Sharing Deepest Emotions With an Important Message

May 18, 2016

I'd like to welcome author SJ Hermann to my blog. During the course of connecting with other authors via social media, I’ve recently come to recognize we have some life realities in common. I think this interview will also help me, along with many others experiencing similar emotional issues, understand why we feel the things we do.
Or, why we stay secretive about them.

SR: Please share in your own words, and from the heart, why you think depression and mental illnesses remain the hidden disease, if you would.
SJ: Thank you for having me, Susan. I think there are several reasons people stay silent about their depression. There are those who simply don’t want to hear, “You need to be strong,” or, “There are people who have it worse than you.” While those who say that, don’t understand how depression works to the one suffering, they are hollow words that mean nothing. In fact, it can lead to the depression worsening. 
              SJ: Also, the one with the illness also considers how they will be perceived. They don’t want to appear weak, which is why some mask their pain with a fake smile. It is mentally draining pretending to be happy when at times, deep down, you’re shattered. You want nobody to know that you break down and cry. To them, that’s not you, and you want to keep it that way. It’s also a reason why a lot of people fail to seek help. For men, it can be hard to admit that they struggle with emotions. They want to be strong. They feel that they need to be.
  SR: My father attempted suicide around the same time I began cutting. Unfortunately, he survived. So, how did you childhood affect your depression issues, if it did?
SJ: My mother kicked my father out when I was born. When I was eleven, my mother passed away from cancer. Raised by my Aunt and grandmother, I was without biological parents for a majority of my life. It was after that, that bullying slowly began to build, and inside, the seeds of depression were planted. Freshman year of High School was hell. It was relentless. A bullying event that happened to Nathan in MORIUM, is based on something that happened to me. It was the water being poured on the seeds of depression. It grew to the point where I started ditching school to avoid the hell I was living through. I let myself go, physically, because I simply did not care. It was at this point I made my first attempt to take my life. 
Many times I’ve been asked, “Why didn’t you say anything about the bullying.” It simply wasn’t that easy. I did pull through those dark years. There was about a two year period, senior year and the year after, that I wish I could travel back in time and relive, lol. But I fell back into the hole to which I am still struggling to climb out of.  
  SR: So, this is what brings out the darker side of your writing? 
SJ: It’s the depression and anxiety that brings out the darker side of my writing. I write what lies inside of me.  Most of the main characters in my books have a piece of me in them. Each of my stories have a moral basis to them. I write not only to tell great (I hope) stories, but to make people stop and think after they finish reading. There are many underlining themes besides bullying that teen’s face in the MORIUM series. SPLINTERED LOVE tells five unique and dark tales of how love is not always clear-cut. Perhaps that is why a majority of my stories don’t have a happy ending (lol). There are times were my darker side brings out the best in me, but, there are also times were it is so overwhelming that I turn to the only thing I know to help light the darkness. 
  SR: Here’s a joke on me: I have skin cancer problems, so now I get a surgeon to cut my skin, instead of me doing the cutting. When and why did you start cutting? 
SJ: There are things you block out in your life, and when the first time I took a blade to my skin I am not sure. I can say for certain, it has been a few years ago and that it still continues, though not as much.  I needed a way to block that emotional pain. Even though I knew it was a temporary fix, those minutes I cut made it feel as if there was another escape. One could say that I took the hatred for myself and turned it back upon me. It continued until my arm now bears witness with scars of my hatred.  
SR: Tell me about your writing. What’s your latest project about, and what inspired you to write about it? 
SJ: I’m currently toying with several different projects. The final book in the MORIUM Trilogy titled, TERMINUS. A supernatural YA novel loosely based off a short story from, SPLINTERED LOVE called, PERFECT, which, is a full length book from another short story, EVENTUS. If that made sense, lol. The other one is a romance novel that has no title
SR: What do you hope to achieve with your writing? What’s your message to your readers? 
        SJ: I hope when readers get done with my books that they stop and ponder the message I weaved into the story. Writing is a powerful tool to get a message across while being entertaining, and without being overly preachy. 
My message to my readers: A huge thank you for reading my books and being so supportive.  

Steve, I'd like to thank you for being so candid and honest about your problems. I also admire how you've been able to turn adversity into a positive through your writing. You're quite a guy and I'm happy to have met you.
For more information about SJ Hermann's Books, please visit the links below.

SJ Hermann's Amazon author page:
His website:



April 27, 2016
#Giveaway Please join us as we give away eBooks, gift cards, and $100 PayPal USD! 
Here's your winning ticket:


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Guess What? It's Finally Here! Sharing my Author Bud Mistral Dawn's New Release!

April 14, 2016

Hey Everyone!!! :-)

Guess what? It's finally here!!  Rainbow Dreams is now available for preorder from the following merchants:









 What's it about?  I'm glad you asked!  Here's the blurb:

Have you ever had a terrible secret you didn't want anyone to know? Petri does and it may get her killed. Life is hard on Upworld, especially for the residents of Under City, and it's even harder for those who don't fit in. Petri has alway been ...

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Sometimes You Have to Take a Stand

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 Just when I thought I’d met everyone who’s interesting, a charismatic persona took a stand for an issue that makes a difference that’s dear to our hearts. 
 He’s all over social media, poses for photo shoots, is musically inclined, and I'm willing to bet he’s a fine author, too.

Since I was already an avid fan of the Sesame Street Muppets, I easily became infatuated with my new, adorable furry friend, and HAD to know more about him!


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Introducing Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, a talented author and a new friend

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I have the special privilege of introducing Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, a talented author and a new friend, via the fabulous Rave Reviews Community. So without further ado, please give her the support she deserves, while we respectfully appreciate her awesome accomplishments.

Mohana’s writing is extremely diversified and knowledgeable, and I’m honored to share today’s special support: Please read on. 

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Mo...
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It's Liebster Award Time...Or, Positivity is Everything

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    I couldn’t think of anyone less likely to receive the Liebster Award, but my talented author friend Christy King has faith in me, thus my nomination. Positive thoughts are key to a fulfilling existence no matter what kind of creativity you're into, and I'm excited beyond words to be included in this hand-clapping cool concept of sharing my blog with others.
    So, thank you, Christy, for this honor - I’m also 
grateful for the opportunity for the guest post.   
    Without furth...

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Show & Tell Time OR How I Got a New Crockpot - Recipe for Disaster

February 2, 2016
     After eight months of renovating the fixer-upper Joe and I bought last May, we’ve nearly completed the mission of having “Our Dream Home.” 
    Too bad we almost blew up the new kitchen the other night, but I’ll be getting to that.
    The air conditioning quit our second day in the new place, and cost an unplanned $4800 to replace. Leave it to spring to herald in the hottest May on record, while we literally baked in the glory of renesting.
     Demolishing the dated kitc...

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Please Welcome My Special Guest, Lizabeth Scott

January 8, 2016

Hello, Wonderful People! Please join me while I host my friend and author extraordinaire Lizabeth Scott as she celebrates her new release: 
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SR: Howdy and welcome, Lizabeth. We’re eager to know more about you. So, just who is Lizabeth Scott? 

LS: A voracious reader, full-time writer wanna be, wife, mother, and PA to two terrier terrors. Liz is the author of The Royal Vow and Hearts of Gold Series and a Carolina girl who loves sand between her toes as frequently...

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What a Wonderful Year This Has Been

December 7, 2015
This has been a year filled with many triumphs and changes. As I reflect on these memories, I’d love to share some with you.

First, we welcomed my youngest daughter’s baby son into the world on April 25. Although he was a month early, he suffered no ill effects, and he’s a healthy robust, almost-eight-month-old! His personality radiates the best of both families, and we all love him to pieces! 

Career wise, I’ve recently had the honor of participating in an author’s dream-come-true.

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Proud to Present: Captivated by the Winter King

October 31, 2015

BOO! A SpookTacular Halloween Greeting to you all, and welcome to my blog. Today I have the honor of hosting the talented author Mistral Dawn, as she gets ready to release her new story on November 30, 2015, Captivated By The Winter King. This is one of those super cool, cover reveals you've heard tell about.

So without further ado, please welcome my great friend, Mistral Dawn!

Hey Everyone!! :-)


Guess what!!! We're only one month away from the release of Captivated By The ...

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