Melody
I am thrilled when Pump Up Your Book Promotion e-mailed me and asked if I was interested to host author, Debbie Williamson and her memoir, Stand on my blog today. Since I have never done this before, I gladly accepted their request because not only do I get the chance to explore a new book but also I would like to learn more about the author and her thoughts when writing this book.

Here is a synopsis of Stand:

One courageous woman shatters the chains of abuse that bound her family for generations and dares to brave the crippling memories of sexual abuse; shatter the illusions of denial; reveal her family s bitter legacy of violence; reach for healing and wholeness, and take her place on a path to forgiveness and peace. Replacing shame with hope, fear with truth, and shadows with light, Debbie Williamson shares her arduous journey to wellness. She did not choose this journey. At nine years old, she was a victim of sexual abuse. The hidden trauma of childhood rape often maps a life filled with destructive patterns and shame. Such was almost the case for Ms. Williamson. As a young woman struggling to repair her family, she finds the courage to take a STAND. Grasping for health because her life truly depends upon it, she uncovers and shatters her family s tragic tradition of violence. With focus and conviction, Debbie Williamson overcomes a lifetime of denial to heal herself and protect the next generation.

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Q: How long have you been writing?

I started to write poetry as a child and I have always kept journals. My short story writings I started as a teenager. Poetry has always been my strongest writing and remains so today.

Q: Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

I have a lot of inspiring aspects to my writing. I love to tell stories. Most of my inspiration comes from life experiences that I want to share. If I had to name anyone in particular it would be my grandchildren. They are my inspiration.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your book?

“Stand” is a memoir, of abuse, tragedy, healing, and forgiveness, and in the end it is a love story.

Q: Why did you feel the need to share your story with others?

I want to change the cycle of abuse so it will not spread to the next generation. I wanted to share my journey of healing through forgiveness with people. It has made such a profound impact on my family I had to write about it.

Q: What was the hardest part of writing about your life?

Walking through the past was probably the hardest part, not only my own but my mother’s past as well. Her childhood was very disturbing and I had to separate myself from her to write about it.

Q: Was the road to publication smooth or bumpy?

Is this a trick question? It was bumpy. I self-published the book. It was a learning experience, but in the future I am not sure if I would choose self publishing. The only publicity you receive is what you create and this can make or break your book.

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

I talk a lot, which is nothing new for me other than I seem to talk about myself. This is new and a stretch for me. I have been out there with book signings and I am doing reach out with shelters in my area and abuse recovery sites online. I have spoken with counselors and case workers on abuse and about the book. I answer inquiries from social workers and I have spoken to church groups about forgiveness and the impact of forgiveness.

Q: Do you have a website?
http://www.standthebook.com/, www.myspace.com/williamsondebbie

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes, I would like to say that dreams start as an idea that grows and becomes a passion. Dreams are what will change our world; if you have the courage to follow them they become miracles.

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Excerpt of Stand:

Introduction

The details of my suicide were planned right down to the final moment. I envisioned it clearly. On the appointed evening, I would drive home from work as usual, pick up speed, aim for the large oak tree that was near the shoulder of the road by my house and crash head on.

Everyone would believe it was an accident. My children would never know that I did it intentionally. I would be free at last. No more would I have to live my life.

That was my glorified version of how to step out of this life; it did not happen.

Instead, I swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills and went to bed one afternoon. I woke up in the emergency room drinking charcoal. My daughter had found me and called her dad to tell him she couldn’t wake me up.

After that event, the ultimate shame hovered over me like a swarm of bees. The constant buzzing relentlessly reminded me of what I had just done to my children.

Two days after I got home from the hospital I called a friend who recommended a self-help program. Two weeks later, I was on my way to Boise, Idaho for what turned out to be a life-saving event. From that point forward, I began to live my life. Do you ever wonder how you got to where you are in life? And then wondered why you made the choices you did? I’ve asked myself these questions most of my adult life. I finally figured it out for myself, and my story has a happy ending.

My story includes three generations of abominable abuse of the darkest variety: sexual, emotional, and mental. My story sheds light on the shadow side of the adult human who uses children to relieve his sexual appetites and need for power and domination over the innocent and helpless. But my story ends in triumph instead of despair.

Being raped and sexually abused as a child imprisoned me in a lifetime of emotional and mental anguish. Not only did I survive and triumph, I found great happiness. I want to share the how and why with you.

We all have a story to tell and I am hoping mine will make a difference to someone out there. It is my hope that you won’t feel alone or think of yourself as another tragic statistic who dreams of leaving by the back door of suicide as I once did.

Yes, I wrote this story to give you hope because it is an inspirational and triumphant coming-of-age memoir. I also wrote it for my children, that they may recognize the miracles that have been bestowed upon us and stopped this sickening cycle of abuse.

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Debbie Williamson's Bio:

Born in Salt Lake City, she grew up in Southern California and now lives in Utah with her family and four miniature schnauzers. She and her husband are the parents of 9 children and 11 grandchildren. Family is her number one priority and when not working with university and church groups, she can be found golfing and sailing with her children and husband, Gary.

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PS: I was also given a chance to review this book along with hosting the blog tour, but unfortunately time is running a little tight for me but I am looking forward to reading it soon.

7 Responses
  1. Alice Teh Says:

    This is interesting. Thanks for sharing, Melody!


  2. I know how hard it was for Debbie to come out of the shadows to tell her story. Congratulations on your book, Debbie!
    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
    http://courageinpatience.blogspot.com
    http://www.kunati.com/courage-in-patience
    Chapter 1 is online!


  3. Iliana Says:

    Hey Melody congrats on your first author Q&A! Will have to make a note of this book.


  4. Nymeth Says:

    What a great interview!


  5. Melody Says:

    Alice - Thanks for reading. :)

    Beth - Thank you for visiting my blog. I think it's very brave of Debbie to come out of the shadows and tell us her story! And thanks for your links. I'll check it out soon.

    Iliana & Nymeth - Thanks! :D


  6. This sounds like a very powerful and worthwhile book. I imagine Stand was not an easy book for the author to write and not an easy one to read either. It's such an important story to tell, however. So many people are suffering through abuse and their children continue the cycle. It is always inspiring to hear a story where someone broke the cycle.


  7. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I'm sure it is. I am really interested to read this book.