Live Author Interview with Bruce Whealton

I have dedicated my life to helping others and have done so as a psychotherapist/clinical social worker. I am also a Certified Peer Support Specialist where I can use my lived experience as a survivor of trauma, injustice, and abuse to help others. I must heal myself so that I can help others to heal and find hope. I find writing to be therapeutic and a powerful part of my healing journey. I have written in both non-fiction and poetry.

Currently, I am resuming my career journey by pursuing employment opportunities in the mental health/psychiatric field with the ultimate goal of working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist drawing upon my many years of experience, education, and post-graduate training in psychology and psychotherapy. As a peer support specialist (PSS), I will use different skills and be filing a different role than that of a “therapist.” A PSS is not a therapist.

With all that I have accomplished, I believe anything is possible.

I recently have found my calling as a creative non-fiction writer. I believe this is what has been calling me my whole life, but I didn’t know if there was an audience or how to reach others. I write to communicate something to others. Poetry seemed easier because people gather for people gather for readings and poems are brief/succinct. Today there might be a more obvious market for fiction, but I hope to reach an audience with creative non-fiction – memoirs.

The ideas for writing fiction, non-fiction and poetry are similar. We want to evoke a response from or in the reader. When I say creative non-fiction, I am mostly talking about memoirs. In one book, I felt like I had several “stories” to tell and ended up putting together an autobiography. I’m not sure how much market there is for an autobiography of someone who isn’t famous. One can find that I have written other books that are shorter and more focused on the broad array of topics presented in my autobiography.  

Question: Where are you from?

Answer: I grew up in a small rural town called Southington, CT, USA. At 18, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). I chose that school because I thought I wanted to be an engineer. After graduating from Georgia Tech, I had already figured out that I was going to go into psychiatric social work. I ended up by chance getting a job as a technical writer in Wilmington, North Carolina. I would come to call Wilmington my home and if I am asked, I’d say I am from Wilmington.

Question: Why do you write?

Answer: I write to be read. Writing can be a solitary activity, but I envision a reader when I am writing. I envision telling a story and having an audience. My creative non-fiction has places where I directly address the reader while at other times within the same book, I try to immerse the reader in the story. I strive to evoke a reaction. I also find writing to be therapeutic and cathartic. It’s part of who I am. It’s how I make sense of life and process the events of my life.

Question: What do you write about?

Answer: I write about personal experiences or the experiences that I have overserved others to have described to me. I work in the psychiatric/mental health field. I am fascinated by the psyche, psychology, and people in general. I write life stories and I try to help the reader to get inside the mind and body of the character whether writing a poem or a memoir.  

Question: Do you have a specific writing style?

Answer: I suppose I have answered that already. In terms of poetry, I only write free verse. I discovered an affinity for poets when I first started writing and build a social circle around the poetry scene in Wilmington. As noted above, I would end up calling this home and this is where my life really took off. The people in the area I met all had English degrees and I felt like just a dabbler in poetry. I chose free verse because I don’t have an ear for rhyme or meter. I suppose that is why it is fitting that I turned to writing creative non-fiction (prose).

Question: What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?

Answer: Motivation and writer’s block are problems. I think that because I am a mental health professional and enjoy working with others, writing can be a problem because it is a solitary activity. I might have doubts that my words will be read by anyone, and this will hold me back.

Question: What’s the most memorable thing said by a reader about my work?

Answer: There are a couple of things. Two recent readers reported that they couldn’t put down my books when they first picked them up and that is memorable because I wrote long narratives. One of my books is over 530 pages. However, the most memorable and touching comments were from my dear friend Thomas Child’s who died in 2010 from an unexpected heart-attack. I am including a photograph of him and what he wrote for my book.

I do have some additional books that I am currently writing. One is titled “Prosecuting the Victim, Gender Biases and the Psychological Impact of Injustice” which is available on Wattpad at this link:

https://brucewhealton.com/victim

Here are some links to my books and websites:

My Amazon author page: https://Amazon.com/author/brucewhealton

“Memoirs of a Healer/Clinical Social Worker: Autobiography of Bruce Whealton” is on Amazon at https://brucewhealton.com/memoirs-amazon

“What Really Matters: Poems about Love, Loss & Trauma” at https://brucwhealton.com/what-really-matters-amazon

“Overcoming Shyness and Loving Lynn – A Memoir” at: https://brucewhealton.com/loving-lynn-amazon

Creative writing blog by Bruce Whealton: https://brucewhealton.com/creative-writing

Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/CreativeWritingByBruceWhealton

https://www.facebook.com/AutobiographyOfBruceWhealton

https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForBruceWhealton

https://www.facebook.com/LovingMemoryOfLynnDeniseKrupey

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