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As promised, today I’m turning the blog over to the awesome Marni Mann. I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I did…

The room was completely silent and all eyes were on me. I didn’t know how many sets. Maybe five, counting my dog. I was on the edge of my mother-in-law’s couch. I couldn’t feel the floor under my feet, but I knew they were tapping and my leg was bouncing. I’d been waiting three days for this moment. No, I’d been waiting three years.

The front door shut and my ears followed my sister-in-law’s footsteps through the entryway, past the dining and living room, and finally stopped in the family room. I wanted to meet her at the door. My stomach wouldn’t let me. In her hand was the colorful cover, the image my team and I had discussed and manipulated for weeks, and the different shades of purple and yellow glistened in the sunlight.

She said something when she rested it on my palms. Words of congrats or how proud she was of me? I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t hear anything. The room blurred from the tears in my eyes and the fluttering in my chest matched the buzzing around me.

I took a deep breath and looked down. My name was on the bottom of the cover, the title, Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, was on the top. My picture was on the back cover. I was holding my novel for the very first time, family who had supported this three-year journey surrounded me, and they were all getting to experience this moment too. It was Christmas Eve and the only present I’d ever wanted was the two hundred and fifty-four pages that were bound in my hands.

My fairytale had come true.

I have addicts in my life. I’ve witnessed overdoses, rock bottom moments, the thrashing and cursing when withdrawal sets in, and the different levels of nodding out when they reach their high. I couldn’t understand why they would want to hurt me. Why they would steal, lie, make false promises, and relapse after rehab. This novel was written out of pain.

The more I researched and studied addiction, I began to understand: addiction isn’t a choice, it’s a disease. If I had believed that common misconception, there were others who believed it too. There were teenagers and young adults tempted by their friends or celebrities, who glorified this hardcore lifestyle, falsely promising the phrase, “functioning addict.” What weren’t shown enough were the consequences of their addiction.

I know I can’t change the world’s perception and make everyone believe addiction is a disease. I know I can’t convince every teenager to not try drugs. But if I can change one opinion or stop a young adult from heading towards that downward spiral, my novel is a success.

Marni Mann Bio:

A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann, now a Floridian is inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of Sarasota. A writer of literary fiction, she taps a mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark, harrowing, and gritty journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children. Her debut novel, Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, was published by Booktrope in December 2011.