I recently had the pleasure of acquainting myself with Louise Collins, a twenty-something year old writer from Bristol with a very important story to tell.
“Depression consumed my life taking me with it and this is the story of why. I struggled to tell some people why I had fallen down a rabbit hole that I could not awaken from, leading to this story’s creation. Between these covers is not just the moody gloomy words of a sick girl, there is also all of my little secretes, my mischievous activities, my sexual tomfoolery and award winning explosions; all neatly speckled around the moments in my life that made me so ill.”
Louise is writing a novel based on her journey through these illnesses, and she writes with honesty and passion. My life has been touched time and again by mental illness, and it’s so inspiring to see a woman so young ready to proudly announce, “I am sick, but I am alive, and this is my story.”
She has posted two excerpts from her work in progress on her blog, already proving herself an author to watch out for.
“Also I can imagine being tortured, being tied to a chair and having your skin slowly peeled away from your burning, melting flesh. Hardly a pretty picture, maybe I should put an age suggestion on this nonfiction girl-trash fairy-tale.”
“That was the first time I have seen [blood] since I have been sick. It was attractive. I was drawn in to it. I felt everything in the kitchen shoot away from me. I was dizzy and swaying but could not take my eyes from the blood. All I wanted to do was rapidly rip apart the skin and let my insides out. To let it pour all over me and to rub it over my naked skin, on my chest. I wanted to wear it and roll in it.”
Louise has a stream of conscious writing style that brings to mind Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson (one of my absolute favourites), and a fearless honesty that drags you into her world. What we have here is the makings of a poignant and revealing memoir, made all the more engaging because it is written not with reflection on the past, but with the fervered gaze of the present.
Louise Collins is an author to watch, and I know that when her novel is published, I’ll be first in line for a copy.
“I am very young after all and we all make mistakes.”