Lived Experiences

Thusitha L. Perera Author Interview

To Help Just One follows three separate people who have mental health challenges and the road they navigate to get throughWhat was the inspiration for the original and fascinating idea at the center of the book?

There are two pivotal moments that provided the inspiration.

The first was about a year before I started writing the book. The experience of being able to tell my story as part of the panel discussion to start an open conversation on mental health in my corporate job . It was a special moment to own my story and I could see the impact telling it had on others. The number of follow up conversations I had with individuals about their stories showed me the healing powers stories can have. The prologue and epilogue use this experience as a vehicle for the doubts and positivity that comes wrapped with sharing your story.

The second was a few months before I penned the first word, when a friend shared experiencing depression for the first time in their adult life. They were still trying to understand the unfamiliar and uncomfortable place they had found themselves in and were far from discussing solutions. I had so much to tell them, yet no way to do it without adding pressure. A book became a safe way to give them comfort that they are not alone in what they are experiencing and hope that there is a path forward. They could choose which bits had value for them and which bits are simply someone else’s story.  

With the collection of lived experiences from myself and others, there was enough inspiration to thread themes and events across multiple characters. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

  1. Internal Acceptance – being comfortable with who you are, how you’re feeling and needing help
  2. Belonging – Finding in the right environment that is tuned to the right frequency and will help you thrive
  3. Simplicity – The little things whether it be acts, words, or moments that have a profound impact well beyond that point in time.  

If you dig deeper into the choice of words there are hidden easter eggs – musical and literary references – that have been chosen for the influence they have had on me and how they connect into the themes in this book.

What is one thing that people point out after reading your book that surprises you?

The way it resonates with a wider range of people than I expected. Jonathan, Tegan and Lawrence are based on specific sets of lived experiences and so I thought readers would possibly strongly identify with one character and enjoy the rest of the book as an interesting story. Yet I have found that more people find it easy to see a part of themselves in each of the characters and can relate in their own way across the entire book.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The working title is To Help One More: Stories to Serve | Stories of Connection | Stories to Release and will be part of the same universe as To Help Just One. Louise and Henry who had minor roles in the first book plus a new character Arthur will be featured. The characters discover the path to thriving from: the unhealthy company of alcohol; the consequences of bottling up emotions; the ease in which distance can be created between two people; and the personal cost that leadership can have. There will be a couple of the scenes that carry over, told from a different perspective and shed a little more light on the experiences of Jonathan, Lawrence, and Tegan. 

It will be available early 2024. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram | Website

How does one find the path from barely surviving to thriving?

Make yourself a cup of tea and gently enter a world where Tegan, Jonathan, and Lawrence navigate the ups and downs of their mental health. The paths of childhood friends, work colleagues, and exercise buddies intertwine their stories.

Their stories will look to comfort. To help just one feel a little less alone in the world, hearing someone else’s story and sharing the thoughts and emotions. Injury strips Tegan of the life that she knows. Physical pain gnaws on her psychological wellbeing, introducing her to loneliness and isolation.

Their stories will look to provide hope. To help just one see that there is a possibility of finding a path forward, as the world feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable. The urges of gambling get the better of Jonathan, as he silently suffers paying a price much greater than the money lost.

Their stories will look to heal. To help just one be able to begin making sense of the world and become open to telling their story. The volatility and pace of professional life sucks away time and space from Lawrence. Overwhelmed and shattered, he is lost in a world where his qualities are a blessing and a curse.

Each find themselves barely surviving, though where they go from there will inspire an inner strength within us all.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 1, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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