Sarah Darer Littman is the author of Confessions of a Closet Catholic and the newly relased, Purge. You can vist her website here.
I was suffering from a horrendous case of the "Second Book Blues" back in 2006, when I went to Kindling Words, a writing retreat for published authors and illustrators. Several ideas for my second book had already been rejected, and I was depressed and wondering if I was really meant to be a writer or if the success of my first book, CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, was just a fluke. (Yes, authors are notoriously insecure!) Ellen Wittlinger (Marisol's Story, Hard Love) was leading the author strand that year, and her theme was "Inspiration". She asked us to bring photographs or pictures that inspired us.
My mother had been cleaning out her house and she'd found this picture ( said picture to the right) of me on a Caribbean holiday we took when I was about 14. I brought this photo to the workshop because it made me sad - sad because looking at it now I realize I had quite a nice figure but at the time I was convinced that I was fat. I wanted to write a book for the girl I was then, and for the girls - and guys - out there who feel the same way today.
I came away from Kindling Words knowing I had to write the book that eventually became PURGE. It wasn't what I was being told I should write, but it was the book I needed to write. I'd been showing my agent and editor things I was working on after I'd written a few chapters, but with this I decided to write the whole book before I showed anyone anything. I needed to be true to my process and let this book happen.
PURGE is a book about which I feel particularly passionate because I've suffered from body image issues my entire life, and was actively bulimic for many years as an adult. I've been in recovery for seven years now, and it's one of the most fulfilling things for me as an author has been when readers have written or come up to me and said how they were able to relate to Janie. I didn't want to sugar coat Janie's experiences and make it seem like recovery is simple and easy, because Lord knows it isn't, but PURGE is, ultimately, a hopeful book because recovery IS possible. I'm living proof of that.
If you want to learn more about getting help with eating disorders check out the resource page on my website: http://sarahdarerlittman.com/eating_disorder_resources.html
Thank you for letting me share my inspiration with you!
Thanks so much, Sarah! :)