Who am I? #zerotohero

My Name is Linda Nelson, and I am a YA Writer. Well, that is my main focus, but I have written a fantasy series too that is kind of geared toward YA readers.

I’m not quite sure why I chose to write for YA except that my Contemporary series was written for my children. Even though they are now young adults and I am a Grandma, I still see them as my teens. Maybe, because of the trouble they put me through while they were in their teens, I’m not sure.

Wings from Ashes series started when my daughter was 18 and left home unexpectedly. Then my son introduced himself back into my life. He is my addict.

For some people, it is hard for them to talk about having a family member that is an addict. I have found that by speaking about it, I have been able to move forward in my life and allow him to grow too. He was the catalysis for writing Road Salt. If he hadn’t pitched my first book, Friends of Choice, to his counselor then I would never have considered writing another contemporary to follow it up. She asked me whether I was going to write another and two months later I was pitching my idea of Road Salt to her, and she loved the idea.

Addicts will always be addicts no matter what. When they are in recovery, it is a way of prolonging their life. Once you accept their eminent death sentence they have given to themselves, it becomes easier to let them go so the addict can grow. There are things you can do to help allow yourself to continue having a healthy relationship with them. But if you allow them to step past your boundaries then you are in a bad place. Never ever let your guard down. They may seem upstanding, healthy and clean, but their minds will take years of reprogramming before the trust you gave them when they were five can ever be given again. It is rough.

I know of mothers who have lost their children to drug overdoses. I see and hear their pain. I know in my own heart, this will be a difficult stage to face. Cutting the umbilical cord is hard, especially that one that was created when we bonded with our babies when they were born. That emotional umbilical cord must be cut if we are to survive once they succumb to their coming fate. If we are lucky, we will have passed before they have.

Not all addicts lose their battle. Some have gone on to live fulfilling lives and remain clean for years. Some of them have become the counselors who help treat other addicts in hopes to pass their knowledge on to another. This leads me to the reason why I wrote Along Came Neil and ended the series as a trilogy with this particular book.

Everyone deserves a happy ending, and that is what Along Came Neil has. It is the number one element to writing a romance. This is a book about hope, regaining trust, self-discipline and positive reinforcement.

So if you are an addict, have an addict family member or friend, I would love to hear from you.

It is helpful to hear success stories of recovery to keep the hope alive.

Everyone needs hope.

Did you lose a loved one from Substance Abuse? I would love to hear from you too. How are you coping with your loss?

And last but not least; addicts, we love hearing how long you have been clean. Every day that goes by that you have remained clean is hope for someone’s mother.

Reflections of 2013

The year is just about over, and many people will be working on New Year’s resolutions – goals for the coming year. But for now I want to take the time to look back and remember where I have come from.

How and why did I begin writing?

It all started for me back in 2008 when my daughter said, Mom come check out My Space. I looked and saw all the blogs on the site and began reading. It was a neat way to keep a kind of journal of some sort to share with others. We left comments for each other, made friends, and left lots of Kudos.

Do you remember Kudos?

Then my daughter turned 18. Ah – the proper age when the child is supposed to leave the nest. The only thing was, she hadn’t finished High School. Ugh!

Yep – she left home – no rhyme or reason. Quit school too.

I was mad. What kind of sane mother wouldn’t be? I went through life trying to help her make it from point A to point B. One grade to the next – it wasn’t my fault that she needed to stay back in school a couple of times. The first time was absolutely all on her. She wanted to be obstinate while in Kindergarten. She is my stubborn child.

So, when she left home in 2009, of course, I was mad. That was the year I wrote Friends of Choice. I put all my worries, fears, angers, and everything into that story. I also wanted her to know that I was actually listening to her all those years. I got her. I knew how she felt, by feeling out of control because we had to move when she was finally in a school that she truly was accepted into.

By the time, the book Road Salt came about my son had entered back into the picture. We had an on and off relationship for the past ten years while he lived with his dad. Most of that time he spent getting into trouble with drug addiction related crimes.

2010 was the year my Granddaughter was born. She and my daughter now reside in upstate NY. That was the year that I published Friends of Choice.

In 2011, my son entered a residential rehab and remained in that program for just about a year. While he was there, my writing began to take on a different meaning. I no longer felt as if I were writing just for myself. I was now writing with a purpose. I wanted to help the public learn about drug addiction and how it can find its way into all walks of life. No one is immune to the disease of addiction.

Road Salt was a hard piece to write. I wanted compelling facts for this fictional story, and without the story sounding too preachy. Besides, the designer drug bath salts is a terribly scary substance.

By the time, I was half way done writing Road Salt, a good friend of mine introduced me to Romance Writers of America. Now I had a new element to add to my writing. This was a new challenge for me.

To many times drug addiction ends in tragedy with the user dying from their drug usage accidently.

In Along Came Neil, I not only sought to write a story about romance, but I wanted to learn how to write a story with a happy ending. When I accomplished this for the first time, it felt fantastic.

Everyone desires to have Happy Ending no matter how much they have screwed their lives up over the years. There is always that small chance that they might make just one single choice that might lead them to recover their lives and live. It does happen. Not as often as it should

If only there were more residential rehabs out there like Delancy Street or the Phoenix House maybe more people would be able to find the strength to stand up against and fight back substance abuse. If the government were to spend money as they spend on the incarceration of an addict, on recovery programs where solid communities are made, maybe more of these addicts would become active community law-abiding citizens and survive to live more than just another day.

Yes, I write fantasy too.

Will I stop writing stories like Road Salt?

No – I can’t. Stories like Road Salt give me a compelling reason to write.