Please welcome author J.P. Wilson to my blog. His book, Through the Mind’s Eye: A Journey of Self-discovery, came out last year.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I will never get used to this question, simply put I just never know how to answer. What “bit” does one pick?
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Burlington, Ontario and I now reside in Vancouver, British Columbia, yet my home is Victoria B. C. for all intents and purposes.
What or who inspired you to start writing?
I have always enjoyed writing from a young age, at eight or nine years I was writing stupid little stories simply for fun.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still do not consider myself a writer per se. I can write yes, but do I write well? I cannot answer that question only the readers can. I do call myself an author, there is a very fine line for me.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
Easy question, all of me, all, of it as the book is about me, the next book slated for release is all about me. There is a third book in the works that is about another topic yet the premise is how it relates to me. I like me. No seriously, I am a memoir writer first and foremost, the other is creative non-fiction.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
I think I answered part of this question already. The first book being about my initial recovery from alcohol addiction- the second is about living with sobriety and all the ups and downs that go along with that premise.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Unfortunately I do not write full-time, maybe one day. I am a certified Red Seal Chef by trade which keeps me fairly busy yet I always make the time to write. Odd as this may sound the writing is an ongoing part of the never ending recovery process, one that is invaluable to me.
What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
Best- I think I would have to say the solitude. Worst- I think I would have to the solitude!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Typically I will just start writing although there is one book I am working on that has required a fair amount of research-then I just start writing from what I have learned doing this research. Hence the “creative” in the creative non-fiction.
Please tell us about your current release.
Through the Mind’s Eye: A Journey of Self-Discovery is a compilation of my initial recovery process from alcohol addiction, the treatment program and the follow up needed to stay sober.
What inspired you to write this book?
Initially the therapeutic value of daily journalling was all it was, the thought of this being anything else came after many discussions with others, the help I was able to give to them through my own experiences was the final inspiration. I wanted to be able to help others with their own journeys. I had taken counselling courses to this end yet I felt very strongly that the written word was my way of offering that help.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Having taken the deepest possible look into myself, my soul, my inner-core was all the research needed. This is an incredible task to accomplish with any certainty no what whom you are.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
You will have to read the book for that answer, there are many.
What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?
I would have to say chapter nine, in this chapter I get into some serious issues concerning depression, the loss of family etc. For me this was a very hard thing to re-live over and over throughout the editing process. There was a short time after the final edit where I seriously doubted whether I should publish or not. I was about to put myself “out there” for all to see. So vulnerable to the world, was I strong enough within myself to face this was the question.
Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?
The story has turned so much better than first anticipated, the positivity from the feedback has been absolutely overwhelming for me in so many ways.
Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
Strictly at my desk, perched over the computer, with my coffee.
Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
Coffee, just coffee.
What book are you reading right now?
Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins and Memoirs of a Pahktun Immigrant by Teresa Schapansky – memoirs of course…
If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
Stephen King without a doubt, to me he just seems so real, so down to earth. His life has been on public display for so long I feel as if I know him already, I just think we would “hit it off.” To be honest I cannot think of a second right now, another author has just recently compared my writing to that of James Joyce so let’s go with him…. no?
Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
As a hobby I was once on an underwater hockey team. Yes that does say “underwater hockey.”
Depression, self-loathing, unemployment, and destroyed relationships: the effects of drug and alcohol addiction run so much deeper than the morning-after hangover. However, awareness alone will not save the struggling addict, as J.P. Willson reveals in his fearless examination of substance dependency; recovery means doing the mental and emotional work to look inside oneself and discover a way to live as a sober, fulfilled individual in an often challenging world.
Through the Mind’s Eye: A Journey of Self-Discovery is a thought-provoking and honest examination of the emotional, psychological, and physical ways someone must enact their own healing. As a former alcoholic, Willson courageously shares his own story of addiction, as well the ups and downs he experienced along the road to recovery. Packed with astonishing insights about our culture’s relationship to alcohol, as well as the lies we tell ourselves in order to keep using, this book will change the way you view addiction. Willson has no qualms about telling the reader how difficult recovery is—and how there is no quick cure-all—but his compassionate, candid reflections help foster the knowledge and will to change.
About the Author
J.P. Willson is a writer and chef living on the western coast of Canada. Growing up as the shy, quiet child in a large middle-class family, he has always been an observer, a thinker, and a wonderer. He has worked as a Red Seal chef for twenty-five years, and is highly skilled in his trade. However, despite his accomplishments, his life has not been easy. J.P. struggled with alcoholism for nearly thirty years, which resulted in homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, and spiraling depression. Having done the soul-searching and continuing work required for recovery, J.P. decided to share his experience and knowledge to help others along their own journeys. Through the Mind’s Eye: A Journey of Self-Discovery is his first publication. J.P. is deeply grateful for the love and support of his family, counselors, and friends.
You can purchase Through the Mind’s Eye on Amazon.