I’ve wondered this for some time after starting Molly Parker. Who am I as a writer. And this is an exercise through writing about it to figure out where I’m going with all of it. (Side note: this helped crystalize things in my head about what is happening in each book)
UpMeDownMe is a love labor to myself. It’s primarily about suicide. There are other elements to it, but it is a novel about suicide, all the ways to commit suicide in the mentally ill handbook, all the ways I’ve tried myself (yep…), and also how it impacts relationships. My best friend struggles with depression, and has an attempt. Now, whenever she’s gone for too long, doesn’t check in, or I leave her alone, it sits in the back of my mind that it’ll happen again some day.
That’s something most mentally ill authors miss: what it’s like to live with someone mentally ill.
So I’m a mentally ill author. Bipolar on the one hand, caretaker (at times) on the other.
Then there’s my latest. It’s a romance novel on one half a la Ann Rice, and on the other I’m probably going with what I already know – long winded sentences that go on with more clauses than are necessary, but still fun to read and write. It’s about loneliness. All the characters are lonely. Dom, who wants to be with Molly is lonely, Molly – who has just gone through a painful divorce – is lonely, and Victoria – an ex-pat – is lonely. And they all deal with it in their own ways. Dom brought it on himself, Victoria ran away and found herself in a new land, and Molly runs off with the first man she meets and falls into the world of sex. So it’s about loneliness, sex, and infidelity.
I’m a bummer writer. Suicide, death, loneliness, infidelity, hardly the work of happiness. There is good news though. Molly Parker has a happy ending just after it turns for the worst. So I’m not all depressing.
I wonder what I’m going to write about next. I’ll probably discover it while showering like I did the previous times. Showers are amazing that way. Bathrooms are vessels of inspiration.