Books by Melissa Bowersock

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Author Interview: Mary Ann Emmerling

Today I'm sitting down with new author Mary Ann Emmerling, who has just published The Go To Guide to Anxiety and Panic, a very helpful book for anxiety sufferers. It's actually a two-part book in that it is packed with information about what anxiety is and how it's treated, but then in the back is a quick guide for instant relief from anxiety attacks. 

Mary Ann, give us a quick overview of what you hope this book can do for anxiety sufferers.

Anyone who has had anxiety knows how it can take over your life. In writing The Go To Guide to Anxiety and Panic, my goal was to not only to give anxiety sufferers hope, but to provide answers and reassurance for the many questions and fears that anxiety creates. Many sufferers fear being anxious the rest of their lives. Through this book, I want sufferers know that they are not alone in what they feel and that they can recover.

Obviously a worthy cause, as many people experience anxiety in their lives. Who can benefit the most from this book?

Anyone who has anxiety in any form. You can have a diagnosis and be in treatment already or you may have never had anxiety before but are now experiencing symptoms that are interfering in your daily life. My goal is that this book will give sufferers hope and the keys to recovery.

What prompted you to write this particular book?

I always wanted to write a book. I considered fiction, but I couldn't get past the first page. The saying "write what you know" stuck with me. I know anxiety very well. I had panic attacks as a teen into my early 20's. I am also a mental health therapist so I understand anxiety from the treatment aspect as well. The Go To Guide for Anxiety and Panic came about because I wanted to write the book I wanted to read when I suffered with anxiety.

I think that's an important point here: you wrote the book that you wanted to read when you were suffering. The fact that you've been through this and have come out the other side is huge. Now, in the book, you tell some of your own story. Did you find that difficult, or liberating?

Having anxiety is a very isolating experience. And often the sufferer doesn't share their experience due to the fear being judged. In my own recovery and as a mental health therapist, I struggled to talk about what I was going through. But I learned that sharing is a vital part of healing to have support. In this way, I hope writing about my own story of struggle and recovery inspires those with anxiety to reach out for support and understanding.

We all know that having a good idea and then translating it to paper are two different things. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Rewriting and editing! I wanted this to be a valuable resource that someone could turn to over and over again at any stage in their recovery and find what they needed to answer a question or provide comfort. It was important to me that anyone reading the book would get the tools they needed to overcome anxiety.

What was the easiest part?

The very first draft. I already knew what I wanted to say from all the years of helping clients as well as my personal experience with anxiety. I literally pulled from hundreds of resources over the years to find answers for clients and for myself and that helped tremendously in writing the book.

Sounds like it was an awesome task, but one you were mightily prepared to take on. What’s your primary message to anxiety sufferers?

There is life after anxiety. No matter how long you have suffered or how bad you feel your anxiety may be, you can recover. Hope is found in every step you take through support, resources and self help.

Do you have other projects in mind for the future?

I have a few ideas floating around! Because emotional issues do not get the attention they deserve in our society today, the need for knowledge and understanding is more vital than ever. No one should have to suffer alone. I found writing The Go To Anxiety and Panic Book therapeutic for that reason, and I would find it very rewarding to continue to help others through writing. 

Good for you! We all have times when we can use a little help to get through the rough patches in our lives. I wish you all the best with the new book and hope you get great feedback from readers. Keep me posted on any new projects and we'll have another chat when you've got another book under your belt!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Why I Don’t Do Sequels or Series

As an author, is there any better feeling that that of being on fire? I mean, of course, being inflamed with inspiration, with an idea, with a story. What’s better than that little *pop* as an idea flares to life, blue and orange and yellow, that little flicker that when shielded from the wind, when protected and encouraged begins to bite into the fuel of possibilities and grow, reaching ever upward, ever outward as the possibilities turn into inspired plot points and compelling characters? You know the feeling. But does it happen every time we sit down to write? Does it herald the beginning of every new project?
We wish.
But even when we are sufficiently inspired, when the creative juices flow and we can’t wait to get to the keyboard to get it all down on paper, does that mean it’s going to be a blockbuster book? Does the flame of divine inspiration ensure that we can convey that spark well enough to put out a book that fires the public’s imagination, as well?
Again we wish.
What’s my point? That this kind of inspiration is few and far between, and even if it strikes us, it’s difficult to catch that lightning in a bottle. How much more difficult is it if we set out to accomplish just that? If we take our bottle out into the night and hide in the deeper shadows beneath the trees, waiting and hoping to be at the right place at the exact right instant?
Okay, stay with me.
I’ve had many readers query me about sequels for several of my books. Ask, cajole, even plead. Which is hugely flattering. It’s head-turning. I won’t deny I’ve thought about it. But the biggest problem, at least for me, is that what was once a flash of inspiration then becomes an exercise in mechanics. I’ve told the story that kept me awake nights, the one I didn’t really understand until I’d finished it, the one that came from some place I wasn’t even aware of. Now I was going to go back and try to construct a follow-up? Now I was going to go back and try to logically, intellectually, figure out an encore when the inspiration is not that spark but a willful desire to replicate the spark and try to pass it off as the real thing?
With all due respect to those who have penned successful series and sequels, to me this is unimaginable. It’s hard enough to tease out the thread of a compelling story when it’s oozing up from the archetypal subconscious of my brain; thinking about trying to capture this intangible flash, trying to fit a harness to it and train it to sit and stay while I peck out the story just seems ludicrous. I can’t imagine anything less inspired.
We’ve all seen it. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code electrified the world. By the time we got to The Lost Symbol, it all seemed rote to me. More clues, more escapes, more riddles. Borrrrrrrring. I know I’ll catch flak for this, but the Harry Potter books got less and less interesting to me as time went by. And who can forget Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children saga? Again, the first book hit with a bullet, but the ensuing books were more of the same (plus more sex. Can’t you just hear her editors? More sex! More sex!). It feels terribly sad to me when an innovative idea is milked into a desiccated husk of the original. When Fast and Furious XII or Rocky 43 hits the Multiplex.So … I don’t do sequels. I don’t do series. I should qualify that by saying that I might consider it, IF the inspiration for the whole kit and caboodle came at once, and just needed to be separated out into different books because it was too much for one book. But that’s the only way I’d consider it. I think.
Here’s my challenge to you. Which sequels/series would you nominate for being as inspiring and phenomenal as the original book? And what are your thoughts on unplanned inspiration vs. planning a follow-up book? If you think I’m off-base on this, I’d love to hear about it from those of you who have done series and/or sequels.

Originally published on July 8,2014 by Indies Unlimited

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sonnets for Heidi On Sale!

If you've been holding off on buying my newest book, Sonnets for Heidi, this is your chance. During the second week of February (2/6-2/13) it's on sale for only 99 cents. 

Trish Munroe never planned to be a caregiver, but circumstances have conspired to make her responsible for her elderly Aunt Heidi. Trish does her best to balance the demands of her job, her love life and Heidi’s advancing Alzheimer’s, but the pressure is taking its toll. When Heidi passes away, there’s a bittersweet reprieve until Trish uncovers a family secret of forbidden love that takes her on a tragic yet triumphant journey of the heart.

The book is getting some rave reviews. Here's a sample:

I was as excited as the characters to know what was to come next. Another home run for Melissa Bowersock. A wonderful story of love thought to be lost, only to find out it was always there. A journey for sure as Trish puts the pieces together of a love so strong, that helps her gain the courage and determination to do what's needed in her own life... I could not put the book down. This story pulled me in like no other.


Sonnets for Heidi by Melissa Bowersock is a moving read. Mesmerizing and emotionally charged. Realistic and relatable... Well told, this story touched me and pulled me in.The author does a nice job of telling a difficult story but does so with eloquence and grace. This is life. The real deal. Uplifting moments surrounded by sad ones. In a way, this story is about new beginnings. 

I send out sincere thanks to my fans and readers who scooped up this book right away. It's a real labor of love that had me crying buckets as I wrote the last few pages. Warning: read with kleenex!