Beautiful Books 2017 // Introducing...

Hello, all! Even though I've already introduced The Scars We Choose to you (maybe even more than once.... so does that mean I'm re-troducing you???) I have never gotten past the first two pages of this novel -- which means I'm using this plot as my 2017 NaNo novel. Maybe it's considering cheating, but hey, I like to live dangerously. So I invite you to sit back and enjoy (or don't enjoy. whatever floats your boat) as I link up to Beautiful Books, hosted by the fantastic blogs, Paper Fury & Further Up and Further In. Don't forget to check out their blogs -- you won't be sorry.  

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
After a psychology lecture two years ago, I asked my professor why we only spent five minutes covering PTSD. She said that unfortunately, most textbooks don't go into great detail over it because it isn't considered a "common" disorder. I've always been fascinated and also saddened by PTSD; I wanted to read a book about it and also raise awareness. So I decided to write the book I wanted to read.

2. Describe what your novel is about!
Eleanor—or Ellie—Duran was the shining star of her nursing class. She immediately snagged her dream job working with veterans like her older brother. Then Ellie’s brother committed suicide.
Somehow she manages to continue working in the mental health ward until a soldier with PTSD is admitted. Ellie avoids this blue-eyed soldier who never smiles because he brings back too many painful memories for Ellie. After Ellie is forced to work with the soldier, Alex, they form a friendship. Ellie is the one person that Alex confides in and Ellie feels that talking with Alex helps her feel closer to her brother and understand what he went through.
 Alex recovers in record time and is soon discharged from the hospital. Then Ellie's nightmares start. It appears as if this blue-eyed soldier -- who suddenly smiles all the time -- is following the same path as Ellie's brother. 

3. What is your book's aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

4. Introduce us to each of your characters! 

Eleanor Duran graduated at the top of her nursing class. She quickly became a star employee at her new job. That all changed when her brother committed suicide. Fast forward through a leave of absence from work and months of grief counselling; Ellie thinks she might be close to learning how to move on with her life.Then she meets Alex.

Alex Lucas didn't really know what to think when he was sent home to be treated for PTSD. But then, he couldn't really think. Instead, his head was filled with memories dressed as nightmares, taunting him, telling him what happened was his fault. Then he met a nurse who was just as broken as he was.
5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
By reading the DSM-IV of course{insert evil chuckle}!! I get way too excited about reading psychology books. I'll also write a pretty in-depth outline, because at this point I don't really know what is going to happen in this novel. And of course, I'll stock up on York peppermint patties. Because is there any other way to write?? 

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
The character progression is going to be a bumpy ride. This will be by far the most emotional book I've read. And since I sob over sappy food commercials.... This should be interesting.

7. List 3 things about your novel's setting.
Coffee shops that play old records of Cass Elliot. A dark hospital room with a window that overlooks this spectacular coffee shop. A big city with too many memories.

8. What's your character's goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Eleanor wants to forget what happened to her brother. She wants to be able to close her eyes and not see him in his casket. She finally gets one night of being able to sleep... And then she meets Alex and he takes away any hope of forgetting her brother that Eleanor had.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Ellie learns that just because someone is "broken" doesn't mean that they are broken in the way she thought. She learns that broken does not mean you are destroyed; it simply means that you have hope of being fixed.

10. What are your book's themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I want readers to have a new awareness of PTSD. There is so much more to it than we realize. Anyone can get PTSD, and it can happen through something as simple as seeing a traumatic event on TV.

The whole theme of The Scars We Choose is that the thing we want most is sometimes what makes the deepest scars. No matter how broken we become, though, there is always hope. If you're broken, you can still be fixed, you can still do great things. A cracked window still lets in beams of sunlight.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Or maybe you aren't, but still have some lovely story in the works--I'm dying to hear!! Feel free to add me as a writing buddy!



  1. I love the premise of this story. PTSD has always fascinated me and I like stories about soldiers/veterans as well. Good luck with this! I think it'll be hard but well worth the effort. :D

    1. Thank you! I am looking forward to it!

  2. This sounds really interesting! I like your focus on PTSD. Good luck with it!

  3. This sounds like a really emotional book! Best wishes writing it! Also if you need some deeper research for PTSD I actually interviewed someone on my blog who has PTSD and shared about her personal experiences with it.

    1. I will most definitely check out your post! Thank you for telling me about it :)


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