it just seemed like a pipe dream. If you want to write a book, then start doing it - right this very minute. You don’t have to know a damn thing about writing, that’s a myth. I knew absolutely nothing about it when I started. I just pulled out a piece of paper and began, “Once upon a time…”

My second piece of advice is join a writer’s group and an online critique group. You can find a local writer’s group through, and I highly suggest Critique Circle for the online group. Along that vein, when a critiquer gives you advice – take it! Especially if you keep hearing the same advice from multiple sources.I learned everything I know about writing from the wonderful groups and fellow authors, like you! You truly helped me become what I am proud to now call myself – an author. Thank you, Nadine!

Thank you very much for the interview, Carrie! Good luck with Letting Go!

1 comment:

  1. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...