Interview with Tara Meissner and Information on Her Newly Published Memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis

Saturday, June 28, 2014
Tara Meissner recently published her psychology memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis. Tara took time out of her busy schedule to tell me a little more about herself and her memoir. Tara also scheduled a blog tour with WOW! and it will run during the month of October (which happens to be Mental Health Awareness Month). If you'd like to learn more about Stress Fracture, Tara, or host her during her tour, please email me:

------Interview by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

WOW!: Well Tara, it seems like just yesterday you said 'I think I'll self publish' but I'm sure this has been a long time coming. Let's start at the beginning.

What made you start writing Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis?

Tara: I am a writer, who has worked in journalism and aspired to be a novelist. I did not think I would write a memoir, but I generally select memoirs and other non fiction to read. I wrote first in journals to understand and to remember what happened during psychosis. I quickly began to see the work I was doing as valuable and worthy of a larger audience. There is a hole in mental health memoirs, which are often told from the point of view of a loved one, a mental health professional, or a celebrity. Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis offers the perspective of an average wife and mother who readers can relate to. I hope the work encourages people to first think about what mental illness is and then have meaningful conversations about this too often disrespected disease.

WOW!: As both a memoir reader and writer, what advice do you have for others about writing their memoir?

Tara: First, read Old Friend From Far Away, by Natalie Goldberg. This book helped me find my voice. Second, read a lot of memoirs. Third, write your story fearlessly using the techniques you learned from steps one and two. Lastly, remember to consider what an audience will gain from reading your stories. Does your story add value to the world?

WOW!: I certainly think with those with mental illness as well as those without will gain something from your story. Thank you again for being so bold to share it with the world!

What advice do you have for others struggling with mental illness?

Tara: Believe health is possible. Give up denial. Find a qualified mental health professional. Commit to treatment. See yourself as something other than the disease; I would like to eradicate the wording, I am Bipolar. Rather, see yourself as a wife, mother, teacher, doctor, painter, artist, or person who just happens to have a chronic condition. Also, consider seriously the consequences of telling people outside your immediate circle you have a mental illness. Discrimination is still very real.

WOW!: That seems like healthy advice for all of us; we should focus on what we do well. Thank you for being an advocate for all of us.

Who has been your greatest advocate with regards to publishing?

Tara: Emotionally, my husband Mike is the biggest champion of my work. He sees me an artist and believes in my talent. He has supported Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis by providing me time to work on it, and, just as tangibly, as serving as the breadwinner. He is a luxury in my life.

Technically, the many authors who have self published before allowed me learn from both their successes and failures.

WOW!: We here at WOW! wish you great success and we are happy to be part of your marketing plan for Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.

What's next for you?

Tara: I am working on the great American novel. Just kidding. I am writing a women's fiction novel, which I hope will appeal to book club readers.

WOW!: I love your sense of humor!

Thank you so much Tara. I can hardly wait for your book blog tour and appreciate the trust you've placed in WOW! I'm always in awe of memoir writers and how boldly you share something so personal. Thank you!

Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis Book Summary
This psychology memoir is about the things that break us and how we heal. It offers a raw view a 33-year-old wife and mother swallowed by psychosis. The episode includes meeting Jesus Christ, dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, and narrowly escaping eternity in the underworld.

Casually called a nervous breakdown, psychosis is an entrapment outside of self where hallucinations and delusions anchor. Family, doctors, and fellow patients witness a nonverbal, confused, distraught shell of a woman. In the security of a psychiatric care center, the week-long psychosis broke and spit out a bipolar patient in the cushioned place of middle class medicine.

Outpatient recovery consumed the better part of year with psychiatric treatment and spiritual contemplation. Left scarred and damaged, health returns allowing her to tentatively embrace a grace and peace earned through acceptance of bipolar disorder.

Author Information
Tara Meissner is a former journalist and a lifelong creative writer. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree, and works part-time at her local library. Tara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Mike, and their three sons. She writes longhand in composition notebooks. Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is her first book.



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Get Involved! If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at

Photo Courtesy of Oh! Photography & Olivia Brey
Crystal is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 7, Andre 6, Breccan 9 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at:


Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Thanks for doing the interview.

Tara--Congratulations on your book. I agree about your advice that writers ask themselves "Does my story add value to the world?"
I HAVE read an occasional memoir that adds nothing--there's no new spin, there's no "journey"--so I think your suggestion is spot-on.

Good luck with that next great American novel. (I'm working on one of those as well ;)

Margo Dill said...

Thank you for sharing your story which fits perfectly with my goal to promote strong women and girls! I'll be contacting Crystal about your blog tour!!

Tara Huck said...

Thank you both for your support.


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