Friday, September 11, 2015
A New Book is Born! #Giveaway
I actually had a private tour of the Jacksonville Insane Asylum many years ago. Mary Todd Lincoln was a patient there briefly following the death of President Lincoln. Built in the mid 1840s, the asylum was the product of humanitarian Dorothea Dix’s impassioned plea to the Illinois Legislature. Miss Dix was a stalwart advocate for mentally ill individuals mistreated by society. Some were locked away in cellars and attics. Others were put on display in county jails. No medical aid or social services were available at the time for those declared insane. Everyone was lumped into the same category—whether one was a cruel psychopathic killer or a melancholy young mother suffering from postpartum depression. Dorothea Dix changed that.
Originally, I wrote about my tour of the asylum for a Writer’s Digest nonfiction contest. My submission won an Honorable Mention. People who read the piece urged me to “do something else” with all the historical information I’d collected. After toying with the idea of for quite a while, I decided to write a suspense novel, using the abandoned asylum as the backdrop of the story.
I hope you will add my novel Viper’s Nest to your “To Be Read” list. To celebrate the book’s release, I am giving away a free e-copy to one lucky winner chosen at random. So leave a comment. The lucky winner could be you!
(The winner will be announced in the Weekly Windup post, so stay tuned.)