Archive for March, 2013

Another Few Comments About “Counter-Attack”

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the first few chapters of “Counter-Attack,” I would suggest going to the “About the Book” section of this website and clicking on www.amazon.com. If you decide to buy the book, I guarantee you that you will read it in one night since it is hard to put it down. (If you go directly to Amazon, just search for the title of the book and my name, and wait until it appears on the screen.)

Dealing with panic attacks and chronic anxiety is not easy. I suggest that anybody suffering from these conditions should get professional help right away. Over a period of time, experiencing that dreaded adrenaline rush can be hazardous to anyone’s health. It can lead to hypertension and even heart trouble if it is allowed to go untreated for years and years. I know from experience, even though I did get some form of treatment from time to time.

Today there are many psychologists who specialize in phobias, anxiety and panic attacks. Get a referral from your doctor, local hospital, or Google panic attacks and/or phobias. The main thing is to get help so that you can face your problem and get better.

Helping people is the primary reason that I wrote “Counter-Attack.” I hope all of you out there who read my blog will learn something from reading the book and, if possible, encourage family members and friends with these problems to seek help.

Next time I want to give you the background for another novel of mine, “the Wacky World of Winnie and Willie.” Until my next blog, enjoy each day. It truly is a gift.

Best wishes always,

Cheryl

Motivation and Character Regarding My First Novel, “Counter-Attack.”

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Why did I write Counter-Attack? Let’s go through a little background material to find the answer. It was around 1979 when I first got the idea for this novel. Anxiety and panic attacks plague millions of people today at the beginning of the twenty-first century, but unfortunately, the twentieth century was no different. People have been stressed, nervous, frightened, anxious and panicked since Adam and Eve committed their great sin and were run out of the Garden of Eden. But everything has gotten worse as the centuries have passed, and now one cannot even nearly estimate the numnber of people who take anti-anxiety pills, anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, heart medication, etc. Life is very challenging today, isn’t it? And there is only one real instruction book for dealing with it, and unfortunately that epic book, the best-seller of all time (The Bible, of course), has not been read by the majority of people today. Perhaps, in that one observation lies the reason for the world being as treacherous as it is today.

But let us get back to the original question that I asked. What was my motivation for writing Counter-Attack? Like millions of others, I, too, have experienced anxiety and panic. So have some members of my family as well as friends of mine and, yes, students, too. I know the toll that both emotions can take on any of us. I wanted to write a novel that would give my readers hope that even a condition as all-consuming as chronic anxiety, characterized by agoraphobia and a half dozen other garden variety phobias, could be cured or at least greatly alleviated, to the extent that the sufferer could lead a fairly normal life.. I hoped that my readers would see, in an entertaining, suspenseful format, how they, too, even if they suffered from the conditions described in the novel, could go on to function better and even find some satfisfaction, and yes, even joy, in this life. I wanted these readers to see that there were options out there. They could get help, and they could feel much better if they availed themselves of such help.

So I created Caryn Burke and Christina Walsh. Surprisingly enough, both were facets of my own personality. Like Caryn, I experienced panic attacks in the strangest places…on buses, trains, even in school once and of course, even at home. I exhibited many of the symptoms, and most of the time, no one even noticed that anything was wrong. I hid it very well as so many phobic people do. For a while, it became almost a way of life to live with the problems but hide them from others as best I could. My parents were sympathetic and wanted to help, although it must have been hard for them to admit that their daughter was one of so many in this world who had to cope with irrational but frightening fears that manifested themselves in the most irritating and upsetting of ways. I knew that a tendancy towards these conditions was right there in my DNA, but that insight really did not make it any easier to accept.

Of course, Miss Walsh was a part of me, too. From her appearance and personality, anyone who knew me well would know right away that Christina Walsh was modeled after me, even to the extent of my choice in clothes, my way of speaking and the way I struggled to help my students in any way that I could. We were different in very few ways. Christina was more forceful and colorful than I am. She also did not get married and experience a normal (or close to normal) family life the way I did. I was more fulfilled in many facets of life than Christina. I did not lose my fiance to the horrors of war as she did. I did not continue to live with mhy parents into middle age, and when my parents passed away, I coped with their loss better than Christina. But in so many other ways, she and I were still one person.

Somehow, back then in 1979, I realized that Caryn’s and Christina’s story had to be told for all people who suffered from phobias, panic and intense anxiety. The options they chose in their lives to help themselves might be ways in which readers of my novel might learn to cope with their own similar problems. I could share strategies through the context of an exciting book. And so with all of these feelings churning inside of me, Counter-Attack was born.

I promise to provide even more insight into the creation of this novel in my next entry. Until then, best wishes, as always,

Cheryl

P S. If you would like to purchase a copy of “Counter-Attack,” please turn to the second section of my website, entitled “About the Book.” You can click on Amazon or go the website, www.redleadbooks.com. You can take advantage of the option to read sample chapters as well. I know that, once you start reading the novel, it will be hard to put it down. Many people read it in one sitting.

Remembering My First Novel…

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

All of my books, even the one still unpublished, mean the world to me. I guess that is because they are all a part of me. Some have autobiographical threads within them, which allow me to see bits and pieces of my own life, as if refracted through a glass. But the very first novel that I completed and published plays a very special role because, very simply, it is the oldest. It’s like the first-born in a family. He(she) plays a special part in the family for the very reason of being born first. Yet, the youngest has his(her) own distinct role, as does the one(s) in the middle. So, yes, every book I wrote is important to me, but the first one…that one is paramount because it led the way to the others and to a career of which I always dreamt.

But I want to start a series of blogs in which I talk about each book separately: what motivated me to write thit and how it defines who and what I am. I hope you will read some of my books because the very reason I swrote them all was for them to be read and enjoyed. It’s like that sound off somewhere in the desert. If no one hears it, does it even matter that the sound was made? Likewise, if my books are not read and discussed in some kind of forum… or reflected upon perhaps by an individual while trying to fall asleep or perhaps awaking in the middle of the night or early morning…then what was the point of my taking so many years to write them? If few people read them, then, like the sound that was never heard, doesn’t each book become a synthesis of the mind that did not finish its natural cycle? Instead, it just remained with its creator. It is like a child who grows to adulthood, but never ventures out into the world to exist on its own. How sad that it never was given the opportunity to mingle, become a part of something new and grow?

Therefore, I hope that, as you gain insight into my books, you will desire to read them and see for yourself what the themes are and how the characters are drawn and developed. It would mean so much to me to share my books…mostly novels, but biography, nonfiction and poetry as well…with all of you. It would be so nice to read your comments and reviews. These are all the perks for an author. These are the rewards that bring great joy to a writer.

My first novel, initially written in the late 1970’s, is entitled “Counter-Attack.” It is abvout panic attacks and anxiety, two conditions which create havoc for millions of individuals. But because my book is a novel, not a nonfiction book about anxiety, stress and panic, it has an exciting and suspenseful plot and characters whom, I hope, will remain with the reader for years to come.

My main character or protagonist is a thirteen year-old girl who experiences rather suddednly an onslaught of panic when she travels by bus to her girlfriend’s house. From then on, she gradually withdraws into her own shell, not even wanting to leave what she considers the safety of her own home. She becomes a true agoraphobic except for being forced to attend school. Her friends sense the differences in her right away, but they, like her, do not know what is wrong.

The teen-age girl, Caryn, has an English teacher who has experienced panic atacks as well. They become friends, more than just teacher and student. The teacher, Miss Walsh, wants to help Caryn overcome her condition. She recommendcs a good psychologist and group therapy at a clinic for agoraphobics, but the next roadblock is Caryn’s parents. Will they understand and help, or will they be in denial?

Let us continue tomorrow with more about the characterization of Caryn and Miss Walsh. Also, we will discuss the motivation for my writing a novel on this subject. Please visit my website very soon for the next installment.

In the meantime, if you want to purchase “Counter-Attack” or even sample the first few chapters, turn to the first two sections of my website (“Home” and “About the Book”). Click on the “About the Book” page on “Amazon” or go to the Red Lead bookstore online. The novel can be purchased at either of these websites.

Good night and best wishes as always,

Cheryl

LAUNCHING NEW AD CAMPAIGN THIS WEEK

Monday, March 4th, 2013

With the assistance of Bookwhirl.com, I will be launching an ad campaign for three of my latest novels: (“Escape From the Maelstrom”, “33’s Theo”, and “Searching For the Sunny Side”). For a tentative idea of what the ad will look like, click on the link below:

http://www.bookwhirl.com/Emailer/production/5684/
Bookcollection.html
(If you have trouble clicking on the link, I will try to solve the problem as soon as I can.)

There will be minor changes to the ad, but it will be very close to what you see in the link.

I am excited with the prospect of getting more exposure for these novels, for which I worked so hard during the last few years.

I hope that readers of my blog will read the novels as well and let me know what you think. I guarantee you that they provide entertaining, informative and enjoyable reading.

Best wishes today and always,

Cheryl