I read a review recently on my Young Adult Fantasy novel, Dying to Forget and though I don’t condone calling out unfavorable reviews as EVERYONE is entitled to their own honest opinions, this particular review left a sour taste in my mouth. Writing about suicide is hard to do. I know this because I did it – I wrote about suicide and it wasn’t easy.
Though the story in Dying to Forget starts off on a heavy note and hits some sensitive chords, in no way was it intended to make suicide seem “romantic” or any less than what it is: the voluntary taking of one’s life. There are religions that tell us what happens after we die. There are those who aren’t religious that think everything simply ends, and of course, there are all sorts of people who believe everything in-between. The first thing to point out is that Dying to Forget is Fantasy Fiction. It was created in my mind and put to paper. It’s not real. The Station is not real. Piper Willow is not real.
One and a half years ago I lost a dear family member to suicide. I’m also a parent – I homeschool my children as well. So this story hits home for me in many ways. The Station – the make believe place I created in Dying to Forget is not a way ‘out’ for depressed people, rather it is an in-between place, or the stop after life and before what lies beyond. For those that have read the book and understand the overall theme, the Station is a suicide victims last chance at doing things right. A last chance at doing something positive. It’s not meant in any way to “gloss over suicide” or romanticize the idea that killing oneself will take you to a “better place”. Plenty of pain, loss and sadness is felt in the characters in the book, but the meaning behind it is meant to convey one of hope and mystery.
Though it saddens me that anyone would consider The Station Series as glorifying suicide, if the acknowledgments section of the first book is read, it’s clear that I do not condone taking a life. We are each important and here for a reason. As a Fiction writer, I get to play with the idea of what is real and what is not. Piper Willow’s existence at the Station is to help others that have found themselves considering suicide. It’s her penance for taking her own life. THIS is what I want readers to walk away considering, but what they take from the story will surely vary. I am so very happy that many people seem to love the story, relate to the characters and close the book feeling more hope than despair but obviously I wanted to clear up this misconception from a negative reviewer.
If you’ve read this book and felt anything passionate at all, then I suppose I did my job as a writer. 😀 Want to know more about Dying to Forget including what other readers have said about the series – follow this Amazon Link.
Happy Monday – and as always – Happy Reading!