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5 Things by Leif Gregersen, author of ‘Through the Withering Storm’
ABOUT THROUGH THE WITHERING STORM
Mental illness is something that is a great deal more common than many think. Statistics show that 1 in 5 North Americans will require treatment for a major disorder at some point in their lives. This means either you or a family member or friend close to you are very likely to be stricken down by a failure of our most essential and complicated organ in our bodies.
When I was first treated for a mental health issue there was so much stigma and misunderstanding about mental illness that I completely denied I had a problem. Despite that mental health issues ran in my family, no one talked about them, everyone shunned those who were different, and as a result I wasted years of my life not understanding that there was help available and that I didn’t just have to ‘tough things out’. My denial and pain was so bad at one point I tried to join the military during the first Gulf War just to find a way out of life, I thought I would either gain the discipline needed to overcome my illness or die trying. I needed neither.
Some find my story funny, some find it sad, but it is a story that is being played out among more people than you may think right now, right around all of us. Depression, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Addiction. It‘s something we can no longer avoid, especially with America now deploying and redeploying troops en masse to combat zones where even the strongest among us can succumb to the pressure of such a situation. It is my hope that those who read this book can walk away from it having had a look inside the mind of someone who lost his mind and one day regained it, but not without first going through incredible pain and suffering. This suffering doesn‘t have to happen. What has to happen is that attitudes and knowledge have to improve.
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5 Things You Should Know About Writing
-It is a learned skill, not a born gift (mostly).
-In order to succeed at first you may have to forgo being paid
-Sometimes it can be a great deal of thankless work
-Sometime it can be incredibly rewarding
-If you want to write, you owe it to yourself to try for at least 5 years
5 Things You Should Know About Book Promotion
-It will never get done without you making a conscious effort
-it should be planned perhaps as soon as you begin writing
-it is important to make contacts and take advantage of free resources such as writers in residence and itunesU
-you should keep in mind that writers are part artists, and part business people who need to sell to survive
-a set, written business plan is just about essential
5 Things You Should Know About Leif Gregersen
-I come from the school of writing where you go out and live large and come home one day and write from experience
-I really did go through some of the horrible stuff that went on in my book, “Through The Withering Storm”
-although I went through tough times, I have no regrets because in order to make gems you need heat and pressure and time
-most of my happiest days were when I was a teen discovering the world of friendship and the world of literature though I am still discovering new things every day
-I never turn down an opportunity to make new loyal fans by going the extra mile and not expecting payment for everything
5 Things You Should Know About “Through The Withering Storm”
-it is a book about the side of life few of us see and most of us don’t want to acknowledge
-mental illness is an issue that has been kept too long in the dark
-in writing this book I sought a form of self-expression that I feel appeals to a wide audience
-anyone who suffers from a mental illness, has a friend or family member who suffers, or works as a caregiver will get something significant out of this book, at the very least a better understanding of how the illness can be overcome but the stigma still can hurt
-writing this book was extremely empowering especially when I see people buy it who look on the verge of giving up from sheer exhaustion or even age dealing with family members who suffer
5 Things You Should Know About (anything related to writing, promoting or your book)
-I feel that everyone has a book in them. We all have a story to share and most of us have the means to do it, we just let everyday life get in the way
-learning keyboarding was the most essential aspect of my education in writing. Having that ability lets me write a lot of words and to type at the speed of thought. Next in line courses like academic English were great, but not as essential.
-it has become much easier in modern times to write and publish a book. The hardest part is getting the word out, but often if you simply ask members of the media, they will be willing to interview you or read and review your book. The next step is having a web page and promoting it.
-Unless you are among the lucky few to get published by a major publisher who handles the marketing for you, expect to fund a lot of your first efforts out of pocket, but if you follow the advice in the next of the 5 suggestions, you are almost guaranteed success.
-Never, never, never, never, never, never give up!
ABOUT LEIF GREGERSEN
From a young age I showed promise in writing and poetry, and did well in school. Even in grade five I used to draw and write stories for my own comic books and post them on the bulletin board in class. When I got to high school, I began to read voraciously, and though I failed my first academic English course, I took continually more advanced courses and got higher and higher grades in them. I was hopeful to attend University and study English, but before I finished school I was stricken with a severe breakdown and had to be hospitalized where I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. From that point, family and friend relationships broke down and I ended up sort of drifting until I signed up for Flying School in Vancouver, BC. In the middle of this training, I took off for the US with a friend and tried to join the US Army as a helicopter pilot. All of these adventures are detailed in my memoir, which covers my life from the age of 13 to 21 which was the point at which I decided I had to stay in one place (I had returned to Edmonton near my home town and where my parents lived) and I took treatment for my disorder and began to write seriously. I spent some years just studying and writing poetry and then moved on to short stories, and my book, “Through The Withering Storm” is actually partially short stories I wrote and collected at that time. Now, since I turned 30 I have been living in an assisted-living house for males with Psychiatric Disorders and life has gone quite well. I landed a great job doing labour work/stage hand/security work for the stage and screen Union, IATSE. I have seen many concerts, worked closely with some big stars, and made enough money to continue writing and self-publishing my books, which have already paid for themselves in sales for the most part.
Check out my author central page where my books can be previewed and videos watched.