So, as you can tell from the title, my good buddy Marni Mann is taking over my blog today in celebration of her new book. Titled Scars From a Memoir, it continues the story of Nicole Brown, a heroin addict readers were introduced to in Memoirs Aren’t Fairy Tales. I, in turn, am on her blog today talking about a pop culture drug education. Stop on by…
The words drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll have been grouped together for longer than I’ve been alive. Musicians like Anthony Kiedis, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Steven Tyler, and Courtney Love, just to name a few, have openly discussed their drug addictions and how they got clean. Kiedis, Sixx, and Tyler even wrote memoirs, documenting their hardcore partying ways and the darkness that surrounded their life during that time. But how many musicians did we lose from accidental overdose or a drug related death? Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and the list goes on and on.
While being interviewed by Matt Lauer, Elton John said, “I wasted such a big part of my life. I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left, and center around me, friends. And yet I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It’s that – you know, it’s that bad of a disease.”
As an author of two heroin addiction novels, I know the mind-set of an addict, the struggles and challenges they face when trying to achieve and maintain sobriety. So I have to wonder, what was the catalyst that finally got Elton John into rehab? He certainly didn’t lack the money, resources, or support like so many others. Celebrities have advantages: immediate access to rehab centers, unlimited funds, ongoing outpatient care, and sober coaches. And yet, we continue to lose these famous faces.
During an interview with CNN, Eminem, said, “It took me awhile to admit I actually did have a problem. In the hip-hop world that I live in, it can be mistaken for weakness and the last thing you want to do in hip-hop is admit that you’re weak. But if I didn’t admit I was weak with this certain thing I was going to die…I had to admit I had a problem. I had to do it for myself.”
Eminem said it perfectly: I had to do it for myself. Other celebrities have publically agreed; they had to put everything else second⎯their family, career, aspirations, and nagging fans⎯while they focused on their sobriety. Eminem used his music as an outlet to share the dark times, his overdose, and how much work it took to get clean. Robert Downey Jr., Fergie, Drew Barrymore, Nicole Richie, and Kelly Osbourne are just some of the others who have done the same. Their voices and stories give us hope; addiction can be conquered. Their mug shots and obituaries send us a message. But how many of us are listening?
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. Scars from a Memoir is her second book, a sequel to the highly regarded Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction.
Links: Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales
Links: Scars from a Memoir
Back Cover Copy: Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales
“I could feel my chin falling towards my chest, my back hunching forward. My body was acting on its own, and my mind was empty, like all my memories had been erased. There was scenery behind my lids. Aqua colored water and powdery sand that extended for miles. I was never going back to coke. I wanted more heroin. And I wanted it now.”
Leaving behind a nightmare from college, nineteen-year-old Nicole and her best friend Eric escape their home of Bangor, Maine. Starting a life in Boston, Nicole desperately seeks a new beginning to help erase her past. But there is something besides freedom waiting for her in the shadows—a drug that will take her independence away.
With one taste, the love that once flowed in Nicole’s veins turns into cravings. Tracks mark the passing of time, and heroin’s voice grows louder. It holds her hand through death and prostitution, but it’s her addiction that keeps her in the darkness. When her family tries to strike a match to help light her way, Nicole must choose between a life she can hardly remember, or a love for heroin she’ll never forget.
Back Cover Copy: Scars from a Memoir
“I could make up a story to cover the last eight years, but the scars on my arms told the truth. So did my ankles, the skin between my toes, even the veins that had burst on my breasts. Did my battle wounds really prove I was a survivor? Or was I too damaged to be glued back together?”
Nicole had only one skyline to remind her of the freedom she’d lost—a tattoo of inked buildings dotting the skies of Boston, crisscrossed by scars. Heroin had owned her, replaced everyone and everything she’d once loved. The past was supposed to be behind her. It wasn’t, but that was the price of addiction.
Two men love her; one fills a void, and the other gives her hope of a future. Will love find a way to help her sing a lullaby to addiction, or will her scars be her final good-bye?