It’s real! The official publication date for Ben Behind His Voices is September 16, 2011. When you search on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, there is a listing. As a first-time author, I have to admit that this is even more exciting than my first kiss. Yep. At least I think so – the first kiss was so unexpected (another story for another time), while this listing is the culmination of years of writing, rewriting, query letters, bouncing back, trying again, and finding and reconfirming my own faith in the book’s value to others.
Yet this is nothing – nothing – compared to the challenges Ben himself has faced in the same period of time.
In a way, the timing of Ben‘s publication couldn’t be better, for when I first sat down to write our story Ben was just a few months into recovery. Now, he has logged over five years (knock wood) hospital-free, and we’ve been able to see how recovery can progress when psychosis is avoided for longer periods of time. So, because of this long journey to publication, I hope that our memoir will offer even more information and hope to its readers, as I’ve updated Ben’s progress frequently as the drafts piled up.
Here is the description from the listing (image and “search inside” features will come later, but you can pre-order) – it contains my hopes for the book’s effect: to increase understanding and respect for those with mental illness, and for their families; and thereby reduce stigma.
For any families in the same boat: there are guidelines of info and resources at the end of most chapters. I hope you will fall in love with my son Ben before you get to the part where his illness takes hold. He is there, behind his voices, all throughout the book – and he still is. As is your loved one. Hard to see sometimes, I know. but love helps. So much.