Lia Rees

Me

Lia Rees

I had the privilege of interviewing a truly unique individual. Lia Rees has been a fun person to get to know. Today I’ll be taking to get about her book But I’m Not Depressed. 

“Tell us something about yourself Lia.”

“Here’s my “official” biography!”

Lia Rees lives in London. She loves music, particularly prog rock, chill out and anything melancholy. Her ideal house involves plenty of books, attractive lamps and things made from coloured glass. Open-source culture and wild places excite her, and she has dabbled in the creative arts of jewellery making, crochet and T-shirt design. Since 2005, she has been living with the psychological and cognitive effects of an acquired brain injury. She writes to bring readers into the surreal world of the survivor, and to save other survivors from the psychology trap.

“What book would you like to tell us about?” Book FB Square

“My memoir, But I’m Not Depressed.”

A memoir. I love that word. Sounds so pretty. Especially with a french accent. Lia has been nice enough to provide me with a copy of the book and I’m excited to get started on it. Thank you Lia.

“Would you like to provide us with a blurb?”

This is what happened when something devastating crashed into an unusual mind.

When I suffered a brain injury at the age of 19, I was not told what I had. The world became a dreamlike haze. I was cut off from my own thoughts and memories.

Instead of receiving medical treatment, I was sent into psychotherapy. So began a ten-year battle to recover my lost self. This memoir is a window into the surreal internal landscape of a brain injury survivor striving to find reality once more.

Positive thinking and pills couldn’t fix me, but a bizarre and cutting-edge field of medicine just might.BIND - Paperback For Web

“Why is this book so important for you to share?”

“I thought I was only writing one book – But I’m Not Depressed – but it became the starting point for a whole advocacy mission. The more I researched my condition, the more medical neglect and heartbreaking stories I found. I’m now planning a series of full-colour artistic booklets to provide survivors with the information we are rarely told about our condition. There will also be a follow-up book on high-IQ people and brain injury. The effects of brain injury are devastating yet subtle, and don’t always show up in tests. Many high performers are overlooked because they still manage to score quite well on tests. They are told, as I was, that there’s nothing wrong with them that a little positive thinking won’t cure. They spend the rest of their lives struggling and blaming themselves. It’s a situation I’m angry about.”

That’s horrible. I never did like doctors much. Time and again they prove how inadequate they can be with things new to them. The realm of possibilities seem to be only what their current knowledge and pharmaceutical companies tell them. Such a shame.world turned upside down

“What make this/these books so special to you?”

 

“But I’m Not Depressed is a very personal book. Without much preamble, I bring the reader into the strange underwater world I live in now. The sheer weirdness of being inside a brain-injured mind is the kind of bizarre experience you can compare to a drug trip. But most people, thankfully, will never know it from the inside.

“Most people also associate brain injury with head trauma from sports, vehicle accidents and so forth. Mine came from another source, which was why it was medically dismissed. By writing about it, I strike out against the psychologists who undermined my story and tried to reshape my reality. Nobody will suffer for neglecting me, and that will always hurt. But it will hurt less if I can write a book and have a voice.”

No one can tell the story but you. I’m so happy you choose to.

“Who is your favorite author?”

“It’s probably either Douglas Adams or Ray Bradbury. Two insightful men with beautiful precision of language, and Douglas Adams managed to be funny with it.”

“What inspired you to write for the first time?”

“As a small child, I read everything I could lay my hands on. It seemed a natural progression to start writing stories on my dad’s computer. I still have four “books” from that time – computer printouts bound into coloured plastic folders – full of my old stories in various genres. It’s fascinating to see how a five-year-old writes science fiction, for example, and what she believes is important. I wish I could recall what I’d actually been reading at that time. Anyway, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making things up.”

That would be a great thing to have made into a hard back book on one of the publishing websites and share with the kids in the family.

“What keeps you coming back to writing?”

“It helps me keep track of myself – what I think, experience and believe. Once I actually get started, the page of text is very forgiving. It keeps a record of all the thoughts and ideas which would otherwise be lost to the amnesia I live with.”

That’s awesome that you found such a profound use for writing. That should be recommended to anyone with memory loss.

“If you could say anything to your fans, what would it be?”

“Be sure of what you want, and what you believe. Examine it with logic and compare all the evidence before you commit yourself. Then never let anyone take it away.

Also, eat proper food and explore the natural world more. They’re both fun and good for you.”

I can second that advice. Too many people in the world saying someone can’t do something. It’s amazing what good healthy food will do for one’s mood and energy.

The Crimson Petal and the White“What is the first book you’ve ever read that pulled you into its world?”

“I can’t remember the first, but I was mesmerized by The Crimson Petal And The White. The daring, immersive use of language and metaphor grabbed me from the start, mingled with the historical knowledge and psychological detail. It helped that the book is about the adventures of a highly intelligent prostitute in Victorian London.”

That’s going on my reading list. Sounds intriguing.

“What would you say to future authors you might inspire?”

“Be both structured and chaotic, rational and emotional. I know it’s hard. That’s kind of the point.”

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Thank you Lia. That was very insightful and inspiring.

If you wish to find Lia, her links are listed below.  Thank you for reading, as always.

Facebook

Twitter

Email: Lia at FreeYourWords.com

Website

Amazon

Book page

Book Proof 3

Sneak Peak 

I’ve gotten the chance to read a few chapters since she sent this to me and it’s a wonderfully poetic work. Lia Rees has a wonderful talent when using words to describe the impossible.

Your Beloved Author,

Sandra Easter

Holiday Ransom

Yep,  it’s that time again. We’re all bustling to make that last dime that’ll pay off the massive list that grew on us. We just have to get “the” gift that’ll make our friends and family smile. Why?  Because we’re all crazy in our own way.

So, knowing just how crazy busy we all are I’ll keep this year’s challenge reasonable. Hahaha! Did I say reasonable?  I meant less overwhelming.  

The holidays are being demanding again. They didn’t bother with kidnapping this time on account of me driving them crazy last year. This year, they threaten to steal my bonus.  We can’t let that happen. 

Here’s your challenge. It’s a fun one.  No demanded word count. They just want to know about your most hated relative. We all have one of those relatives we could go the rest of our lives from seeing without feeling bad. That’s the one you should write about. 

Tell the holidays why you dislike them. Then,  if it’s possible, tell them of one good memory of them. 

Please feel free to share in the comments. I too have such a relative.  That one relative that always has a negative comment about everything.  And I do mean everything! You could look at the rain and say “It is raining” and he’d say “You’re full of ****. I don’t see a drop.” (No sarcasm present.) Yeah, that argumentative. I even suggested that as a Christmas game we tie him up and everyone gets a good slap in. My grandmother liked  that idea. That’s how bad. She’s such a sweet woman. I was surprised to hear her agree. I wish I had a good memory of him.  But I don’t. 

But that’s the relative the holidays want to know about. Maybe they’ll feed them to Krampus. 

Good luck. 

Why are you still here? 

Seriously! Go write!  And don’t forget to share. 

Delirum

It rots, hides, deep inside
Sharp claws, knashing teeth
Shadows in the dark
Caging me, changing me
Warping me in and out

Pain so acute
A knife in my breast
Pain so severe
A shattered, bleeding heart
Overflowing blood

Midnight skies, eclipsed sun
Black waters
Reflecting a void
Tar pit trap
Holding me captive

Fists against steel
Silence, alone, abandoned
Broken, bound, ensnared
Inside my mind
With no way out.

Stardust Always (Lacey)

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Welcome one, welcome all, welcome Lacey Sutton. Another author that has contributed to the masterpiece known as Stardust, Always.  Thank you Lacey for taking the time to answer our queations. Tell us what Stardust Always is to you. Why did you write something for it?

Cancer hurt my mother, stepmother and friends, and taken a lot of people I love. Time to make it pay. Also, 2016 is being a horrible year so far, and I wanted to do something to turn that around.

I also had the pleasure of editing stories for this anthology, and then publishing it under Writers Colony Press. There were so many incredible stories, that I am so proud that I got to do my part in bringing them to the public.

Tell me about your story.  What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

My story is about a very angry woman. She just lost a sister to cancer, but what hurts the most is that her sister didn’t share that the cancer came back after her treatments. The story is about an abbreviated trip through grief, guided by childhood memories and a few helpers.
I wrote it to help me get over some of my own anger. I had lost my good friend Pat Brda only a few months before, to a cancer we thought had been beat but as it turned out had hidden out in her spine. The prognosis for even holding it at bay didn’t look good, and Pat decided to live out her remaining days without feeling sick for them as well. As much as I got the why’s of her decision, I was still so furious that the choice had to be made and that fighting wouldn’t do her any good.

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I hope that others who are feeling the betrayal of losing those they love can read this story and find a little peace in the journey Meredith takes through her own Labryinth.

I had the wonderful pleasure of beta reading this story. It was quite captivating and very much honors our fallen celebrities.
How did Rickman and/or Bowie influence your life?

As a kid, there were three movies we watched EVERY WEEKEND – “The Princess Bride”, “The Dark Crystal”, and “Labyrinth”. Bowie was the epitome of ‘be careful what you wish for,’ and it was wonderful. My cousin and I also listened to his Ziggy Stardust music, making sure we included at least one Bowie song on every mix tape we made.

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Rickman’s influence was much more subtle—he played so many parts that for the longest time I didn’t connect that it was HIM each time. From “Die Hard” to “Robin Hood” and so many others, I just enjoyed him. It was “Dogma” and “Galaxy Quest” that really turned me into a Rickman superfan. His part in Dogma was so small, yet so very perfect—the sardonic angel—that I rewatched that movie just for him.

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And, of course, Snape. That casting is so obvious that Jo must have written it for him. I am happy that there are people for whom that character IS Rickman, because I think it was in so many ways. But I hope they branch out and get to know him also for his humor and his kindness, because that will always be the Rickman I remember.

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If you could tell them/ him anything what would it be?

Thank you. Just that. They lived their lives, bringing entertainment to the world, showing children that they could be themselves and grow to become legends.

Are there any other stories you would have liked to include with this anthology?  If so,  where can people find it?

I am really proud of the piece I have in “The Longest Night Watch”—“Bedtime Stories”, but it wouldn’t have fit here. That one is a tribute piece to Terry Pratchett, as is the whole anthology. I have some ideas if we do a volume 2 for “Stardust, Always”, but they have yet to be written.

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The Longest Night Watch

Anything you’d like to say to those whose lives have been affected by cancer?

Live your life for you as much as those who love you. People won’t know how to talk to you, they won’t know how to deal, so you might feel alone. But you’re walking this road with so many others. My mother was astounded when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at how many of her friends had as well… and she never even knew. So share your stories, and you’ll be surprised at the support you receive.

Find Lacey at the sites below:

My infrequently updated author blog is http://shadowandclay.com. I’m slightly more active over on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lacey-D-Sutton-819125298138668/ I’m @LaceyDSutton on twitter, but I’ve never really gotten the hang of that one. Basically, for a much time as I spend on the internet, I spend very little of that being productive…

Get your copy of Stardust, Always.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Stardust Always Authors (Georgette)

GeorgetteGive a warm welcome to Georgette Frey. Thank you for taking some time to join us here on our electronic devices to answer a few questions. Tell us what Stardust Always is to you. Why did you write something for it?

My household has Labyrinth marathons and Space Oddity sing a longs and Harry Potter weekends are like  holidays for us so losing both gentlemen so close together was like a kick in the teeth.  In June of 2014 my father was diagnosed with a rare cancer and later that summer I learned my remaining grandfather had cancer as well.  The idea of writing for the anthology called to me.

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Tell us about your story.  What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

I wrote a brisk, short story of the six weeks from my father first becoming ill to his death. I hope my story helps people see how cancer effects more than the those that are ill but also those around them.  If one more person learns about Kappa Light Chain Amlyodosis I’ll be happy.

How did Rickman and/or Bowie influence your life?

They were both amazing men that I was able to introduce my children to and enjoy together.  Whether as Jareth or singing Space Oddity down the highway to mimicking Snape every time we say “Always” or :”Obviously.”

If you could tell them/ him anything what would it be?

They they were amazing and people will remember them.

Anything you’d like to say to those whose lives have been affected by cancer?

You aren’t alone, someone out there is going through it with you.

You can find Georgette at the links below.

AMAZON

FACEBOOK

Get your copy of Stardust, Always.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Stardust Always Authors (Ashlee)

AshleeWelcome Ashlee Hetherington to my virtual comfy couch. Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and answering a few questions. Tell us what Stardust Always is to you. Why did you write something for it?

Stardust, Always was a way for some writers to get together and have an outlet in a community sense for how cancer and, in some cases, the loss of two celebrities, has impacted us or those we know and love. On a personal level, I know so many people who have battled. Some have died and some have lived–all of them won. They fought hard and they fought fearlessly. One of the most important people in my life does after fighting longer than any doctor said she could. She was an aunt, friend, sister, mother, and I’m not the only one who misses her every day. The piece I wrote is what I like to call faction: it is a meshing of fiction and non fiction. She was always so very supportive of me and everyone she cared about. She died before seeing me published and this is sort of a way to honor her support and love. Plus, she worked with kids as a nurse so St. Judes is something she would be thrilled to have supported, so I do it in her memory.

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Tell us about your story.  What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

As I mentioned, it is faction. I wrote it in a creative writing class, but I had a hard time editing and reworking it because I was so close to it. So it sat, untouched, for years. I’m not a believer in fate, but I’m very pleased it has worked out this way. I hope to show people not a sad story of loss, but a rocky road of life. With snapshots of the ups and downs and the change of dynamics relationships go through I hope to lend a view of those left behind when their world sort of falls away and the survival, I guess, of those who have to go back to life all topsy turvy.

How did Rickman and/or Bowie influence your life?

Rickman was an amazing actor in some of my favorite movies–an angel, an alien, a cheater, a baddie, and so on. Neither were my motivation for being a part of the anthology, aside from a shared bond over cancer.

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If you could tell them/ him anything what would it be?

Them meaning Bowie and Rickman? I can’t think of anything other than thank you for inspiring people.

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Are there any other stories you would have liked to include with this anthology?  If so,  where can people find it?

I wrote on my blog, a free write over the memories I had a very long time ago. I’ve neglected it.

Anything you’d like to say to those whose lives have been affected by cancer?

I don’t have regrets with my Faery Lori. I told her I loved her and she knew I was there. I miss things though. I miss coffee and cigarettes. I wish she could have seen my brother get married, me graduate college, my cousins starting families and meeting their kids. I made promises to her I couldn’t keep and it took a long time to forgive myself. So I guess I just want to let people know it is OK to be frustrated and feel cheated and lonely and angry. Please forgive yourself and others.

Do you have any links to social media where fans and fellow authors can reach you?

I should probably start blogging. Haha.
https://ashleebones.wordpress.com

Get your copy of Stardust, Always.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Stardust Always Authors (Andrew)

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Hello Andrew. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about Stardust Always. Tell us what Stardust Always is to you. Why did you write something for it?

I wrote a poem about this – it’s an acrostic. It’s a little bittersweet because I wish I could do more to help.

Such a sad beginning to the scene:
Two great titans lost to cancer’s grasp.
Alan Rickman, star of stage and screen,
Rudely taken ere his act was passed;
David Bowie (just some days before)
Up above, an oddity in space,
Stardust on them both, and always, for
They gave outsider aliens a face.
All this writer knows to do is write;
Little could I do for cancer’s curse.
Writing seems a way to fight that fight,
As all that I seem fit to do is verse,
Yammering in sonnets of regret –
‘Stardust, Always’ helps me to forget.

Tell us about your story.  What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

My story is called ‘The Man Who Fell Back To Earth’ and is the further adventures of Enoch, father of Methuselah, who apparently became the angel Metatron (Alan Rickman’s character in Dogma). He falls naked from the sky during a thunderstorm, and the story is about his attempts to understand the world, and his mission on Earth. He’s been away for quite a while.

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How did Rickman and/or Bowie influence your life?

I’m also a musician, and Bowie songs are some of my favourites. I think ‘Life On Mars?’ is one of the most musically complex ‘pop songs’ I’ve ever heard. There are over twenty separate chords, not including variations like dominant sevenths or whatever. My favourite period of Bowie was probably between about 1969 and 1974. He was an extraordinary talent, constantly finding new ways of doing things. He was the ultimate musical chameleon.

Alan Rickman had such a wonderfully lugubrious voice. It was just built for withering sarcasm, and Rickman characters were some of the most cynical and sarcastic I’ve ever seen. From Dogma to Galaxy Quest, whether he was an angel, an alien or something else between, he did sarcasm better than anyone. I’m too much of a Douglas Adams fan to enjoy all of the Hitchhikers movie, but the casting of Alan Rickman as Marvin was one of my favourite parts.

If you could tell them/ him anything what would it be?

I’d have told David Bowie not to give up on the guitar-based sound of Ziggy Stardust, but I don’t suppose he’d have listened to me. I’m sure his record company told him the same thing. He and Mick Ronson were a fantastic combination, though.

Are there any other stories you would have liked to include with this anthology?  If so,  where can purple find it?

No, but I’ve written four novels in The Cybermancer Chronicles, and they’re available here. This page also has links to the eBooks:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cybermancer

Anything you’d like to say to those who’s lives have been affected by cancer?

I really wish they didn’t have to go through it. I’ve seen what it’s done to my own family, Hopefully organisations like St Jude’s, which are researching the condition in its various forms, will be able to find new and better ways to treat, prevent and even cure cancer.

Would you like to tell us anything else?

I was one of the organisers of this project as well, focussed on getting the book ready, and I’d like to thank all of the other contributors, and all of those who helped out with the sort of things that usually get overlooked, like typesetters. beta readers and marketing folk, because this was a real team effort, and I’m glad there was such a great team.

Find Andrew below on Facebook.

Facebook

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Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter