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Walking Away From Everything

Aimee Meheden-Friesen
Aimee Meheden-Friesen Author Interview

Whelm follows a young woman who is struggling to overcome mental health issues and escape expectations to be her authentic self. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve had people close to me deal with a variety of mental health struggles, and from time to time I’ve dealt with depression myself. The book is overly dramatized for the purpose of storytelling, but I wanted to push the message that the perfect life of material excess that most people idealise isn’t necessarily perfect for everyone and that sometimes it takes walking away from everything to gain a new perspective. I also hoped to help normalize these types of mental health struggles to help take the stigma out of them.

Audra is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I think at some point in our lives, most of us struggle with expectations. Audra’s development came from learning that less was more, and learning to trust herself to know what she wanted in life and make her own decisions. She didn’t need the glitz and glamour, and in the end she learned that happiness comes from love and friendship not materialism.

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

Expectations may hold you back out of fear of judgment or failure but if you find the inner strength to do what’s right for you, the people you want in your life will be the ones still there for you in the end.

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

I’m currently about 20,000 words into my second book, entitled Conation, which is defined as an inclination to act purposefully. The story is a little darker than Whelm, with thematic elements focused on overcoming abuse and building community to find one’s place in a world where people are becoming increasingly isolated by technology. At this rate, I would hope it should be ready for publication by 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Website

Walking away from her unfaithful ex, wealthy and beautiful Audra Filigree realises she’s not losing much except for five years of her life and that, while there’s nothing wrong with her life, there’s nothing right with it either.
Now that she’s left her privileged little world behind, there’s no going back. With no plan or sense of self-preservation, random encounters guide her attempts to reclaim her life as she tries to stand up to her tyrant of a father and fight the anxiety of the unknown in her internal battle against the unrealised depression that has been consuming her for so long.
Whelm is a contemporary romantic tale addressing the challenges faced by those struggling to overcome mental health issues and escape expectations to be their authentic self.

Whelm

Whelm by [Aimee Meheden-Friesen]

Whelm by Aimee Meheden-Friesen is an interesting romance story  following a young woman from an affluent family named Audra. She leaves behind her life of luxury and her infidel boyfriend Dalton, prompted by depression and severe anxiety. The story takes multiple twists and turns, but at the end of it, readers get a glimpse of the much-awaited light at the end of the tunnel.

Besides her psychological disorder, the plot focuses on the family conflict and romantic inclination of Audra, but more than being a love story, this is a novel about Audra rediscovering herself. After being bogged down with mental health issues for a long time, Audra finds a sense of purpose in life and decides to go back to university to become a school teacher. She finds love in Teddy, a man who is far removed from the world of glitz and glamour that Audra is accustomed to. The story dives deep into the nature of depression, the duality of the human mind, as well as abuse and trauma. There are vivid descriptions of the physiological and psychological impact of depression, concealed with the subtle but profound language so as to not trigger the reader. But in the end, optimism becomes victorious, and the unflinching willpower to live a happy and purposeful life helps the protagonist sail through. 

Whelm communicates a powerful message with easy-flowing language. The characters are well-developed and feel authentic, and the plot is truly gripping. Each and every character has been explored with great care, adding dimension to the story.  I feel that a few chapters in the middle of the book could have been shortened, but thanks to its lucid and effortless diction, there is not much room for complaint. 

This is an emotionally resonant romance novel that explores mental health through a unique and candid lens that will keep readers engaged throughout this impassioned story.

Pages: 338 | ASIN: B09CGHS4KX

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