First off, tell me about yourself?
I am a mom of two; my daughter has two boys and one girl. My son has two girls and they all are the light that warms my heart daily even when I am unable to see them. I love gardening around the house I bought 4 years ago, a gift to myself on my twelve-year Sobriety anniversary. I also enjoy sitting at my favorite restaurant Oceanside and staring out over the expanse of the ocean to the horizon reflecting on how grateful I am for the life I have today. I am blessed with over sixteen years in recovery, after a twenty-five-year addiction to cocaine. I am a Recovery Advocate and Life Coach helping those still struggling to find their way through the waters of recovery and the entire stigma that comes along with being an addict. Writing has become a meaningful and deeply satisfying way to meet others and fulfill a strong conviction to help other souls on their life journey.
What made you want to become a writer?
I began writing my personal story to explore and understand my life events and make sense of the how and why things happened as they did, and the how and why I became addicted to cocaine. A simple daily journal I had begun writing early in my recovery as a self-therapy tool, ultimately became the framework for The Big trap. From what appeared at first a random array of unconnected personal life events and impulsive choices, steadily emerged recognition of interconnectedness and cause and effect of my addiction and the life I had chosen to maintain it. Writing out the steps and then later reading professional psychology and addiction literature revealed commonalities between myself and others I had known in and out of recovery and I began to strongly believe I could offer something of timely value and benefit to those in need. The question of why I believed I could and should write a recovery book was answered by the majority of people I had shared some part of my story with over the years who lamented, “You should write a book. Thousands need help.” They were right and I knew there was no turning back and a writer was born.
Tell me about your book The Big Trap: Just One Last High?The Big Trap is a metaphor of addiction maintenance. Addicts telling themselves and wanting to believe it as well, the immediate act of getting high right now is this last one, the last high, and then no more, we stop. The story recounts my life events from earliest childhood memories and facts I could accurately verify as the path, the stepping-stones more or less, to my ultimate addiction. It reveals early traumatic events, the horrors of abuse I suffered within an extended alcoholic family, and being a child rape victim. It illuminates the subtlety of neglect, isolation, and the harsh environments to create lifelong conflicts and anxieties that untreated or ignored undermine normal healthy development and often result in efforts to self-medicate that are far too often the origins of destructive addiction. I engaged that path as a teenager with alcohol and followed with marijuana, largely at first because it reduced the mental anguish and softened the effects of physical injuries. Ultimately, my judgement being too poorly developed to be wary of the seemingly perfect man I later married and trusted to protect me, introduced me to cocaine after a self-imposed abstinence from alcohol and weed had steadily improved my life quality. He said; “Just once, just try it please… if you love me you will just once.” I was hooked without any idea of how powerful and life-altering the shiny little lines of white was. Up to that point my earnest efforts to be a good wife while being the successful career woman at the forefront of the emerging personal computer revolution were extremely productive and financially rewarding and the book illuminates the good and bad choices so many of us make and why. I had worked my way through college while holding down a full time job by night to become the sole woman Electrician and Electronic Technician in a male-dominated field. Within the picture-perfect family life and career of two professional go-getters moving up that everyone on the outside looking in saw, two functioning addicts were hiding the big secret. Casual occasional recreational coke use had steadily become addiction chaos and all the success tumbles down line by line within a year of that first fiery nose burning line. The monster of more and more drugs took over landing me on the streets for ten years chasing… more! It takes the reader through the days and nights of those living our here, dealing drugs, using drugs and all the violence it holds. After multiple overdoses and seizures almost daily in the end, it was that last trip to jail that I realised I needed to stop. I requested the in-house jail rehab program for my housing stay during that one-year sentence and began what is today my complete recovery.
How do you feel it was received? The reviews I have received from those who have read my book are great, I’m grateful that I was able to touch them with a story that gives a clear picture of the destruction addiction causes and the hope that can be found in recovery.
Now that it’s published would you do anything different or change anything? I have changed some of the verbiage in the current edition that is available. In the first edition, the scenes where the rapes occur were much more violent and they have been toned down to allow placement in Juvenile Detention Centers, Adult jail facilities, Rehab Centers, and Sober Living Houses as aids and facilitation tools, as well as useful guidance in an easy good reading format
.I believe you self-published; tell me about that and more about why you went down the self-publishing route? Yes, I did publish my own book, though I didn’t use the traditional self-publishing route. I created my own publishing business, Tiffy Rose LLC-Publishing, for the current title and those in process and those planned. I chose this route after I tried the traditional way of publishing my work without success. I did like so many others send out hundreds of query letters to Literary agents but I received either no response or agents telling me these types of stories are rarely picked up by the mainstream publishing houses. At 56 years old I determined I didn’t have the luxury of time to wait for unknown people or entities to decide my book was worth their time and investment, so I invested in myself and away I went self-taught into the book publishing arena. I bought the required legal copyright and distribution marking criteria, the publishing software and here I am. As a Publisher and owner it allows me access to placement anywhere worldwide, and owning the copyrights I don’t have to worry about who else gets a say in where it goes from here.
Have you written anything else and if so where can people find it?I am now in the final stages of finishing up my second book as a sequel to Trapped. The Big Trap is more about how I got there and the second book is about, how I and others make it back. It is focused essentially on the steps of recovery and sobriety and how to get there and stay. I illuminate the variety of myths and pitfalls of outdated perceptions of addiction and how harmful they can be if taken as gospel when current research and subject trails define newer methods of treatment that are more often effective short term and long. My sixteen years in recovery I utilize to define how to search out well hidden or ignored cause/effect relationships that often underlie the addiction cycle and how to navigate the problems every addict trying to recover likely will encounter. I explore how to deal with many types of stigma and discrimination usually encountered and the tools I have learned along the way to share with others trying to find the right recovery path and its steps and conquer the obstacles. A third book, a true life mystery has been outlined and I will publish it in early 2020.
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