Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is a moving and honest psychology memoir about the things that break us and how we heal. It offers a raw view of a 33-year-old wife and mother swallowed by psychosis. The psychotic 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 witnessed 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 a year with psychiatric treatment and spiritual contemplation. Left scarred and damaged, health returned allowing her to tentatively embrace a grace and peace earned through acceptance of bipolar disorder.
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Tara Meissner (June 23, 2014)
Twitter hashtag: #SFracMeissner
Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.
Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, October 3rd at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
About the Author:
Tara Meissner is a former journalist and a lifelong creative writer. She holds a Bachelor 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.
Find out more about the author by connecting with her online:
-----Interview by Crystal J. Otto
WOW: Tara, let’s start with a tough question. Who has been your biggest cheerleader when it comes to your writing?
Tara: It is hard to pick just one; the easiest (and lamest) answer would be my husband who always supported the writing. Another option would be the news editor who hired me to string for the hometown paper, which is when my writing career really started 13 years ago. There are no teachers that come to mind. The writers Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, and Lee Gutkind all influenced the writing. However, I have to say it was a woman who I have grown to call a friend. Amanda Linsmeier. Remember that name. She is an amazing author, a true artist. Somehow she saw these same qualities in me and my work. Amanda never let me give up and kept reassuring me Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis was a well written story and worthy of an audience. We writers are fragile and it is a bit embarrassing how many times and how many ways I needed to hear that validation before deciding to publish. Amanda was always there with the same message — your book deserves shelf space, it is good.
WOW: I wish I could be there to see Amanda’s face when she reads that comment! She is going to be tickled pink.
You have been writing for a long time and you’ve been successful. Thirteen years later, what advice would you like to give your younger self when she was just starting out?
Tara: Think, do. Too often in my career, I think and think and think. I neglect to follow through. So the mantra I repeat to myself is "think, do." This prompts me to get on with it, take action. Basically, I need to stop over thinking and just write.
WOW: That’s great advice for all of us in various aspects of our lives! What took you from over-thinking and prompted you to publish?
Tara: I ran out of excuses to not publish. The memoir was "done" for probably two years before it was published in June 2014. I realized it created no value sitting in a desk drawer. I cannot control if others see value in the stories I have presented in Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis, and that is okay. By publishing, I gave the work an option to be received. I gave it wings. It is up to the readers to see how far it goes. (I also convinced myself that the book would help increase conversations about mental health, and the time may be right to bring that taboo subject into the mainstream in a respectful way.)
WOW: I’m glad to see you didn’t let your work sit in a drawer and I’m sure it is sparking some much needed mental health conversation.
What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
Tara: I wish I could gain confidence sooner. I worked in journalism far too long, and then followed that with a stint in grant writing. I wish I had given myself permission to just do creative writing sooner.
WOW: I’d be interested in hearing more about how you gained that confidence. I’ll be checking your blog stops to make sure we get some advice on that out to other authors!
What is something readers may not know about you?
Tara: Readers may be surprised to know that my best subject in school was math, not English. I enjoy puzzles and am a fierce scrabble player.
WOW: Sounds like a challenge I’m up for Tara – we will have to get together and play a game or two of Scrabble sometime soon!
As some readers may or may not know, we are in a writers group together, so here’s a loaded question: what are your thoughts on writers' groups or book clubs?
Tara: The right people in a writers' group are invaluable. For me it is a balance of when to spend time talking about writing and when to spend time to writing. Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis would not have happened without my writing groups. However, overtime, the perspective of the group members became predictable. Writing groups retained their value to me as a social network of like-minded people. I think earlier, it was more a support group or learning circle. I also have a love-hate relationship with book clubs. Perhaps the best thing I have taken away from the three years I spent in a book club is that 10 people can read the same book and have completely different reactions to it. That helps me keep in perspective that not everyone is going to love my book.
WOW: That’s a great perspective and lead in to my next question. How do you deal with rejection or a negative review?
Tara: I have a thick skin. Seriously, I understand people's opinions aren't necessarily about me; it can be a matter of taste. However, when trusted writing friends hate my work, then I know the writing isn't working, and I have to take a fresh look at it. In those instances, I am grateful.
WOW: I admire that about you Tara. You are an amazing author and such a good person. When did you know you were an author?
Tara: I think everyone becomes a writer around the same time: first grade. I didn't think much of this skill, until I was a sophomore in college. It was then that I decided I would someday write books. I first started selling my writing about six months after deciding I wanted to be an author. However, I didn't consider myself an author until June, when my first book was published.
WOW: You’ve been an author in my book for thirteen years. Remember how happy I was to meet THE Tara Meissner who would write all the good articles in the newspaper? You were and still are my favorite!
Who is your favorite author?
Tara: Currently, Elizabeth Gilbert is my favorite author. I loved her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Her historical novel The Signature of All Things is nothing less than genius! What I love about her is that she is completely real and honest. I feel like I know her. She is so completely present in her work. I admire her ability to be vulnerable and confident, which I know doesn't come naturally to anyone or her. It was a place she made herself go and we are all better for her sharing her work with us.
WOW: I’ll be asking you if the movie was as good as the book. I loved the book and can’t bring myself to watch Eat, Pray, Love because I’m afraid Hollywood will have ruined it.
If Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis were made into a movie, what song would be included?
Tara: I'm really ignorant about music. However, I'd like Tom Hanks to play my husband.
WOW: Sounds like you’ve got a little crush! He’s certainly not hard to look at.
Thank you Tara for choosing WOW! and spending this time with us. You’ve got some great guest posts lined up for your tour and I can’t wait to read more!
----------Blog Tour Dates
Monday, September 29 (today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
Tuesday, September 30 @ The Lit Ladies
Join Tara Meissner as she guest blogs about "What Makes Someone a Writer" as she visits the lovely Lit Ladies today! Tara has also provided a giveaway copy of Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis for one lucky winner today!
Wednesday, October 1 @ Choices
Join Tara Meissner as she talks about "BiPolar and the Creativity Link Myth" and shares information about her memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Wednesday, October 1 @ Lisa Haselton
Join Lisa Haselton as she interviews the courageous writer Tara Meissner about Tara's memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis. Tara has graciously provided an ebook copy for one lucky giveaway winner. This is a blog stop you won't want to miss!
Thursday, October 2 @ All Things Audry
Tara Meissner visits with Audry Fryer of All Things Audry and Tara gives her thoughts on the recent death of Robin Williams. Tara has also offered an ebook copy of her Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis for one lucky winner of the giveaway! Good luck!
Friday, October 3 @ Sherrey Meyer
"Being a Mom with BiPolar" is today's subject as author and memoir writer Tara Meissner visits with Sherrey Meyer. Tara has also graciously offered a copy of her recently released Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis to one lucky winner of today's giveaway. Good luck and enjoy!
Monday, October 6 @ Franciscan Mom
Join Tara Meissner as she stops by Franciscan mom with a guest post titled "Accepting Bipolar and Finding Grace" and offers a giveaway of her honest and touching memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Tuesday, October 7 @ Create Write Now
Join Tara Meissner at Mary McCarthy's Create Write Now as Tara discusses "I Knew I Was a Writer When..." and learn more about Tara's memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Wednesday, October 8 @ Jerry Waxler
Read what fellow author and memoir writer Jerry Waxler has to say after reading Tara Meisner's recently released Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Thursday, October 9 @ Lauren Scharhag
Join Tara Meissner as a guest author on Lauren Scharhag's blog talking about "The Stigma of BiPolar" and get in on the giveaway for Tara's memoir Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Friday, October 10 @ Romance Junkies
Join Tara Meissner as she stops at Romance Junkies for an insightful interview about herself and her Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Tuesday, October 14 @ Bring on Lemons
Tara Meissner stops by to chat with WOW!'s own Crystal Otto as she shares her thoughts on "Bipolar and Living Well" and offers readers an opportunity to win a copy of her memoir through a giveaway. Don't miss your chance to hear from Tara and take home a copy of Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Wednesday, October 15 @ CMash Reads
Join author Tara Meisner as she discusses "Creating Time to Create" with a visit to CMash Reads. Read Tara's thoughts and find out more about her recently released memoir Stress Fracture: a Memoir of Psychosis.
Thursday, October 16 @ One Sister's Journey (Lisa M. Buske)
Today we hear from Lisa M Buske as she reviews the mental health memoir of Tara Meissner. Lisa will also be offering a giveaway of Tara's book, Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.
Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****
Enter to win a copy of Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis by Tara Meissner! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget this Friday, October 3rd!
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