Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Guest Post by D.W. Carver (Balance of Life)

I am D W Carver, English, married with three sons and live in East London. I was sitting in front of my computer screen this morning trying to find the motivation to get on with my latest novel. It didn’t happen. Then I started to think about an edit I will be doing in a week or so and how the motivation for that is easy – do it or violate my contract. The process started me thinking about my days as a mental health community counselor and how life is all about ‘balance’. 

We do it every day – The temptation of staying in a warm bed on a freezing and wet morning against the possibility of losing our jobs if we don’t go in to work; and more mundane ones – another piece of cake against the repercussion of putting on a little weight or reading a book when the ironing  is sitting there in its heap.

 In my field (anxiety disorders and OCD) that decision process was often hugely out of balance. For example, agoraphobic symptoms so severe that opening the front door is a terrifying ordeal; or monophobia where that person needs a warm body in the same room at all times, even in the lavatory. Most of us will understand the small jolt of anxiety  experienced when confronting new situations or even old and familiar ones that we don’t like such as using small lifts  (elevators). I recall once having to use a tiny lift that was entirely lined with what looked like tufted carpet. I had never had a problem before using transport of that kind but I was really glad to get out at the end of a one minute journey. And when the UK/France channel tunnel was opened I was invited to speak on national television about the ‘new’ phobia of being in a tunnel that was thirty miles long.

Again, all about balance – people often don’t realise that they have a problem in specific situations until that situation grows, then their balance: to do it or face the consequences of not doing it – is not such an easy decision anymore.

In my novel  ‘Nightmares and Other Therapy’, Michael suffers from a feeling that he has to ‘know things’ to stay safe. He can never work out what he needs to know but is compelled to read every word in newspapers and magazines. The consequences of his actions, this and other mental problems,  leads to a situation where he risks prison or long term confinement in a mental hospital.

Excerpts from reviews for ‘Nightmares and Other Therapy’ currently on Amazon USA:
For starters I really enjoyed how this book was written. The tone and pace of the book made it all the more enjoyable…….Although this isn't necessarily a happy book, I'd still recommend it. It's well written and is very thought provoking….. The characters are a lot of fun….It was unique and it the major plot point that separates this novel from the others on the shelf. The split persona between Michael and his imaginary friend is extremely well-done…..It was well written, with believable and realistic characters…..Fast paced thriller/chiller that kept me up late into the night. Very original story line…..Those who like a good thriller will enjoy Nightmares and Other Therapy.

Check out D.W. Carver's author page. 

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