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Interview with Melissa Febos

Author Melissa Febos, interviewed by author, Roben Farzad

I attended a conference for James River Writer’s that hosts an annual conference in Richmond, VA.

The Executive Director, Katherine Herndon, of James River Writers happens to have been Charles’ English teacher. In fact, she was one of his favorite teachers.

As I was looking over the conference registration, I decided I might like to be a sponsor and Katherine thought the interview with author, Melissa Febos, was a good fit. She was right.

This interview was meaningful, soul searching, and I loved what Melissa had to say about writing memoir–basically that once that door opens, the story will stalk you until you write it. Or something like that. I believe her phrase was far more articulate. But it’s late right now and that’s all I got in the word bank.

That’s what my book did. Stalked me.

I wrote it in my head long before I could tackle it as a project because my grief after Charles’ suicide was still too raw. There were times writing it did consume me and I had to take a breather so I could regroup and dive in again later. It was agonizing and cathartic, agonizing and cathartic.

My tragic genius, Charles, said in one of his songs, “I wondered if it was possible for a soul to bleed inside.” I can say without a doubt it is.  The good news is that a lot of healing happens when you confront your story face to face.

Melissa came up to me before her interview and expressed a heartfelt thank you for sponsoring and I was really glad I did. Her two published books have received a lot of awards and praise and to think that twelve years ago she was suffering with addiction to heroin.  I can’t help but feel hope for others struggling.

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Melissa is author of Whip Smart and her latest, Abandon Me. You can find out more about her at MelissaFebos.com. I encourage you to read both or one of her books. I am.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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