Review Fix chats with author Brent Williams, who discusses the creative process and emotional journey behind his upcoming book, Out of the Woods.
Review Fix: What inspired this book?
Brent Williams: I needed to understand my own depression – see it, describe it, learn about it. I’d had enough of being thrown around by it. I was running away, ignorant and in denial. Writing about it was the start of my journey out of the woods.
Review Fix: What comics do you read? Why?
Williams: Stories about people’s lives interest me most. I want to connect with people who express themselves honestly and simply.
Review Fix: What authors have had the biggest effect on you?
Williams: Herman Hesse. Through his characters he reveals so much about his own life and internal struggles. I love his exploration of ideas, philosophy and spirituality. He writes so poetically as well.
Review Fix: What was the research process like for this?
Williams: My own personal therapy was the most important research – learning about how I think and behave and all the unconscious influences from my life that are brought to bear on this. Journal writing and plotting my progress through a mood chart were so valuable. And, delving into all the scientific research was also very encouraging.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this?
Williams: In no small way I learned to live again, to accept and love myself. I also discovered there are so many things I could do to build my own recovery mentally and physically.
Review Fix: What you want people to get out of this book?
Williams: I hope people will feel supported and loved. I know how painful depression is and I wanted to share my own story to give sufferers and their families some encouragement and hope along with some practical strategies, too.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Williams: As I am also the publisher of my book, I have plenty to do in getting the book out into the world. I do have other graphic novel ideas in the mental health field and look forward to these when Out of the Woods finally leaves home.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Williams: Writing the book has been hugely therapeutic for me so I would encourage people to express themselves in any way they can through: words, music, dance, art, drama, whatever works for them. Try any of these even if you have never done them before. You will be surprised how much creativity there is in you.