The other day, my brother asked me what I was doing, writing and publishing “Later With Myself.” Although he hasn’t actually read the book, he saw this website and my amazon product page, and commented that, from what he had seen, the book appeared to be largely autobiographical. He asked me whether this was some sort of catharsis for me.


I thought a lot about his question, because I have been asking myself the same thing for months. Pretty much anyone who has bought a copy of my book knows that—the childhood parts at least—are fairly autobiographical. Admittedly, there is a large dose of speculation about what went on behind the scenes in my parents’ lives and brains, and some of the plot lines are therefore fictional, but most of what I depict in the story as having happened to Millie actually did happen to me.

I had embarked on writing this book as a novel, under a pseudonym, in order to protect my privacy and keep my own skeletons safely hidden away in the closet. But, in marketing my book and reaching out to readers, it quickly became apparent that this approach was not going to work. For one thing, I don’t think my brain is twisted enough to invent a story like this out of whole cloth, and I didn’t want anyone thinking that it was. For another, although I am still not entirely comfortable talking about the scandalous things I did as a young girl, I strive to be an authentic person, above all else. So, if I am going to ask people to spend their time and money to read my story, I think I owe them the courtesy and respect of not going about it in a deceptive way.

As a parent, I now understand that children are like sponges. They may not know exactly what is going on in the adult world around them, but they absorb everything nonetheless, and act out accordingly. I think girls, in particular, are especially sensitive to the messages they are sent each day about their sexuality and their worth (or lack thereof) as human beings. When I learned a few years ago that my father and his girlfriend had an illegitimate son who was born weeks—if not days—before my mother conceived me, when I found out that my father had lost that son to leukemia at age 17, I finally had a context within which to evaluate my own outrageous childhood behavior. I don’t know whether anything my father did or didn’t do justifies my actions—I suppose you readers will be the judge of that. What I do know is, learning the full extent of my father’s personal tragedies and failures finally gave me the permission I needed to write my story—something I’d wanted to do my entire life, but would never dare attempt while my father was alive.

So, to answer my brother's question, I am making lemonade out of lemons. I've got a great story to tell
—bittersweet and painful to be sure, but "ironic/comic/tragic"—to quote one of my reviewers. So I've decided to give it back to the world. I hope you will enjoy it.