Monday, May 30, 2011

The Lunacy Trade or Don't Judge A Book By It's Genre

I've been reading some of my book reviews at Amazon, Goodreads, The First Wild Card Tour, etc. What I'm happiest to note is that readers are "getting it." I don't mean buying it although that's good too. I guess I wasn't sure if I'd done a good enough job. But since it is my first novel in the series I'm pleased that readers like it because I wasn't at all sure that they would.  Here's why:

  1. Secrets of the Heart explores some of the history of mental illness.
  2. My hero Lord Ravensmoore inherits his title yet stays true to God's calling to become a physician.
  3. My heroine struggles with loss, grief and depression.
  4. Although it's a romance the book harbors deep psychological suspense and explores the inner workings of the lunatic asylums of the day.
I've been a student of the mind and of human behavior since I was a little kid. Let's just suffice it to say that I grew up in less than ideal circumstances. No wonder when I went off to college that I ended up majoring in Sociology and Psychology rather than Journalism which is what I had planned. I don't regret it. I got my Masters Degree in Social Work, traveled to England, Scotland, Wales, and Austria and have worked both in the fields of medical social work and mental health counseling.

Over the past thirty years I've seen the prejudices against those with mental health disorders and the serious dangers that ignite ignored mental health disorders. I'm sure you can think of a few. I want people to take steps to conquer these issues. It's my greatest hope that perhaps someone  home schooling or teaching in a public school system will put this book on their students' summer reading list or even use it as a book to learn from during the regular school year in Social Studies or Psychology and Sociology classes. Secrets of the Heart, Chameleon, and Mysteries of the Heart are the books that I've felt led to write. They are fascinating, romantic, and informative all at the same time.

I recently heard about a book called, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson. I've downloaded it to my Kindle to read the first chapter. I already know that I'll buy it because of the subject material. One of the books that's been helpful to me in my research is: Andrew Scull's, The Masters of Bedlam. It's a book about the early practice of psychiatry, what was better known then as The Mad-Doctoring Trade or The Lunacy Trade.

One of my college friends gave me the best compliment this past week. She said she'd read my book because I wrote it. She didn't expect to like it because she thought Inspirational Fiction would be preachy. I was thrilled when she told me she'd loved it and said, "I will never judge a book by its genre again." I hope that readers will happily lose themselves in Secrets of the Heart. There will be surprises in this book and I hope you'll enjoy every moment.




Beth Shriver said...

Jill, I can appreciate the topic of mental illness as my mother has suffered from bipolar most of her life. It's hard to understand unless you've lived with it or experienced it first hand but is something we all need to be made aware of. Thanks for sharing.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Beth,
My oldest daughter, now 21, is also bipolar and suffers very complicated mental health issues since the 5th grade related to developmental disability. It's been a painful ten years for her and us but God is good and provides treatment and comfort as we need it. My youngest, now 18, is active in Youth With A Mission and understands the needs of the mentally ill. My hubby and I are extremely proud of both girls hearts for God and his work.