Today I welcome back Rebekah Weatherspoon to That’s What I’m Talking About. She’s here to share some of her personal experiences that went into the writing of her upcoming New Adult title, Treasure. Please help me welcome Rebekah to the blog.
I think when a lot of people think of the New Adult genre, “angst” is one of the key descriptors that comes to mind. There are bad boys, all sorts of wrong sides of the tracks, the almost sexual assaults, and more dark pasts to shakes a stick at. One thing I like about the New Adult genre is that it tackles a period in life that is often overlooked in media. There are tons of books and television shows for kids from preschool to 18. and then the world seems to pick up again for the 25+ crowd.
I think between the ages of 18 and 25 a lot of us did a lot of growing. I know I did. I finished college. Got my first car. Moved in with my first partner, worked THREE jobs at once, learned I wasn’t cut out to be a middle school teacher. During that time I also found my love of writing. It was a time for growth, but it was also a time when I struggled a great deal. I felt the first pull to end my life my senior year in high school. I was struggling with depression, undiagnosed vision problems, and undiagnosed ADHD, along with all the other fun stuff that comes with being an overweight black girl at a predominately white boarding school.
Luckily, I had my father close by, and just having him there to listen and take as much of my pain as he could, gave me the will to hang on. He was there for me again in college when I felt the same pull and again in my early 20’s when those dark voices came back. It was his voice, and the voice of my significant other, who kept me from the closest I’ve been to the edge when in 2011, I finally made plans. I didn’t follow through with those plans and have since taken steps to really care for myself and put my own mental health before anything else. I’ve found joy in self care and joy in the strength it gives me to keep writing.
When I decided to write Alexis and Trisha’s story, I wasn’t going for the angst factor. Instead I wanted to tell a story that felt true. I wanted to acknowledge that black girls struggle with depression and suicide. In the months before the story begins, Alexis tries to take her own life, but fails. I wanted to not only tell the story of two young black girls falling in love for the first time, but I wanted to write about the possibilities of what happens if you hang on. As the story unfolded in my mind, I started to fall in love with Alexis and Trisha as a couple, and I started to fall in love with their possibilities. Their story reminded me why it was important for me to keep going.
But as I was sitting down to draft this post, I learned that the younger sister of a dear from of mine had taken her life. I’d only met Safir a handful of times, but her older sisters, Aita and Kani, were two of the very few black girls who populated that boarding school with me. I’ve remained close with Aita over the years and have always known how much she loves her sisters. And with that I have two requests. The family is raising funds for Safir’s burial and funeral. Please donate or share this link. http://www.gofundme.com/eavgg8
And lastly, know that you are important. US National Suicide Hotline : 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Treasure hits digital shelves October 14 2014.
About the book:
Her sister’s bachelorette party is the highlight of a miserable year for Alexis Chambers, but once her bridesmaid’s dress is packed away, she’s back to coping with her life as a once popular athlete and violinist turned loner and the focus of her parents’ disappointment. She isn’t expecting much from her freshman year of college until she finds herself sharing a class with Treasure, the gorgeous stripper from her sister’s party.
Trisha Hamilton has finally gotten the credits and the money together to transfer to a four-year university. Between classes, studying, and her job as a stripper, she has little time for a social life, until she runs into the adorably shy baby butch from the club. Trisha can’t seem to hide her feelings for Alexis, even when Trisha discovers what she has been through, but will Alexis have the strength to be just as fearless about their new love?
About the Author:
Rebekah Weatherspoon is from Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California with her favorite human and their two feline children. She writes adult and new adult romance, both contemporary and paranormal. Her work can be found at rebekahweatherspoon.com.