Happy publication day to M. Jonathan Lee and his amazing story Broken Branches!
I am glad to have a special guest post for you today, but before we get to it, let’s take another look at the book!
Title: Broken Branches
Author: M. Jonathan Lee
Publisher: Hideaway Fall
Date of publication: July 2017
Format: Physical Review Copy
Number of pages: 294
‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’
A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.
There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.
As you can see, I rated Broken Branches 4 stars, deeming it worthy of figuring among my favorites! I think the element that will stay with me the most is the writing. Intense, creepy, absolutely gripping despite a slow pace. If you’re interested in reading more about my feelings about it, go check the review here!
This book resonated in me for many reasons, and I am sure it is the same for lots of readers. I can’t say much more without revealing important points, so if you haven’t read the story yet, you might want to come back later to take a look at what M. Jonathan Lee has to say on Chocolate’n’Waffles!
Now, the author has kindly provided us with an inspiring and very interesting post about how writing has helped him deal with his depression at a difficult time. The post is all yours, Jonathan!
It was after the suicide of my brother in 2004 that life started to become extremely difficult. My brother had attempted suicide before in 1991, and although this affected my mental health dramatically, it was nothing compared to the feelings of despair that I felt in 2004. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety disorder and given medication to treat this. However, as time went by I didn’t feel like things were improving. There were so many things inside me that had gone unsaid. The subject was not spoken about. It became a huge black elephant in the room. Days were hard. Nights were the same. The feelings inside me were eating away at me from the inside and there was no way for me to get them out. I was getting closer and closer to the edge, a final decision whether to continue or not.
I had always wanted to be an author. I kept wrote stories as a child and even edited a self-published magazine. I wrote journals and ideas throughout my life and loved writing. After my divorce, I found myself alone again and it was at this time, in a last ditch effort to find something worthwhile that I sat down to write.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, but I had a few ideas in my head. One story that had been keeping me awake at night was the story the eventually became my first novel, The Radio. Every evening and weekend I sat down and let the words flood out. I wasn’t sure if what I was writing was any good but that wasn’t the point. The point was the feelings of release that I felt as I wrote. I found a parallel story developing that matched the themes of my own life. Letting the words free for the first time from within was the most cathartic experience I’ve ever had.
Night after night, day after day I would sit with tears dripping from my cheeks. I felt that I had physically lightened from the simple release of words. Like a balloon that had been inflating and inflating inside my chest was finally reducing in size. I would absolutely recommend that anybody who has feelings of isolation or simple cannot speak about their experiences at least writes them down. You may be amazed at the outcome.
And there is nothing to lose by trying.
Thank you so much Jonathan for sharing such a personal and inspirational post. I can only agree that writing has an amazing cathartic power which allows our deepest burdens to feel lighter, and sometimes even to stop weighing us down. The hardest part might be to start writing.
I would like to thank the author for allowing his readers to know more about him, for bringing awareness about mental health, and for writing such a beautiful piece. My thanks also go to the Hideaway Fall team, and particularly Eve, for letting me be a part of this blog tour!
M Jonathan Lee deals sensitively with issues of grief and depression in this intriguing, intelligently written novel which ends with a heart-stopping twist!
M Jonathan Lee is based in Yorkshire and is the author of several award-nominated novels. He began writing seriously in 2006 shortly after the suicide of his brother, Simon, who had been struggling with depression. Jonathan is a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness. He has written for Mind and Rethink charities and has a regular blog on the Huffington Post. He is divorced and now remarried, between them they have five children, two cats and a dog.
Hideaway Fall are a new independent publishing house based in Yorkshire. They aim to support local and Northern based authors who write kooky, unique and astonishing fiction. @HideawayFall www.hideawayfall.com
Do not miss any stop on this blog tour, you’ll discover more about Broken Branches!