Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Honor, D.F. Krieger

It’s an extreme pleasure to have D. F. Krieger as my guest today. I first met Ms. Krieger while she wore her other hat, editor, and have garnered great respect and admiration for this woman. When I learned she was an author as well, we’ll just say her intimidation factor went through the roof.
Needless to say I’m very pleased to have her as my guest today. She’s pimping her new release, To Honor, now available from Secret Cravings Publishing. Let me tell you, have a box of tissue handy. I wasn’t halfway through the book before I had to take a moment and regain my composure.
Chef and Tyrell are at your service. There’s plenty of peanut M&M’s and Coca-Cola to go around and of course the buffet and open bar at your disposal.
Please tell the readers a little about yourself.
Wow, you go all out researching what a girl likes before you host them, don't you? Goodness! Well, since you bribed me with my favorite naughty treats, I'll let you in on a secret...I'm certified insane! Personally, I think I just have a low tolerance for bad things, but my diagnosis is what it is. The good thing is, as a writer I can pretend I'm making up plots and fleshing out my characters when really I'm engaging in a fantasy world to escape real life.
What was the inspiration for, To Honor?
To Honor was based loosely on some of my own bad experiences. My therapist told me I should find a creative way to express my pain, and so I wrote the book. Fortunately, Secret Cravings has a line dedicated specifically to illness and handicaps, and the fact you can still find love. This book was a perfect fit.
The cover is so emotional. How did you settle on that image?
I looked at stock photos for hours, inputing phrases like "couples fighting" or "couple emotional" before I found this one. The moment I saw it, I knew it was the one. It helps that our cover artist is one of the best and was willing to work with the image I asked for.
To Honor, truly rocked my world and left me gasping for air at some parts. Did you draw from personal experience?
I did. I will be very honest, I was in a psych ward in September of last year. I was there for trying to commit suicide. Within two years time I had experienced a car wreck that left me with amnesia of the incident and short term memory loss, my husband leaving on our first deployment, my mother's unexpected death, being diagnosed with cancer that caused me to suffer a miscarriage for seven months, and my husband asking for a divorce when his online girlfriend told him to. A person can only take so much and instead of reaching out for help like I should have, I attempted suicide. Like Derek in To Honor, my husband is working with me every day to heal the myriad of wounds that influence my daily life.

What advice would you give to someone who is teetering on the brink?
I guess the advice I can't stress enough is to remember you aren't alone. Not only that, but don't make it so that you are alone. Often, when we're suffering from the peak of an invisible illness, all we want to do is shut ourselves inside our houses and lay in bed. Then, we start thinking that no one cares when the truth is we've pushed those people away. People who usually don't understand how badly we need them and so they don't know to knock on our door and drag us outside, kicking and screaming.
And how are you today?
I won't lie, I have my good days and then I have very, very bad days. As I'm learning to identify my "triggers" (what sends me into worse bouts of anxiety/depression/PTSD flashbacks) I'm learning to rationalize through my pain and fear instead of letting it rule me.

TIP: Sit down with your family or partner and create a booklet that lists your "triggers." No matter how stupid they might be to someone else, they are a very real influence and your life. This will help your family or friends recognize when you need help the most.

Example: Babies. (Seeing a baby causes a lot of conflicting emotions in me. I feel so sad that I don't have my baby, but scared of ever trying to have one again because I might develop that cancer again.)

TIP: Get a notebook or journal and create what I call a "Happy Journal." List events, objects, or experiences that make you happy. When you feel down in the dumps, read over the book. Let it remind you that no matter how you feel right now, good things do happen to you.

Example: Today was my birthday! My family surprised me by taking me to a movie I really wanted to see and then taking me to my favorite restaurant. I had a lot of fun with them. I love my family.

What else is in the works for you this year?
I have several books being released this year. Everything from a non-fiction piece about my experience with animal rescue, to a hot sexy Native American shifter story being released in October. I also have several books in the works which can be found in the "In Progress" section on my website.
Could you share a little of To Honor?
“Derek?” Evelyn picked her husband’s cell phone up as she hollered for him. “Your phone is flashing. You got a text message.”
  When silence met her, she shrugged. A flick of her thumb across the screen brought up the message. She and Derek checked each other’s phones all the time. It wasn’t a matter of distrust so much as convenience. Moments later, the phone clattered to the ground as she stared at her hand. Surely he didn’t mean what he’d said.
I like talking to you better than my wife.
 Her husband walked in the room, took one look at her, and his face went red. Evelyn wasn’t sure if it was from anger or embarrassment, but it didn’t matter. A kind of numbness encased her while tears streamed down her face. She didn’t beg, she didn’t scream, she didn’t say a word. Even as Derek stood there, airing out a laundry list of reasons how she’d ruined their marriage, Evelyn never fought back.
He left, slamming the door behind him and a sense of peace washed over her. So many things had happened the past few months, terrible things. Events that left her awake at night, wondering how she was going to get through the next day. She’d stayed alive only because she loved her husband. Now she was free.

Thank you, D. F. for being so candid with your experience. I can't tell you how much this means to me and my readers.


W. Lynn Chantale said...

Again, Thank you so much for sharing your story with the readers. You are an incredible amazing woman. God Bless.

D. F. Krieger said...

Thank you so much for having me and being brave enough to ask the questions. I really appreciate the opportunity to be open about my experiences.

gayl said...

I have chills reading that excerpt and can honestly say I know what you went through and are dealing with although for different reasons. So much of what you said here rang true for me especially the part about pushing people away. Thank you for sharing this interview and for writing To Honor. I am looking forward to reading it.

W. Lynn Chantale said...

It's a definite must read, Gayl. Thank you for dropping in. Here have some M&M's