Since I have decided to to put Breathe back on the shelf I have been thinking about the series of novellas that will be coming this year instead. Sharing Strength came from my heart and is a topic I care about very deeply however there are aspects that I am not as personally familiar with unfortunately. The story is all about a support group for people with post traumatic stress disorder. I do know the syndrome and many of the effects people can experience when dealing with it.
The novellas that have come out of Sharing Strength are the back stories of the members of the support group and while none of those stories are easy to write, they all have their own reasons. Survivor was already written and released. It was by the far the most difficult one for me personally because it was based on a true story and knowing how painful it was made everyday of writing hurt. I cried repeatedly as I shared the story. I went to yoga daily for the sake of keeping myself calm as I designed the cover. I busied myself as much as possible planning the release party so I didn't have t feel anything else. It was difficult on every level and then some.
Fish will be frustrating for a similar reason. While the book will not be anywhere near as closely based in reality as Survivor was, it is inspired by true events which are difficult to think about let alone share with the world. For those that have had similar experiences it can be painful to even think about but that is one of the reasons it is important to write the book. There are so many elements that begin with what the main character Rachel must endure in Fish and then what progresses to Sharing Strength as the aftermath unfolds.
While I am looking forward to writing all of the stories, and fearing the emotions involved, there will be no book that needs more research than Combat. Because there are two characters of Sharing Strength that appear in Combat I need to make sure I cover both sides of the story completely. It will most likely be the longest of the novellas as well. As the name would imply however, the book is set in a time and location of war. Brian and Kyle are bets friends and brothers in arms. They develop their particular issues while fighting for their country as well as fighting to survive one another and the world around them. I have personal experiences that reflect in Survivor and Fish but I have never been in war.
Crash will also need some looking into. I do not have children so I cannot relate to the concerns of parents. I also have never been through the PTSD symptoms that Craig deals with. He takes a very difficult fall after his incident and when he slips down the psychological rabbit hole his family is there to add both help and hurt on top of his already fragile mindset. I am lucky enough to have a friend that is willing to sit down with me and let me ask questions but I know how emotional that will likely be for him and his wife. I am looking forward to making progress but there will definitely be hours of watching documentaries, reading about people's experiences and sitting down with people that have firsthand knowledge in all of these situations.