Interview with Fiona Costello, Author of The Hidden Anguish; Hijacked by PTSD | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Hidden Anguish; Hijacked by PTSD?
I wanted to share my story to give other people living with PTSD, anxiety, depression a beacon of hope. I was ashamed of exposing my true self out of fear of rejection. Being a single lesbian mother of twin babies, I was already different from the norm in society, I was ashamed to admit that I had a mental illness too. I was afraid of the stigma attached to admitting to myself and others that I had experienced a traumatic past. When I finally made a promise to myself to start the journey of accepting my true self and loving every aspect of myself, it allowed me to become vulnerable with myself and others. I started a group PTSD recovery program and it was a shared experience with other people. Although we had different stories that had impacted us, we shared similar symptoms and survival behavior. For me, knowing I wasn’t alone helped me manage my symptoms and gave me the strength to continue to seek support.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Hidden Anguish; Hijacked by PTSD, what would they be?
I’m A Survivor by Destiny’s Child
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
Crime stories and true stories.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I am a huge James Patterson fan. Currently, I am reading his book ’21st Birthday’.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I loved writing the last scene as it was a scene about personal growth, strength, and bravery. It depicts how we can all overcome anything in life if we are determined and have the right support and connections. For me, my children gave me the strength and love to strive to be a better person, not one for me, but for them.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Cleaning gives me inspiration. Every time I needed to think through a scene, I would clean.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
You can do anything you put your mind to!
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
We never know what someone else is going through. People can put on a brave or smiling face, yet there could be deep anguish beneath the surface. We need to cultivate a culture where people feel safe exposing their vulnerability. Vulnerability can be a scary concept for some. On one side of the coin, it can open the door to the possibility of ridicule and judgment, but on the other side of the coin, it can build trust and deeper connections amongst our family, friends, and colleagues. By allowing someone the space to share, we learn to listen and to truly understand another individual, and we develop the ability to show compassion.
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