IAN member Lindsey Webster discusses her book Entangled in Darkness and her writing experiences.
IAN. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
LW. I started writing in Grade 5. As a teenager I wrote a lot of poetry and always wanted to be a poet. Now I write fiction and poetry. I like writing and reading sci-fi/fantasy. I like writing about mental illness and other dark topics. My day job is as a psychiatric nurse. I live in
IAN. Tell us about Entangled in Darkness:
LW. Entangled in Darkness is a very dark fiction. It delves into the world of mental illness. It is from the first person perspective of Annalyn, an 18 year old who has her first break with psychosis, mania and depression and gets a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It also goes into her family life and the effect her mental illness has on them. It is a heartbreaking novel that shows an honest portrayal of mental illness on the individual and loved ones.
IAN. How long did it take to write the book?
LW: I awoke one night with the idea and just knew I had to write it. It took about 6 months of thinking about it, plotting and getting ideas before I started writing. Then it took about a year and a half to write it. So I’d say I worked on it for 2 years. Then edited and revised for another year.
IAN. What inspired you to write the book?
LW. My own life. My sister’s life. I have bipolar disorder which started when I was a young teen. This novel is fictional but a lot of it comes from my heart as well as my experiences as a psychiatric nurse. But most of all, and if you read the dedication you will see, I wrote it for my sister who was my best friend. She took her life at 14years of age when she was severely depressed. I wrote this book for her.
IAN. Talk about the writing process. (do you write at night or in the morning)
LW. I tend to write at night, especially when I write poetry. I tend to get inspired at night, especially after I’ve already gone to bed but still haven’t fallen asleep yet. I also write in the evening if I have enough peace and quiet. I have a lot of loud pets and my mom tends to be loud so it’s hard to concentrate during the day. And I am not a morning person. I find it impossible to write in the morning.
IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
L.W. I totally wing it. I write down my ideas in a rough list that I just jot down as they come to me. But every time I sit down to write I just let it come to me and sometimes what I write surprises me. Usually in a good way.
IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?
LW. I haven’t read a lot of books that delve into mental illness. I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. And I’ve read some autobiographies and memoirs about mental illness. But I think my novel is different as it is so dark and heartbreaking. I didn’t hold anything back in this novel. It has a lot of upsetting things in it. Dark things that are hard to read. And I think it really speaks to what mental illness is. It’s first person. It gets into the mind of mental illness, psychosis, mania and depression. It gets to the ugly truth of mental illness.
IAN. Is your book published in print, e-book or both?
IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
L.W. A better understanding of mental illness. Compassion for those people in real like that go through it. Hopefully they will put aside their stigma for it. 1 in 5 people have mental illness and we all probably know someone with some form of mental illness even if we don’t know that about them. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. Any of us can get it at any time. I think it’s important for people not to sweep it under the rug, or not talk about it. I think it’s important to raise awareness and I hope this book can contribute to awareness and understanding.
IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?
LW. Almost any online bookstore like amazon.com, chapters.ca, barnes&noble.com, smashwords.com
IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
LW. I am currently writing a science fiction novel. It’s a standalone and it’s my first time writing in that genre but I really love science fiction and fantasy, I love reading them and I’ve always fantasized about other worlds in the universe. I want to create my own fictional one. In the future I do have an idea for a sequel to Entangled in Darkness that focuses on recovering after mental illness has devastated your family. It would focus on the older sister
IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?
IAN: Thank you for being here and good luck with your book.
LW. Thanks for having me.
Entangled in Darkness
Genre: Dark Fiction
Publisher: Wasteland Press
I remember when I was a child I almost drowned. It was a cloudy day in early spring when the flowers were just starting to bloom. I was twelve years old and I shouldn’t have been standing on the slippery dock. But I liked watching the water on the lake. It had such a peaceful feeling to me. I would imagine myself swimming like a dolphin through the water, or a mermaid. The water streaming past my skin and an enchantment of underwater worlds seemed glorious to me. Maybe I was too old for such fantasies, but at the time I would have given anything to swim away and be part of something better. There was something mystical about the lake and nothing special about my life.
It was cold that day. It had been raining for months but as I stood there, I could see the spring sun trying to poke its head out from behind the clouds. There was a strong breeze that kept blowing the long strands of my dark-blonde hair into my mouth. But I didn’t mind. The wind only made the lake seem more magical.
Something had drawn my attention to the end of the dock. I heard splashing and when I looked I could see rings where the water had been disturbed. The light shined against the water but when I peered into it I could see a dark shadow underneath the surface. I walked to the very end and suddenly I slipped and went crashing into the water. I felt shock at the rush of coldness over my body. I didn’t have time to think about what had happened. There was no real thought, just survive.