Today’s interview is with Alexis Rose. Alexis has written a powerful memoir and would like to take the opportunity to tell you about it. She has an important story to tell through this memoir that has received glowing reviews and has moved many people that have read it.
DM: What is the title and genre of the book you want to tell us about?
AR: My memoir is titled, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage and Triumph.
DM: Can you summarize your book?
AR: Untangled is my story of surviving 20 plus years of unimaginable circumstances, and although I live with the daily struggles of PTSD I bring readers with me on my healing journey to Live not just Survive.
DM: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
AR: At first I thought my intended audience was for survivors who have suffered trauma and for the people who support them. (Which encompassed family, friends, caregivers, therapists.) What I have found from the readership and feedback about the book is that Untangled is actually for everyone. As adults we have all been through some trauma, on some level. In my book, I talk about what it feels like to go through experiences. While my story may be difficult to read because of some of my experiences, I focus more on how it feels to go through an event. That is something I seem to have the gift to express. Feelings are universal, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate what is going on inside of us. I am able to give voice to that, which seems to have connected with the readers.
DM: How did you come up with the title?
AR: My journey is about becoming Untangled. Trauma survivors are extraordinarily resilient. I also try to face living with PTSD with courage, and I’m triumphing over my past. Those are the ways I would describe my journey, so the title was really easy for me. Untangled, A story of resilience, courage and triumph.
DM: Tell me about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
AR: I love being able to answer this question!
I drew a picture of what I envisioned the cover to be. Someone sitting against a stark brick wall, dirty and spent, holding an untangled rope. My friend Janet, surprised me three days later with a photo shoot she did using my drawing as inspiration. She found the model, the brick wall, and went to town taking pictures. It was an amazing gift!
The picture on the back cover is the mountain I had climbed a few years earlier. I have always used the metaphor of my healing as climbing a mountain, so to be able to put that photo on the back cover was non-negotiable.
DM: What are your biggest writing influences (another author, another book, a movie, etc.)
AR: I am very inspired by Rumi. I love poets, they have a beautiful way of expression. I read a lot of books on mindfulness. I love historical fiction. I don’t think I have one author who really influences me. I’m a person who will sit down with a book and escape into their world. I simply love good books. I think the people who have influenced my writing have been some very talented writing teachers I’ve had the past few years. I have gone to many workshops and taken some on-line classes to learn the craft of putting a book together. Those lessons have been invaluable to me.
DM: I usually ask who your favorite character is from your book and why, but since this is a memoir, are there good and bad guys?
AR: The favorite character is me. Of course, my husband, children, and wonderful support system that are written in my book are equally my favorites. All the perpetrators in my life are my least favorite. In my book and in my past.
DM: Give me a fun fact or a few about your book or series:
AR: Before my book came out, I was determined that I could never tell anyone anything about my past, except my therapist and a very few close people in my life. I literally went from no can never know anything, to “Oh what the Heck, I’ll just tell the whole world at once.” Talk about scary and vulnerable.
DM: What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
AR: I suppose other memoirs of survival would be similar.
DM: Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
AR: I love to read, do yoga, hang out with my family and a few close friends. Now that it is spring time in the Midwest, my deck and I will have daily reading dates.
DM: How can we find out more about you and your books?
AR: My book is sold on Amazon.com, You can purchase it here.
DM: What can we expect from you in the future?
AR: I continue to write on my blog. http://atribeuntangled.com/
I know another book is bubbling up inside of me, but I want to do what I can to continue to promote Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage and Triumph. I love to do speaking engagements about using writing and drawing as a healing tool, and to talk and write about living with PTSD. My intention is to start and keep the conversation going on this very misunderstood illness.
I also love to be a guest writer for other blogs. It has been an amazing community that I have only been a part of for a few months.
DM: What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
AR: If you enjoyed my book, it if touched you in anyway, I would love for readers to leave a positive review on Amazon.com. Reviews make a huge difference. When I was speaking at a trauma conference last month, many, many people told me that they checked out my reviews before they purchased the book. Until I became a self-published author, I had no idea how important reviews were.
DM: Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
AR: I can only speak through the lens of a self-published author. For me I chose that route vs trying to find a publisher because I wanted all the rights to my book, and it was extremely important for me to make sure it was my voice throughout the book. I had many long nights with my editors, and had to acquiesce on a lot of things, but in the end I felt confident that it was my voice throughout the book.
DM: Can you give us an excerpt from your book?
My body is streaked with sweat and dirt from my desperate search to find safe shelter. I’m barefoot, in a grimy torn t-shirt and shorts; my hands and feet caked with dirt. My hair is filthy and matted. My mouth is dry; I can smell and taste the gritty dust that hangs in the air. I sit down on a curb at the side of the road, and I know it’s over.
I’m unbelievably weary, all my energy spent in the act of sitting down. I’m devastated…emotionally, mentally, and physically, and the worst of my wounds are invisible. My eyes fill up, but no tears fall. I can only sit amid the rubble, trying to trust the safety of the gray, silent sky.
Six years later, the scene has changed. I’m no longer living in fear of the tangled web of sadistic people who use threats to keep their victims terrified and questioning their sanity. I feel grateful. The therapist that I call my Sherpa is sitting next to me. He’s listened to and witnessed my entire story, and never deserted me. He understands my journey and sometimes shares my grief. He’s helped me honor my resilience; taught me the value of telling my story and the importance of just sitting with my truth. So we sit here together, quietly resting in that truth.
I’ve fully remembered and told the story of my first twenty years, of surviving the abuse, neglect, abandonment, and fear. I’ve left behind those who terrorized me. I’ve untangled myself. My courage has set me free, and now nothing can keep me tied to the past. I can truly live today with blinders off and eyes wide open.
From the introduction of Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph
About Alexis Rose
Alexis Rose began her remarkable healing journey in 2009. Sparked by a family tragedy, she began to piece together, for the first time, a personal history of abuse and trauma. Supported by her spirituality and writing, as well as family and friends, she has profoundly grown and changed over the years. While learning to live with the effects of her trauma, and working with the deficits caused from post-traumatic stress disorder, she has co-authored three inspirational books. Her newest book, Untangled, speaks to the courage, resilience and triumph over her unimaginable hardship. She continues her process of healing and becoming whole to this day, trusting the long and winding path of recovery.