Is there a ‘right’ way to write about suicide?

Since the first book of the Station series was released, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, even though one of the main themes in the story is about suicide. How did that happen? Well, a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question, but after writing two more books in the story, plus three novelettes about a handful of other characters, I think it’s possible to answer that question now.

Writing is about fleshing out a story that readers will relate to. And writers don’t always have a choice about what story comes to them. With Dying to Forget, that’s exactly what happened to me. See, the year before starting the book, one of my beloved aunts committed suicide. Some might think that with her troubled past (and several failed attempts to kill herself) that it wouldn’t have been a shock to our family. But it so was. I will never forget the day that one of my other aunt’s called and told me. I stood in my hallway wailing. To be honest, I never thought it would actually happen. Teresa had a laugh that would fill an entire room. She just had a…presence that commanded attention, and our family will forever miss her. I began dreaming about her, and thinking about her often. ‘What would her advice be?’ ‘What would she say about that…?’ And it really did feel like she was the voice inside my head for a while there. It was my way of holding onto her, I suppose.

When Piper Willow was born, it was a combination of my real life experiences, combined with insane things my imagination does while I sleep, that created her story. See, I understand what it’s like to lose someone to suicide. I know what it’s like to be there when they’ve attempted it and failed, and they are locked up in a mental hospital on watch. I know the depression. The pain. The sorrow. I also know what it’s like to be left wondering ‘why’. And the guilt that quickly follows that question.

Writing about suicide isn’t easy, regardless of your writing abilities, style, or experience. But it absolutely must be done. How come, you might ask? Because it happens. Every day. Our youths are at risk, but even in the face of such a constant multi-media way of living, there are still hundreds, thousands of children and young adults (and yes, older adults, too) that are depressed, lost, hurting. So many souls that feel hopeless. I’ve talked to so many beautifully damaged people since writing Dying to Forget, and each has a common denominator – a common thread that bounds them all together: they keep all that pain and depression inside. They hide it. In our culture, it’s taboo to talk about mental illness, depression and yes, suicide. It shouldn’t be, especially because I know for a fact, that many of us have been there. Perhaps this is why some readers relate to Piper Willow; she’s been there and hit bottom, and wants nothing more than to help others from the same fate.

It’s time for us to step-up and pay attention to our kids. Let them know that it’s okay to feel like shit, but that tomorrow might be better. And if not tomorrow, the day after that. The struggle is real, but it’s worth it. Life is worth fighting for. None of us are perfect; Piper Willow isn’t either. She’s meant to be a flawed, damaged, imperfect and confused teen. Because that’s human. In a story full of death and pain, there has to be second chances and hope. That’s what I’d like readers to take away from the Station books. Hope. It’s there for all of us, even those who feel totally alone. In the real world, there’s a Piper Willow, a Ryan Burke, a Mallory, a Kerry-Anne, a Sloan Nash, and a Niles Abbott out there trying to survive. And they all need you. They need me. They need us all.

So, is there a right way to write about suicide? No, I don’t think so. Because suicide isn’t pretty. It’s raw, it’s painful, it’s real, and above all, it’s final. With tact, emotion and compassion, a writer can pull it off. I think it should be talked about more, written about more, so that it’s not so taboo. We can’t pretend this doesn’t happen. Society is not perfect, and our kids aren’t either. But you know what, that’s okay. Perfect is over-rated.

For all those who feel broken, lost and hurting – you aren’t alone, you really aren’t. The sun rose for you this morning. Your second chance is here…now. Take it, and get the support and help you need. Life is waiting for you.

Crazy Busy Year for Audiobooks!

Last night I listened to the final chapter of the audio production of Dying to Return. I can’t believe how busy this year has been with audiobooks! But it’s all worth it – the more ways to read or listen to TMDBooks, the better – right? Right!

Don’t worry, Stationers – when Dying to Return is ready, y’all will be the first to know! Have a great weekend!

Friday Feature Freebie

Happy First Friday of October!

Can you believe that there are only three months left of 2015, including this one? Crazy, isn’t it?! It’s been a long and busy year for TMDBooks – how about yours? If you’re new to this site, hopefully you’ll be interested in today’s Friday Freebie! Read on for more info…

As the bestselling TMDBook, this YA Fantasy hits an emotional chord with readers, and offers up hope in an unlikely and unique way. And it’s free. Like…totally free. With 500+ reviews, 91% of Amazon customers have given this book a 4 or 5 star rating. But don’t take MY word for it – read the reviews for yourself!

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Tuesday Teaser – Dying to Know

“You miss them, don’t you?”

We’ve walked half-way to the fountain, our refuge, when I realize I’ve been ignoring Kerry-Anne since we left the Ones department lobby.

“Miss who?” I blink.

She points at my arm, where my right hand is fingering the bracelet wrapped around my left wrist. I snatch it away and straighten my shoulders. I have too much to do to be losing myself in idle thoughts.

“No,” I lie, but when Kerry-Anne scrunches her face into a knowing glare, I shrug my shoulders in submission. “Okay, fine. Yeah, a little.”

“Have you talked to them or seen…him?” We’ve reached the fountain rim, and Kerry-Anne plops herself down, taking care to spread out the skirt of her sunny dress.


“Why not?” Her lips peel back in a smile, showing the straight lines of her teeth.

I sigh, taking a seat beside her. “It’s complicated.”

“Everything’s complicated if you make it that way.”

“That should be on a bumper sticker,” I tease.

“Probably already is,” she smirks.

“When did you get so smart?”

She smiles. “Will is out on assignment. I miss him, too. But it’s not the same for you. Will and I see each other in between almost every assignment. Rush isn’t actually here. I mean, you never see him.”

I shake my head in disagreement while dipping my index finger into the fountain water. “He’s around, in a way.”

The words Rush spoke to me just before he last left the Station replay over and over in my head, and again, I reach across my lap to touch the delicate strands wrapped around my wrist with a wet hand.

We are bound together through this. Like family. If you want me to return, simply will it to be.

— Dying to Know, Coming Soon

Dying to Know

DYING to KNOW – Cover Reveal

The Fourth Book of The Station Series is COMING SOON…

Dying to Know, Book 4 of The Station Series by Trish Marie Dawson. Coming Soon

LIKE or COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a free eCopy of DYING to KNOW for you and a friend on release day. A winner will be randomly chosen from this post by Friday, so share this with all of your friends! Have fun!