Have you ever wanted to explore a bipolar journey? James Townsend, author of ‘Moving to Oregon: A Bipolar Journey’ has joined me today to chat about this fictional exploration of the depths of the bipolar mind. James, to kick things off, can you summarise for us what ‘Moving to Oregon’ is about?
‘Moving to Oregon’ is a short novella about a young man nearing the end of graduate school whose life and mental state falls completely apart. In the relative security of treatment facility in rural Oregon, he is able to sort out the issues that have building over the course of his short life. His therapist sends him on his way where he goes back East, confronts some lingering family issues and gets on with his life managing his bipolar illness.
What inspired you to take this fictional journey into the bipolar world? Was it events from your life, or something that you read?
Part real life, part imagination.
Can you expand a little about the parts of real life that made it into this book?
Yes. The hospitalization scenes are based loosely on real life, and some characters are based on real people I’ve met.
What was the central idea that you wanted to share in this short story?
That bipolar is struggle worth fighting.
What was it about that fight that you wanted to share with the readers?
Bipolar is something that I want people to understand.
What did you personally love about expanding what readers understand about bipolar?
Telling a real story of illness with an uncertain ending. It’s true to life.
Putting a true to life story on paper can be exceedingly challenging. What did you learn through this process?
That a story doesn’t need too much action if it can convey the necessary emotional effect.
What writing technique did you use while writing to convey that necessary emotional effect?
I start with a short story and then I write a lot more preferably when manic.
Writing in a manic state might be difficult for other authors to replicate. Is your editing process a little easier for other authors to pick up?
Yes, I record the book on my phone, play it back and make changes. Read, re-write, repeat.
*Laughs* Read, re-write, repeat. That’s pretty much all there is to writing. Is following these steps your best advice, or do you have something that you feel would help authors more?
Learn to take advice selectively
I think that’s great advice for life in general. I hope that your personal advice has encouraged you to continue writing. Have you started tackling a new project that you can share with us?
Poetry sounds like a great place to turn your creative pursuits towards. James, thanks for taking a few minutes to share the journey of ‘Moving to Oregon’ with the readers and myself today.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Moving to Oregon: A Bipolar Journey ( ASIN: B076B4NJGJ )‘.
Want to find out more about James Townsend? Connect here!