Today I’m delighted to welcome indie author RaeBeth McGee Buda to Books Are Cool. RaeBeth has recently published her first book, Silenced, a hard hitting and courageous novel that deals with the often taboo subjects of depression and cutting. However, the book is not dark and gloomy as that might suggest. Main character Amber Brown is a fascinating, complex teenager who’s coping with a lot of upheaval in her life, and despite her destructive habit of cutting, is essentially an optimistic and very strong person. She has the normal sort of relationship with her mother, which isn’t quite as bad as she thinks it is, and she finds love and loyalty in Landon. She gradually pulls herself together and tops it all by being proclaimed Prom Queen. However, there’s a crack in her tough shell and suddenly, when everything seems to be going her way, her world crumbles.
This is a gripping and very well written book.
I asked RaeBeth about Silenced and writing in general.
What inspired you to write Silenced?
I’ve been around depression my whole life. I watched my older sister deal with it before I was diagnosed with it as well. My step mother suffers from it as well as my stepfather. I’ve known several people who cut and it’s almost taken their lives. I know from experience that when someone talks about cutting or depression… most of the time they aren’t taken seriously. Some people think it’s a matter of wanting attention, while others think there’s no issue at all.
This is what helped create Silenced. More awareness needs to be put out there for more people to understand. I wanted Silenced to help those who feel worthless and as if their lives aren’t worth living. I want those who are not aware of cutting or depression to know about it. I think if my book helps one person… my mission with Silenced will be complete.
Was it an easy story to write?
At times no it wasn’t. I had to put myself into Amber. Looking back to the “dark” days is one thing I don’t like doing. It’s very emotional for me. I’ve only been mood-swing free for about six months now and I feel it has a lot to do with my pregnancy. I know for me Silenced was hard to write and I understand if it’s hard for some readers to read.
Did you design the cover yourself?
I designed the Kindle version while Madd-Hatter Designs did the paperback version.
Which character from the book are you most like? Amber? Her mom? Landon?
I’m most like Amber. She’s partly based off of the teen part of me. Her journey through school is one that’s very close to mine. She falls in love quickly as did I. She has trouble feeling part in school which is how I felt. Amber doesn’t recognize that she is depressed within the book. She feels cutting is her escape and her sense of control comes from it. I didn’t cut as long as she does but I do know others who have/do.
What are you working on now? Will it be out soon?
I’m working on the second part to Silenced. It’s called Silenced: The Overtaking. I’m aiming for it to be out in mid-2013. This part will continue Amber’s journey and let the readers see how she lives and how her life ends up.
Which authors or books are you reading at the moment?
The Hope Habit by Terry Law & Jim Gilbert
Breaking the Nexus by Lindsay Avalon
Bread of Fools by Duncan McGonall
Burning Bridges by Nadege Richards
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I realized it when my sister read my short story (The Miracle) that I wrote for an English assignment in high school and she suggested I should write more. She’s not a reader but my short story kept her attention, and she felt that had to be something. That’s when I started the research for Silenced.
What one snippet of advice would you give to aspiring self-published authors, adults or children?
As I always say… NEVER give up. Don’t let others drive your dream. You take control of it and you drive it.
OK, enough of the serious stuff. What are your three favorite things to eat?
I lovvveee cereal. I think if I had the choice I could live off of it.
Cocoa Wheat’s… loved them since I was a kid. So they bring back memories.
What did you get for Christmas?
Books, telescope, Angry Birds plush toy to add to my collection, Kindle Skin, which are only some of the items I got.
And finally, please describe your perfect day away from writing!
Family, Food, and Laughter. Nothing beats making wonderful memories to hold on to for when times are rough.