THE PROMISE BETWEEN US by Barbara Claypole White & INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY

** GIVEAWAY CLOSED **

I love Barbara Claypole White’s novels. Mental illness is very close to my reality and Barbara is able to deal with this human condition in her novels without sounding like a “downer.” It’s all about real life, and she creates so many incredible compelling characters facing challenges and adversity, but in such a humane manner. They don’t draw attention to themselves, but rather go about life as anyone would and does. Her new novel, THE PROMISE OF US (LakeUnionPublishing) once again, does not disappoint.

Metal artist, Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

Family secrets, lies and insurmountable challenges. All the elements from another bestseller from bestselling author, Barbara Claypole White.

*****

About Barbara Claypole White

Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook.

*****

 I got to meet Barbara in October at the Women’s Fiction Writers Association retreat – what a delightful woman. I could have chatted over a cuppa for hours, but alas …..

We were able to recently ask her some questions about writing and what she hopes readers get from her unique stories.

CINDY: You say you write “Hopeful family dramas with a healthy dose of mental illness.” Please elaborate.

BARBARA: My original tagline was “love stories about damaged people,” because I wanted to create darkly tortured romantic heroes. (My favorite hero ever is Mr. Rochester.)  All of my novels contain a romantic element, but by the third one, THE PERFECT SON, it was obvious I was writing about the impact of invisible disabilities on families. Mental illness is hardly a sexy topic, so I decided to create a new tagline that combined my quirky voice with my favorite theme: hope. Happy endings aren’t a given when you live in the trenches with mental illness, as my family does, but clinging to the belief that bad days end makes a difference. You’ve got to have hope. Truckloads and truckloads of hope.

CINDYYour families are in some sort of “crisis” (or perhaps, experiencing real life), your thoughts on the family unit.

BARBARA: I create ordinary men and women who need extraordinary courage to make it through their mundane, everyday lives. Then I throw lots of bad stuff their way and see what happens. High maintenance families have high divorce rates; they struggle to keep the structure, routine, and balance that allows them to function within the parameters of special needs. And yet life is about the unexpected, the uncertain, the unpredictable. The true test for any family is whether loved ones pull together or apart in a crisis. My family has always been an emotionally supportive team. I love that about us, and I find it inspiring.

CINDY: Do you have to suffer from some form of mental illness to write about it? Your research.

BARBARA: My fiction grew organically out of my first hero, James Nealy. James came from my darkest fear as a mother: What if, when my young son grew up, no one could see beyond his anxious and obsessive behavior (OCD) to love him for the incredible person he is? I wanted to create a romantic hero who battled OCD; I did. I owe James everything. He pushed me to go deeper and darker and to keep finding inspiration in my own life. For example, when an aging family member was trapped in psychotic episodes, I had a story idea that became THE IN-BETWEEN HOUR; my desire to write about ADHD and Tourette’s—THE PERFECT SON—came from a friend who was diagnosed with both at an early age; and even though I’ve always been fascinated by bipolar disorder, it wasn’t until two people close to me were diagnosed that I started researching ECHOES OF FAMILY. However, I’m not someone who believes you can only ‘write what you know,’ which means the answer to your question is no.

The key to any good story is research, and the foundation for my characters comes from one-on-one interviews I conduct with people who are living the experiences I want to write about. As a history major, I’m a research nut, so I also read memoirs and nonfiction around my subject, research online, fact check with mental health professionals, etc. Then I put that research aside to find the character behind the label. As my son used to say, “I am not my disorder.” I want readers to see my characters as richer than a diagnosis of mental illness. Faulty brain chemistry is only part of someone’s mental make-up: personality, education, religion, genetics, upbringing, economic status, and life experiences all play their roles.

CINDY: What do you hope your readers take away/learn/experience by reading your novels?

BARBARA: I’m passionate about chipping away at the stereotypes, stigma, and shame of mental illness, especially anxiety disorders. I hope that THE PROMISE BETWEEN US makes a small difference in how people approach and understand anxiety and OCD. OCD is a chronic, potentially fatal illness that demands constant management in the same way as diabetes. No one makes jokes about diabetes; people joke about ‘being OCD’ all the time. There’s no cure for OCD. An allergy to life, it creates irrational fear in the absence of true threat, and you work hard to reprocess the unwanted, intrusive thoughts that can cripple you. Take it from someone who lives with this monster 24/7: it’s not about the anal reorganization of your sock drawer.  

But the bottom line? I want to entertain. I hope my readers turn the last page and think, “I really enjoyed hanging out with those characters. I wonder what happens to them next?” When each of my novels ends, a new story is beginning. My characters have been tested, they’ve grown, and they’re ready to tackle more of life’s speed bumps—in their own, deeply flawed ways. For me, it’s all about my characters. I love them and hope my readers do, too.

CINDY: Thank you so much for your time.

Barbara’s new novel, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US and all of her novels are available in a store near you and on-line. Just check the bottom links

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

tlc logo

Thanks to Barbara, TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing we’re able to giveaway one copy of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. Just tell us your experience with mental illness. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck!

Thank you again to BARBARA CLAYPOLE WHITE for generously sharing her time.

 

Advertisements

63 thoughts on “THE PROMISE BETWEEN US by Barbara Claypole White & INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY

  1. My BIL passed away last summer. He struggled with mental illness for almost 20 years. In and out of hospitals. Numerous suicide attempts. A pharmacy of meds. We did all we could to help him but in the end, bipolar disease won.

    Like

  2. OMG I so want to read this book saving up so I can buy it.. I moved in with my daughter never realized her OCD and how bad it is (for me) I need to understand her better!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OCD’s tough on everyone in the family. I look back on some of the stuff we went though, and I don’t even know how to process it. Our learning curve continues, and I just keep trying to educate myself. OCD is so tricky. It can adapt in a heartbeat.

      Like

  3. I’ve suffered from depression all my adult life probably as a teen to a certain extent. It can be debilitating, guilt inducing, & can make you feel as if you’re in a hole so deep that you’ll never see light again. Then I discovered anti depressants, which saved my life along with my faith in the Lord. Sometimes when you’re sitting at the bottom of that pit all you can do is to cry out to God and beg for help! Get help ladies, life is too precious!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 2 days ago was the 20th anniversary of my youngest son’s suicide. He was 18 & he had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder 5 years earlier. Everytime the phone would ring for those 5 years, I knew it would be about my Jonathan. Was it the school, the police, was he in jail? I miss him terribly, but I know that I will see him someday in Heaven. I look forward to reading Ms. White’s book in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety, both general and postpartum. It’s refreshing to see these topics addressed so candidly within the frame of a good story! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve dealt with issues with depression much of my life since I was a teen. My brother as well suffers from mental illness (difference is he got help and I haven’t). That can be the hardest thing, asking for help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally. Asking for help seems impossible, but it’s such a vital first step. I thank God every day from my son’s psychologist. Even the darkest times make sense with her in the picture…

      Like

  7. i suffer from bouts of depression. i take antidepressants as a result. most days i do okay, but there are days that it can still be hard to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My son slammed into his first round with depression last summer. I was terrified, since I have a dear friend who has struggled with this monster most of her adult life, including a month-long stay in residential care. In my house we deal with A LOT of anxiety, and I’ve had to learn–as the family member without an anxiety disorder–that my loved ones can retreat on days they can’t fight back. I wanted them to fight every day; my journey has been to learn that even professional soldiers know when to retreat and regroup. Hugs–depression is a horrible illness.

      Like

  8. There was a period of time that I suffered from depression and had some really bad thoughts. I was put on antidepressants during that time. I think people tend to judge and not have patience with those dealing with mental illness. I think we need to quit making assumptions about others without knowing what is actually going on with them.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My family has to deal with depression. My mother, mother-in-law, and my husband have battled it for many, many years. My MIL and husband have both been hospitalized because of it and are on medications for it. The really sad thing is, I also sometimes see the traits manifesting in my adult children. At least we are aware of it and that it could be passed on and that we can then hopefully deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alzheimer disease & dementia are prominent in our family .. from young to old .. very difficult mental problems to handle for all involved

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel mental illnesses is in all of us. With all that we have to go through in life, there is no way we can stay completely sane. My parents and siblings and I suffered with depression and anxiety all our lives. Sometimes there isn’t any real reason for it. It will just come over you like a dark cloud smothering you with its madness. It is something that we have to work through by taking antidepressents and focusing on other things to keep our minds from dwelling on the sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depression is so misunderstood. When my son slammed into it this summer, for the first time, a friend of mine said, “What does he have to be depressed about? He has a great life.” Obviously, I gave her a lecture…

      Like

  12. Not entering. I read her book recently and thought it was well done in portraying OCD. I highly recommend reading her books. I also read Echoes of Family and The Perfect Son.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My father was depressed and others in his family, but he had the strength to be productive, succeed and try to manage this insidious disease. He too valium for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. At one point in my life, when my marriage fell apart, I went through a bit of a depression and was treated for it. However that is all behind me now and I’m fine and no longer need to take anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My brother has struggled with this for so long. He was back and forth most of his life. I think he’s finally on the good side of where he needs to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I have several chronic illnesses and have dealt with anxiety and depression due to them. It’s been a wild ride, but with the proper support, therapy and meds, life can be good.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I love BCW and have followed her for a few years now (hi Barb 😊)! I suffer from my own demons one of which is PTSD after the sudden death of my adult son almost 10 years ago. It’s a journey one must travel alone to find their peace within.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I had a former friend who suffered from depression. She refused to listen to her doctor who wanted to put her on medication. She refused to believe she was depressed and it was so obvious.

    Like

    1. That’s heartbreaking. I have a friend who battles crippling mental illness and refuses to accept that she has a illness or that it needs managing. The friendship has suffered as a result, because I can’t deal with the denial.

      Like

  18. I am reading now and find this book to be heartbreaking but filled with hope too. My son and husband have some OCD traits, they become more alike as time goes on. But we are very blessed, theirs is controlled.
    Thanks for helping to educate the public Barbara😍

    Like

  19. I never realized that my fixations were stemming from anxiety. When my doctor made that clear to me, I started taking medication and it helped SO MUCH. I wish people realized that it’s not something to be embarrassed about.

    Like

  20. Depression runs in our family. I never realized that my mothger was also depressed until I was diagnosed. I was on antidepressants for several years and have been off them for 20 years. I realize now again since my son passed away I will need the help of those little pills ti get me over the hump. Thank you for writing about this. Thank you for the chance.

    Like

    1. This house runs on prescription medication. I am forever thankful for the power of those little pills. xx

      Like

  21. My husband became depressed when he contracted brucellosis, he is much improved but it has been difficult at times .

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s