As you know Fridays is guest author day. I met Amanda Green through social media a while back and I’ve read about her writing and her experiences and have been corresponding with her for a while. We have exchanged thoughts on mental health and a variety of other topics and I finally managed to squeeze some time to read her first book ‘My Alien Self‘ recently. I convinced Amanda to come as guest and thought it would be an excellent chance to also share the review of that book. Amanda is also kindly sharing some of her tips on writing.
Here is Amanda:
I am Amanda Green, author of six inspiring, self published books.
Outside of writing and social networking (yes I spend far too long each day on the computer!), I spend a lot of time with my pets; a handsome cat called Titus, a pretty hamster called Molly and tropical fish. I strongly believe in pet or animal therapy as being good for our mind, body and soul and I promote the fostering and adopting of animals as opposed to private breeding and purchase, as there are too many surplus animals desperate for homes. I detest animal cruelty.
I love eating out and reviewing restaurants, travel, days out, campaigning for the precious Orang-utan and the issues of unsustainable palm oil production and seeing my family. I also enjoy reading, theatre, films, TV and cooking and when I can calm my mind down, just relaxing!
I gained 9 GCSE’s at school and have travelled on/off across the world, taking in twenty five Countries – living and working at times in Japan, Thailand and Australia. I have enjoyed work in the field of Hotels, banking, property management, recruitment and Office management gaining many skills and qualifications along the way.
I run six personal websites for which I write all copy and articles and provide all photography. I learn as much as I can fit into my life
I have had my writing and photography work published in various magazines and local newspapers. I enjoy the challenge of getting published and very much enjoy doing my own PR, learnt through my varied working background.
‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me‘ is my self published memoir of my journey through mental illness to recovery. I want to inspire others that it is possible to recover and have a life worth living.
My aspirations are to continue as a full time writer/photographer. I intend to be successful in fact/fiction storytelling in the mental health/relationship genres. I have unique ideas, and a very thick skin. I attended various writer’s retreats and short writing courses to further my writing, and learnt a great deal from the editor’s/literary consultant’s who worked with me on my memoir project. I am 40 years old.
The first two of my books, ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back To Me‘ and the sequel ‘39‘, are both memoirs, the rest are fiction short stories, a novelette and a novella.
My second memoir ’39’ is about what happened afterwards; the year before reaching the prime age of forty, family relationships, love and memories.
Other books – fiction…
‘Behind Those Eyes: A Novella’ (An Amanda Green Novella) – Two homeless men, a successful brother and sister, a woman falling in love, a man with family problems and a whole lot of twists in this ‘sliding doors’ style novella. It’s a story about people and adversity, love, friendship and stigma. Will you work out what they have in common?
‘Living the Dream – A Novelette’ (An Amanda Green Novelette) – Essentially a psychologically twisted style story, this book contains some offensive language and is suitable for adults only. It touches on sexual and domestic abuse of women, mental health and features three women, in East London, linked through adversity with twists and turns along the way.
It is a work of fiction, however this type of thing could be happening near you – two very important subjects we should be aware of.’
‘What I Know and two more short stories’ (Amanda Green’s Short Stories) – ‘What I know’, ‘The Coach Trip’ and ‘The Best of Friends’ make up this trio of short stories about relationships. Read how each character chooses a different path…
‘The Woman Who Lives Next Door – A Short Story’ (Amanda Green’s Short Stories) -How well do you really know your next door neighbour? Mary is yet to find out…
All available on Amazon.
Amazon U.S. author page:
Amazon U.K. author page
I have just finished Counselling skills level 2 at college and am waiting to hear if I will be accepted on the level 4 course. I would love to be able to help others facing issues and adversities, so fingers crossed!
I want to inspire others that it is possible to recover and have a life worth living. Because I grew up with my mother having severe Schizophrenia, who had been incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals for years, and felt the bullying and loneliness that stigma can spread, I campaign to ‘stop the stigma surrounding mental illness. I also felt the wrath of stigma when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder. Many people do not understand mental illness, so judge people unfairly. So I created www.amandagreenauthor.co.uk where I publish articles on the topics covered in my story, including self help, depression, bankruptcy, Alcohol/drug abuse, family and relationships, sexual, physical and mental abuse, anxiety, anger, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), self harm, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia, mindfulness, panic, rape, Schizophrenia, psychosis, Suicidal thoughts, , paranoia, dissociation, mood disorder, thyroid issues and psychology.
I love photography, writing and looking after my many websites, and have had my work published in magazines. I enjoy the challenge of getting published and very much enjoy doing my own PR, which is why I chose to self publish to kindle in this first instance.
I will be working with mental health charities, magazines, newspapers, social networking and other PR projects, actively making people aware of this disorder through every means possible through the media. But also, I hope that my books will help other sufferers and their families and friends to understand BPD and mental health and how to help oneself to feel better. I want to raise awareness to the general public about mental illness and the stigma sufferers have to deal with.
I hope that Doctors and the medical industry involved with mental health will benefit from reading my stories, as they unfold what it is like to suffer from debilitating mental illness from the inside out and how it manifests itself.
But I have also written my memoirs in a style that I hope will be compelling and sometimes shocking reads for anyone interested in memoirs with a twist, so that I can reach more people.
I really hope to encourage more celebrities to come out about BPD or other mental illnesses.
I am going to continue writing through fact and fiction storytelling, on the genre of Mental Health and life adversities – facing and combating adversity as the main point.
Author of ‘My alien self – my journey back to me’ and the sequel ’39’
Blog – www.amandagreenauthor.co.uk
Here I leave you my review of My Alien Self:
My Alien Self by Amanda Green. Memoirs, mental disorder and finding your path to recovery
I am a psychiatrist and as such I do have a professional (as well as a personal) interest in personal/first-hand accounts of mental illness (or disorder) and not only professional or text-book descriptions. Of course over the years I have heard many patients/clients/service-users (choose whichever you prefer, I won’t enter the heated debates on which is the best term to use) talking about their experiences, but those have been mostly in response to specific questions, rather than their own preferred expressions or commentaries, and mostly at times of crisis.
I have also read a number of more literary versions of mental illness (sometimes recommended by people I was working with, including patients, like Silvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’, others I’ve discovered myself when reading some of my favourite writers: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Crack-Up’ or Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’). They are great works by fantastic writers and well-worth a read, even if the subject of mental health is not close to your heart.
What Ms. Green’s book provides is not only an account of a mental disorder sufferer (despite the diagnostic difficulties that as she observes plague the field), but a memoir of her life, her quest for finding her true self and the process of her re-discovery. And her life is far from boring. Travelling far and wide (across the UK, Spain, Japan, Australia, Borneo…), with interests as varied as the creation and management of websites, property development, Orangutan, the entertainment industry…dabbling in drugs and alcohol, complicated family relationships and a difficult love life, Ms. Green’s account is gripping stuff in its own right. And her writing expresses well the ups and downs and the subjective nature of the narration.
Having worked as a psychiatrist in the NHS (National Health Service in the UK, the same one the author seeks help from) I can see things from a professional perspective (and although the system tries hard to avoid the ‘us and them’ dichotomy it’s not easy). I fully understand why she might not have received more intense help before. Mental Health Services struggle to provide support and care for people who cannot cope even on a basic level and who present an immediate and major risk to self (people repeatedly attempting suicide, severe self-harm or severely neglecting themselves) or others (threatening to harm others or doing so) for lengthy periods of time. It is less than an ideal situation; the services are stretched to the limit and mostly dealing with crises, but that is a true reflection of affairs. There is hope that service-user led movements and the voluntary sector will help to fill in the gaps, but prioritising is difficult.
The nature and characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder with its difficulties in trusting people, impulsivity and inconsistent engagement (well reflected in ‘My Alien Self’) cause problems of its own not easily managed by the psychiatric services as they are currently set.
The author of ‘My Alien Self’ has managed to find herself, to create her own combination of therapies (learned over the years, including mindfulness, CBT, CAT, yoga, medication…) and more importantly she has had the courage to go through her life, collecting and reliving her experiences and having a hard look at her past, the most difficult part of any therapy.
‘My Alien Self’ is a book difficult to read for anybody with mental health issues and also for professionals, but precisely because of that it’s a book that needs to be read. I salute Ms. Green for her guts and congratulate her for her achievements. And I agree with her. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, but I’m sure she’ll win the war.
Buy ‘My Alien Self’ on Amazon www.viewBook.at/MyAlienSelf
Buy ’39’ on Amazon www.viewBook.at/39
Twitter – @AmandaGreenUK
Facebook – AmandaGreenAuthor
Facebook book page –
Tips for self publishing memoirs:
My top 10 writing tips:
Thanks Amanda for sharing such valuable information with us and for the visit, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!