AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Theresa Exum-Lucas
Audience: women ages 16+; individuals who have struggled with mental illness, sexual trauma, or divorce
144 pages | Pub date: 3/24/2020
Description: With These Words is a collection of poetry and memoirs about a young woman’s life. Specifically, it explores experiences of depression, marriage and divorce, grief, mental health, sexual violence, and self-love. The book is written in chronological order, from the authors childhood to mid-twenties, and there are poems interspersed throughout the memoirs. Through transparency and vulnerability, the author takes readers on a journey of growth and transformation.
What or who inspired you to write this title?
- THERESA: I was inspired to write this book for the little girl I was, for the pre-teen I was, and for the young adult I was. At those ages, I didn’t have a book to tell me I would be okay. I didn’t have anything that said depression is survivable, divorce is survivable, perfection is not reality.
I wanted to write something that would help the women who come up behind me feel strong, seen, and accepted for exactly who they are. When we show people going from point A to point B without seeing all the messy, ugly points in the middle, we perpetuate the idea that life is supposed to be easy and neat and everyone has it all together. In reality, everyone I know who is successful has a story of tragedies or failures.
With These Words shows my success, but also my tragedies and failures. I refuse to let people think that perfection is a real thing.
What challenges did you face while writing this story?
- THERESA: I faced a lot of fear!! I was terrified of what people I knew would think...writing down all the ugliest parts of who I am was very hard! A lot of the things in the book were unknown to my extended family, old friends, and the people in my career field. In the end though, there wasn’t really a decision to make about publishing or not publishing. This book is something I was called to write and I knew it needed to be out in the world to help other people heal.
What do you hope for readers to take away from this story?
- THERESA: I hope readers realize that there is so much more to a person than meets the eye, and that they take that knowledge to meet themselves and their loved ones on a deeper level. I also hope it helps to normalize talking about mental illness and that survivors of sexual violence feel less alone.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
- THERESA: I love to spend time with my family! We enjoy riding bikes, swimming, playing with our pups, or watching a show together at home. When I take time alone, you can find me getting a massage or mani/pedi, reading a good book, or coloring.
Who is your favorite author and why?
- THERESA: Right now, my favorite book is Untamed and author is Glennon Doyle. The way she shared her truth and inspired other women to do the same is amazing and very on point for this chapter of my life!
Are you currently working on anything that you would like to share with our readers? If not, do you plan to write and publish more books?
- THERESA: Right now, I’m working on teaching other people the self-care tools I talk about in my book through my life coaching and career coaching business, Happy Go Lucas. I’m brainstorming ideas for a second book but no details yet :)
Lastly, Where can this book be purchased?
- THERESA: With These Words: A Poetic Memoir of Love, Loss, and Self-Discovery can be found at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.