Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Lisa Zarcone author of The Unspoken Truth: A Memoir
I am also the Massachusetts National Ambassador and Regional Director for the New England Area for Naasca (National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse).
I use my personal story and title as a platform to speak publicly about child abuse, trauma, abandonment and mental health.
I am also a blogger.
Please visit my website: lisazarcone.net
You can also find me on many social media networks:
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
This is my life story of child abuse and the treacherous road I traveled with my severely mentally ill mother. The abuse that I sustained was hideous and by more than one abuser. I was mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually abused.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I have always been a highly creative person. My love for writing, drawing and connecting to my deep interpersonal thoughts and feelings fuel my passion to create new and exciting things.
How do you deal with creative block?
I walk away from it and regroup by connecting myself with nature and let the sunshine hit my face. I take in some deep breaths and just enjoy my surroundings.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
I have taken much criticism for the way I wrote my story. I wrote my story from the child’s thoughts and perspectives and because of that my story is a bit choppy at times. I also had a few errors in my story that I left in purposely because I wanted the readers to understand how abuse can have a long-term effect on brain development. The clouded mind of a child processing abuse and the damage that it causes. Unfortunately, some people just didn’t get the meaning behind my purpose.
With that being said, I stand behind my story and how I created it 110 % because it shows the true nature of what abuse does to a child.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Always go with your gut and your passion. What truly connects you to the story you are writing.
I had a clear image of what I wanted for my title and cover, and it played out incredibly.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I believe because of the nature of my story (child abuse), it is hard to get negative feedback at times. The depth of my story is raw, intense and at times graphic, so some people react negatively to the topic matter.
I try to put myself in the shoes of others when I read negative reviews and think about what is it about my story that affected them in such a way. I do believe my story triggers people who have been through their own trauma in life, and have never dealt with their own pain.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I have become a much stronger writer through out this process, and I continue to improve as I move forward.
I am working on book two right now and I can see my improvements as I read back my work.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
It was the learning process that was intriguing to me. I am a first-time published author who self-published. I had to learn about this whole process from soup to nuts!
I amazed myself on how I was able to jump in and absorb every aspect of writing, publishing and marketing my own work.
I also found at times I became frustrated because when you self-publish you are basically on your own, and I had to learn how to navigate through a sea of the big unknowns. I had to find my place in the writing world, and that was very hard.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
My hope has always been that my story help others. I wrote it with the purpose of educating, inspiring and bringing awareness to these strong subjects of child abuse/trauma and mental illness/stigmas.
I use my personal story as a platform to speak publicly about child abuse and mental health.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions play a big role in creating. The emotional mind wanting to share and elaborate on a larger scale.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
I write down small sayings that come into my mind. I also write down random thoughts that seem to come from nowhere. It is there that we find our greatest gifts.
What are your plans for future books?
I have a wonderful children’s series that I am currently looking to publish. Phoebe and Valentine’s Great Adventures needs a home.
This is a very important series. I have written five books at this time, with many more to come once I can get them published.
These stories are important because Phoebe is my grand-daughter and my husband and I are raising her. I was inspired to write this series because when she came to live with us and started school other children would ask her if we were her parents. When she would respond, “They are my Memah and Grandpa”, some children were not very kind to her and even made fun of her. This type of behavior bordered bullying and they were only in Kindergarten at the time.
I wrote these fun adventures that takes Phoebe and her stuffed bear on many wonderful outings with her grandparents who are raising her. These stories promote unique family units, acceptance of peers, and community. The big message for all the children is this, “As long as you are in a home that is safe, happy and full of love, it doesn’t matter who is raising you”.
Anyone reading this, if you know of a publisher looking for an incredible little series pass it along. I would be extremely grateful.
I am also working on “The Book of Joann”. This is my mother’s story and her journey through life as she battles mental illness. I am starting from the beginning. It will be a powerful and profound look at how her mental illness came to be, family dynamics and the dysfunction it created throughout her life.
This story will also showcase how mental illness affected a whole family, and the strained relationship of mother and daughter throughout the years.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I laugh at myself. I may say something goofy or witty and then I laugh. At times I crack myself up.
Laughter is the best medicine.
My Future Outlook:
I would like to see mental health programs brought into the school systems. There are so many children in need of support and it goes beyond the teachers. How are teachers supposed to effectively teach children who have a clouded mind like I did?
There needs to be more therapists, peer counselors, and classes teaching about mental health, peer acceptance, bullying and suicide prevention.
People need to take off the blinders and break the stigmas once and for all. Our children deserve better!
I am dedicated to bring awareness, education and inspiration.
My Motto — “Embrace The Journey” — You never know what life will put in your path so be Aware – Strong – Focused!