Grace Purcell Interview: Part 2

(Paul Rogers) Did you encounter any problems with self-publishing?

(Grace Purcell) Yes, the formatting was difficult. When the book was uploaded to CreateSpace it often changed the format on some pages and this was challenging to solve. It was my first time using CreateSpace and I am not very familiar with formatting so this presented some difficulties. There were also some issues with filling out tax forms. The company is a USA based company so if you are not American you are eligible to not pay taxes, however you need to complete various tax forms in order to be exempt from this. The tax forms were complicated and so far I have not been able to complete the process and as a result I am paying 30% of the profits to the US government.

(PJR) Has writing this book helped you in any way?

(GP) Writing the book has been my saving grace. Nelson’s death was sudden and deliberate. I struggled with his death having no purpose and the book allowed me to try to make sense out of his death. It was a way to release my emotions and reach out to people who were experiencing loss like me. It helped me feel connected to people rather than alone.

(PJR) What hopes do you have the book? Do you think that it will help others who are contemplating suicide or who have lost a loved one to it?

(GP) I have high hopes for the book. I hope it will help those suffering from depression by reminding them that they are not alone, that help is available and that moments good or bad are just moments that will pass. I hope it will help anyone contemplating suicide to remember those they love and realize that their choice will affect so many people, some they may not even have considered and some in devastating, damaging ways and those who love them may never heal. I hope it will help those who have lost their loved ones to suicide by understanding that loss connects us all and that we are not alone in our pain. Finally, I hope it will honour Nelson’s memory and life by sharing his story with the world. If even one of these things is accomplished by publishing this book, it has been a success.

(PJR) Your book might inspire others to share their real-life stories. Do you have advice for anyone who’s thinking about doing so?

(GP) My advice is to be honest and forthcoming with your story. Real-life stories are powerful because they connect us all through our experiences but to do that you need to be willing to freely and honestly share your experience. If it is a painful story, this process can be extremely difficult. Although writing can be therapeutic it also forces you to relive difficult times. For me, I wrote the book shortly after losing Nelson and was still in shock and denial about his death. This allowed me to write it in a very blunt, detached manner. Afterwards, I put the book aside for about 1 year as the thought of sharing the story with the world was intimidating. After 1 year when I began the publishing process, reading the story again was very hard for me. It brought to the surface again many memories I had repressed. However by experiencing my tragedy again through my own words, it allowed me to heal and for that I am grateful. If you are thinking about sharing your story, take your time and follow your instincts.

(PJR) This book was born due to unique circumstances, a response to a tragedy in your life. Do you have any plans for another book?

(GP) This book did result from a tragedy in my life and was not something I ever planned to do. The book is my grief, my healing and my attempt to try to reach out to others feeling loss and devastation. At this time, I have no plans to write another book but as this experience has taught me, we often do not know what life has in store for us.

That wraps up Grace’s interview next week. Her book is available in various formats on the The Book Rack. We’ll be back next week.

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