your name and a little bit about you.
My love for writing began in the
advertising field. I graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York as an
Advertising and Graphic Design Double Major. I worked as a copywriter and then
a Creative Director for a wide variety of brands, but was most interested in
the health-related clients. My passion for health took me from advertising—a
soul-sucking business for me—to holistic mental health. I have since earned a
B.S, a Masters, and a PhD in the health and science fields. Today, I have a
private practice as a Chinese Medical Doctor and Counselor, specializing in
mental health. I still write every day, but now I write about what interests
me. I am driven by a desire to destigmatize mental health and help those who
need compassionate and competent care find it without fear or shame.
always have a passion for writing?
I know exactly when I knew for sure
that my passion was writing. I was finishing up a summer job at an advertising
agency before my final year of college. I had a Creative Director ask me “When
do you feel most fulfilled, when you write the headline or when you finish the
design?” I said, “The headline, because that is the idea that carries the whole
piece.” “Great,” he said, “you’re a writer. Keep studying design, but be a
writer. It’s in your blood.” It
has been over 20 years since I got that advice and it is still true. I’ve
written ads, radio, TV, blogs, articles and one to may birthday cards for
friends who ask for help. Last year, I finally wrote my own book. It was a
labor of love bringing together my love for writing and my passion for
mainstreaming mental health awareness and better mental health care.
the catalyst for your first book? Have you or will you write more books in the
I volunteer for Acupuncturist Without
Borders. When the Parkland shooting, 2 miles from my office happened, I worked
with AWB and in my clinic with the survivors in my community. Between caring
for those affected and listening to people in the community talk about mental
health, some in very negative, stigmatizing ways, I started writing again to
put feelings to paper. Soon I realized I was writing a book. My first book, Whisper
Screaming in the Middle of a Crowded Room was born from that tragedy. My
next book is in the editing process now.
Give me a
brief description of your book.
My published book explores mental
health struggles via poetry from a first person point of view in an effort to
humanize the struggle. My aim was to make those who struggle feel understood
and less alone, and for those who do not understand to find some empathy.
My current work in progress is called Pain
Is My Spirit Animal and it explores the human experience of pain from four
angles, pain of the body, mind, heart, and spirit/soul.
you say your book with resonate the most with? Who did you have in mind when
you wrote it?
My published book, Whisper
Screaming in the Middle of a Crowded Room has resonated tremendously with
individuals with various mental health struggles. The conversations I have had
with some people who have taken the time to contact me privately or review the
book have been enormously humbling. I have also had a few people tell me the
book helped them understand a loved one better. I could not have hoped for a
better response. 
it be purchased?
My book can be purchased on Amazon (amzn.to/34gaCSl),
at Walmart online, Abe Book, but is also available through some other smaller
and online book sellers.
ever experience writer’s block? How do you deal with that?
Writer’s block? no. Crappy writing
syndrome? Yes. The advertising business taught me to write under pressure. Now
that I write what I want to write about I can always make myself write,
especially when I think I have nothing to say. I am always thinking, which
means those thoughts can be put down on paper. It might start off as garbage,
but I think the habit is important.
find telling your story cathartic?
Yes. It’s a dark and twisty book and
the title is very personal. I think a lot of people throw the promise “that
someone is always willing to listen” around, but almost anyone with a mental
health struggle will tell you it is either not true or they have been placated,
admonished, or quickly dismissed at one time or another by someone they
trusted. I wasn’t interested in making anyone comfortable. I was interested in
being honest, even if that honesty was scary.
the publication process like for you? What, if anything, would you change in
I spent a year researching the indy or
traditional route. I knew very early that self pub was for me due to how
personal this project was for me. My goal, once I have more books under my belt,
is to make this book permafree. I’d like to keep the conversation about mental
health going in my own small way.
have any advice for someone attempting to get their story published?
Yes. Do what feels right to you, not
what someone else is doing or what someone else tells you “you have to do” to
be a “serious” author. There are pros and cons to both routes and at the end of
the day, this is your baby.
personally experience any mental health issues? How has this impacted your
I think everyone has experienced a
mental health issue—just as everyone has experienced a physical issue at one
time or another—and I am no exception. I think knowing a specific diagnosis is
critical for the individual, their healthcare provider, and loved ones, so that
proper education, treatment, and support can happen. I have patients, friends,
and family members who are very open about their diagnosis and struggles, and
others who choose to keep them private. I respect both choices. I think what
matters is that as a society we move toward a future where whatever a person
chooses, we are okay with that choice because it is that person’s to make.
Affording one another empathy and privacy is key to ending the stigma. In my personal
life I practice what I preach. I am pro-doctor, pro-therapy/counseling,
pro-medicine, pro-holistic medicine, and pro-positive self-talk.
your goals for the future?
My goal is to get my second book out
by this fall. I am also working on some classes, which I may offer at my clinic
and then offer online, to help teach empathy, understanding, and temperament to
families to help them better communicate, understand, and love one another.
your social media links?