Categories
Books Social anxiety

An Excerpt from Social Anxiety Revealed

My non-fiction book, Social Anxiety Revealed, is half price until the end of the month at Smashwords.

“Not for me,” I hear you say. “I don’t have social anxiety.”

That’s where you’re wrong. You might not have social anxiety, but someone you know does. Some family member, friend, colleague or stranger is struggling alone and needs your help, which you’ll be able to provide once you’ve read this book and gained understanding.

Parents and teachers should read the book to help stop children from reaching adulthood with this noose around their necks.

So, grab it now while it’s on sale.

Here, I read from the book. This excerpt is about avoidance.

Remember to get Social Anxiety Revealed while it’s on sale.

Categories
Books Rhymes Social anxiety

Loneliness

In the UK, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s topic is loneliness.

In the US, it’s Mental Health Awareness Month with the message of “Together for Mental Health.”

I always feel social anxiety gets forgotten in any discussion of mental health, and this year it’s more relevant than ever to the topic.

When I had time to be active in a social anxiety online forum, I came across an enormous number of lonely people. Most of those were also alone, while others were alone with their thoughts and emotions.

Why were they lonely? Because social anxiety is that voice in the head that says:

  • They don’t want you.
  • You’re not good enough.
  • They’ll laugh at you.

and similar negative remarks.

Social anxiety leads to avoidance, which leads to loneliness. It’s that simple.

You can turn away from this or decide to help.

***

About My Books

I don’t write only about social anxiety, but, as it happens, it crops up in all of these books:

Categories
Blogging Holidays Social anxiety

Thirteen Today

Not me, of course. I left that age long ago and am happy to say, “Good riddance.” It wasn’t a good time, although there were often good moments.

I need to remember that. We – I and my possible memoir partner – have come to the conclusion that the difficult parts of our childhoods are easier to remember. They stick in our memories, while the happy times pass with enjoyment and laughter. They’re not so clingy.

Is that how it is for everyone? Do you remember the sad times more than the happy ones? Or perhaps we all have a general impression of how things were, and need to dig deeper to remember episodes that don’t fit the mould.

So, who is thirteen today? Wrong question. It’s not who but what. On March 23, 2009, I posted this:

Speech is Silver; Silence is…

…not golden. Just a fake gold that soon dulls.  Like the necklace I bought in Cyprus. They told me it was gold. I knew they were lying, but I bought it anyway. I felt I had to buy something because they gave me tea….

I’ve been keeping silent for most of my life. It’s time to talk.

So tune in again, keep in touch and don’t suffer in silence.

I was afraid when I wrote that first blog post. On one hand, I knew it would help to feed my growing passion to raise awareness of social anxiety. On the other, I was scared of a backlash. Even in those days, social media was a double-edged sword. I was afraid anonymous people would tell me social anxiety didn’t exist – that it was a made-up term and the problems were not real, either. That’s why I had no name at first, except for the name of the blog: An’ de Walls Came Tumblin’ Down.

Fortunately, the feared ridicule hasn’t happened – not yet, not on social media, I’m glad to say.

Looking back at the person I was then, across the long bridge of thirteen years, I feel proud. Plenty has changed. I’ve become a published author, I’ve delivered talks, I’ve grown in confidence. I’ve also become a grandmother, met lots of people in various settings, and travelled widely.

I’m still walking that bridge and probably always will, but it feels less of a struggle, these days. I’ve accepted that social anxiety is here to stay and learned to make friends with it.

Crossing a river during a hike in Norway, 2001

How about you? How have you changed in the past thirteen years, and do you tend to remember the sad parts of your childhood more than the happy ones? Do let me know in the comments below.

Categories
Books Social anxiety

Social Anxiety in Hunter’s Rules

I’m delighted to welcome friend and author, Val Penny to tell us about social anxiety in her Edinburgh Crime Novels and in particular the brand new Hunter’s Rules.

In the real world, many people consciously restrict their contact with others due to the social anxiety they suffer, and I try to illustrate this in my series of Edinburgh Crime Novels through the character of Frankie Hope.

 Frankie is now a young man, but as a child he was bullied by his mother and insulted by his father. This has left him cautious of interaction in the wider world. He fears being thought of negatively so, in Hunter’s Rules, the most recent book in my crime fiction series, he waits in two long lines during a prison visit to his uncle, Ian. Otherwise, he would have had to return empty-handed and get scolded by Ian. That is not an option for Frankie.

Frankie also finds it difficult to initiate conversations with strangers. They cause him a great deal of embarrassment. However, he works in the family business, a car showroom where new customers are always unknown to him, so rather than approach them, he will usually leave his more ebullient cousin, Jamie, to make the first approach.

Social anxiety also usually holds a fear for those who suffer from it that they may humiliate themselves in some way or do or say something out of place. They worry about drawing attention to themselves and getting a negative reaction. Frankie is no different.

During his adolescence, he suffered from severe acne and, although he dated the prettiest and nicest girl at his high school, he did not have the confidence to understand why she might like him. The girl had to make the first move; Frankie certainly would not do so.

The only people Frankie is really relaxed around are those he knows best, his twin daughters, Kylie-Ann and Dannii-Ann, his fiancée Donna and his cousin Jamie. They live together in the house Frankie inherited from his parents and I doubt Frankie will ever move – the anxiety would be too great.

Set in Edinburgh, the beautiful capital city of Scotland, Hunter’s Rules revolves largely around Frankie, Jamie and their loved ones. There is no doubt that they are impatient for DI Hunter Wilson and his team to solve the case that has touched them so deeply.

Thank you for explaining that, Val. Here’s some more information about Hunter’s Rules, which launches on 1st January, 2022.

About Hunter’s Rules

A bloody scene brings Hunter and Meera’s romantic plans to an abrupt end.

A young woman was attacked in a hotel lift. She has life changing injuries, but she is alive. Hunter notes that her wounds are like those inflicted on two women who previously died.  

Can Meera keep the injured woman alive long enough for her to identify her assailant? Is the same person responsible for all three crimes? When Hunter is identified as a suspect in the crime, can he establish his innocence and lead his team to solve the crime and keep Edinburgh safe?

Author BIO

This is the sixth book in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series of novels. Val Penny’s other crime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force Hunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret form the rest of this bestselling series set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke.

You can also start at the beginning of The Jane Renwick Thrillers with The First Cut.

 Her first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.

Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.

Categories
Books Israel Social anxiety

Transport

Transport is the word I’ve chosen to describe all three parts of this post.

1. A Tour

My latest novel, Style and the Solitary, is going on tour from tomorrow with Reading Between the Lines – Online Book PR. Watch out for social media posts using the hashtag #styleandthesolitary.

2. An International Event

Smashwords even travels to the other hemisphere (which is more than I’ve done). That’s why their current sale is called The Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. Even my book, Social Anxiety Revealed, has travelled further than me. Try it. It might transport you to a world you don’t know, or one you know all too well. In either case it will further better understanding.

Fear of other people? Most of us feel this occasionally, when giving a presentation or being grilled in a job interview. This is not social anxiety disorder.

Fear of what other people think of you? We have all felt this, too. It is why we dress as we do and generally try to behave in a way that is expected of us. This is not social anxiety disorder either.

But when those fears become so prevalent that they take over your life? When they cause you to hide away, either literally or by not revealing your real self? When you keep quiet in an attempt to avoid those raised eyebrows and the possible thoughts behind them? That is social anxiety disorder.

And it is much more common than you might think. In the mental health table, it comes third – after alcoholism and depression – and yet most people don’t even know it exists.

If you have social anxiety disorder, this book is for you.

Even if you don’t have social anxiety disorder, you might have a friend, a relative or a work colleague who does. You might see it developing in your son, your daughter, or a child you teach. This book is for you, too.

Social Anxiety Revealed is created by people who yearn to ditch all these problems and live their lives to the full.

Can you help? When you have read and understood, you’ll be in a much better position to do that.

3. A First

My granddaughter is now old enough for her first form of self-driven transport.

And somehow, despite raising three children and definitely having one of these in the house, I’ve only just discovered the name for it in Israel: Bimba. What do you call it?

Categories
Books Social anxiety The Power of Belief The writing process

Ask and You Will Be Answered

Yesterday evening was Ladies Who Launch – a joint online launch event with the fabulous authors, Jo Fenton and Alison Knight. And me. We were celebrating the launch of our new novels:

I was looking forward to reading an extract from my novel, but not so much to tackling questions. In fact I was sure I’d mess that part up. I was ready to say, “I haven’t done your question justice, but I’d be happy to answer it properly on social media.”

In the event, there were no such problems and I managed to answer fairly well. But there was a different problem. There were several questions that I didn’t get to answer, many of which I didn’t even have a chance to see.

So, I’m opening this post up for the questions that weren’t answered, and for questions that weren’t asked before. Ask, in the comments below, about Style and the Solitary. Ask about me as an author, or as a person. With time to consider my responses, I’m likely provide a more satisfactory answer, anyway. I’ll reply to the comments or write one or more separate posts in response if the question warrants it.

What you should know about Style and the Solitary

  • It’s a murder mystery
  • It’s set in Jerusalem
  • It includes a romance
  • One character has social anxiety
  • One character is a new immigrant from France
  • It involves the power of belief

Ask away!

And many thanks to all those who attended the event and those who tried but failed.

Categories
Books Everyday life Israel Social anxiety

Going Out – Coming Out

Today, 23rd March, is a day for going out and for celebrating coming out.

I, together with the rest of the citizens of this country (hopefully) will be going out to vote. It’s only a year since we last voted and we all hope the next government will last for longer. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the election results will give a better advantage to any party.

Voting
Voting in 2013

Today is also an anniversary. Twelve years ago, I began this blog, tentatively, anonymously, scared to own up to having social anxiety, even though I knew it was obvious. Optimistcally, I called the blog and myself “An’ de walls came tumblin’ down.” They haven’t tumbled, but they have some large chinks.

Nevertheless, a lot has happened in that time. It could all be summed up in the words “I came out.” It’s made a big difference to me that I can write about having social anxiety and give presentations about it, even though it’s still hard to talk about.

Where were you, twelve years ago? Have you changed over the years?

Categories
Books Interviews Social anxiety

Useful Tips – Not For Me

Following several great interviews of her own, Rose McClelland has posted her five tips for a great radio interview.

They’re excellent tips – the sort of tips that make you think, “I can nail this!” Even I started to think that as I read. But I checked myself: “No, I can’t,” and this was the trigger:

Imagine that they’re sitting opposite you. Imagine it’s a friend or acquaintance who has a genuine interest in your book and wants to know more about it. Chat away to that presenter as you would to anybody.

The way I would chat to anybody isn’t what you want to hear on the radio. That’s why I’m not going to do this. I would need to plan my words in advance, as in a presentation.

Miriam Drori: presenting on social anxiety

But you can do it, I’m sure. If you’re considering a radio interview about your book(s), read the tips and go for it!

In contrast, I was delighted to be interviewed by Paula R. C. Readman recently because [spoiler alert] the clubhouse tearoom is virtual and I had plenty of time to plan my answers.

Where do you stand on interviews?

Categories
Books short stories Social anxiety

News

There’s so much happening, I can’t keep up with it all.

Some of it is private. Some of it is yet to take place.

But this is what I can tell you.

~~~

Social Anxiety Revealed is taking part in the Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale.

Social Anxiety Revealed by Miriam Drori.

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.

.

This book is suitable for teachers, parents, employers, employees, group members. In fact, it’s suitable for everyone, because it’s NOT a self-help book. It explains what social anxiety is, so that you can understand.

.

.

.

.

~~~

Both volumes of Dark London have now been published.

Find them at Volume One and Volume Two.

Dark London, Volumes One and Two

Eighteen fabulously dark stories centred in the famous city of London.

My story, Gruesome in Golders Green, begins with an unusual encounter in the suburb of Golders Green.

~~~

That’s all for now, but watch this space….

Book News is the Best News!

Categories
Social anxiety The writing process

Of Technical Issues and Imaginary Pets…

…and something else.

I want to tell you a story, starting at the end. The lovely, kind, patient, funny, talented author, David W. Robinson, interviewed me here. David has written lots of books, the latest being The Anagramist, which you can read about here.

The Anagramist

Where does the story begin? It could start with my relationship with interviews, although I think that’s really backstory. In my previous life, my experience of face-to-face interviews was with job interviews. Frankly, the fact that I did get accepted for some jobs was probably despite those interviews.

I think the story should begin last Sunday, when David sent me the interview questions, but then I need to add a bit more backstory. Of course, if I were writing the story properly, I would begin at the beginning of the story itself and seamlessly weave in the backstory. As I’m not telling it properly, I’ll fill you in now. David originally told us authors that those who wanted to take part would create a video with our answers and he would add his part of the chat afterwards. I thought, I can do that; it’s like creating any video. And I volunteered. It was a bad decision, it turned out.

I’m still in the backstory, because at some point David realised it would be much easier for him to just record an online chat, using Skype or Zoom. This is when I should definitely have backed down, but I didn’t. I thought, I’ll work out the answers in advance, so surely it can’t be that hard. That’s me. I’ve never had that pre-event anxiety that’s supposed to be part of social anxiety. That’s not necessarily a positive trait.

Right. Finally, I can begin the story. David sent me the questions, I sent him my answers and we arranged a time for the interview on Zoom. I decided to use my mobile phone, because the camera on my laptop is too low down, and makes me look cross-eyed. But the phone, it turned out, created more problems than it solved. We weren’t synchronised, we had problems understanding each other and that wasn’t just because of David’s hearing difficulties and my lack of familiarity with the Yorkshire accent.

So we went back to the previously suggested method. I made my video (videos, actually, but let’s not get into that) and sent it to David. But he discovered that he couldn’t add his part without taking over the whole screen, rather than having us side by side all the time. So we eventually scrapped the video idea and David put the interview out as a written one. End of story?

Creating Videos

Yes, but I’ve missed something out. Although David was super kind and blamed everything on the technical problems on both sides, it must have been clear to him, as it was to me when I watched the videos, that my performance left a lot to be desired. While his part was polished and flowed easily, mine was hesitant and unnatural, as it used to be in job interviews, as I often sound when simply chatting. I’ve decided before that I don’t want to do video interviews because of that. Why did I let myself volunteer to be interviewed yet again? Because this is part of being an author in the 21st century. Because I think I need to crack this and always imagine that next time it’ll work better.

And how do I manage to give presentations? By practising beforehand and learning whole texts off by heart. Or by reading passages from the page. A presentation isn’t a chat; sometimes you can get away with that.

The imaginary pets? All part of David’s wonderful humour in our numerous emails. He made up cats and dogs, which led me to think of the rain we probably won’t see in Israel for five months, which led him to talk of droughts. And then there was a budgie (or there wasn’t). Maybe I should give up on being an author and open a pet shop with imaginary pets.