Writer Jennifer K. Lafferty interviewed me about my book Crochet Saved My Life for Goodreads as well as for her Examiner column. I wanted to share an excerpt from the Examiner interview here that gives a little insight into my research process in writing Crochet Saved My Life.
Q: “Crochet Saved My Life” contains a lot of information about mental and physical problems. Did you consult any doctors or mental health professionals when you wrote the book?
A: I went back and forth about how much professional medical information I wanted to include in this book. What I ultimately decided was that the book should be centered around my story and the true stories of the women that I interviewed. I believe strongly that every individual has a unique story to share and that there is value in learning about people’s experiences through those personal stories. So most of the book is about an individual person’s experience with an illness rather than a professional’s diagnosis of that illness.
I actually have an educational and work background in social work and so have worked closely for many years with mental health professionals and people healing with serious mental illness and that gave me a good starting background for many of the issues discussed in the book. I make sure to reiterate multiple times in the text that I am not a medical professional and that the book isn’t intended to offer medical advice but to share individual stories about ways that real people have coped with real problems.
I did make sure to supplement those stories with as much research as possible. Although I didn’t consult with any specific medical professionals, I read widely to make sure that I understood at least the basics of every condition discussed in the text. I read published books, online articles, studies from journals, etc. and I included information from all of that material in the book to supplement the personal stories shared within.
I eventually (in ~ 5 years or so) hope to publish a second edition of the book with revised and updated information and will likely include some more of the medical perspective in the text at that time. I am planning to pursue a counseling degree myself and hope to have more studied knowledge to contribute as a result. I also hope to see more research done into the area of the health benefits of crafting in general and crochet in particular that could be included . But we’ll see how that plays out.