K E Garland
Hi, my name is Katherin. I am a recovering sex addict, and as only a creative nonfiction writer would do…I’ve written a memoir about it.
I’ve been writing and revising this book since 2014. Subsequently, there have been several title changes. Initially, the book was going to be called Petulia, the name that my birth mother assigned to me, but the story morphed into being a narrative about more than adoption. The next title was Codependent; that was after I did a deep dive into Melody Beattie’s book. Still, something wasn’t quite right. The something was that I was trying to save my public reputation and avoid revealing the real issue—the integral (and awful) part that sex has played in my life.
So, I took a deep breath, made a decision, and revised the memoir once again. This time, the title would be Diary of a Sex Addict and written as an epistolary. But that didn’t work either. I hadn’t really kept a diary of my life, and trying to re-create one came off as inauthentic, something I don’t want to be.
My next title was Addicted. Years ago, Zane, a famous, Black erotica author had written a fictional novel called Addicted, and I thought it would be clever to play off the title as a sort of nonfiction response, like hey…this is what real sex addiction is like. It is not pretty or sexy. It is dangerous and scary.
But my publisher told me I couldn’t name it that for two reasons: Zane had already written a book with this title, and more importantly, the book is about much more than sex addiction.
She was right.
After careful thought, I renamed it In Search of a Salve, because it encompasses what I did much of my childhood, adolescence, and adult life—searched for something to heal the pain of unresolved trauma and the feelings of being thrice abandoned by each of my parents. Sex is how I did that; thus, Memoir of a Sex Addict is the subtitle.
So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can tell you about the cover.
As an indie author, I typically work with people I know for each phase of book production; however, this time, I went with a boutique/independent publisher (more about that decision later). Working with a publisher meant trusting that person’s contacts and process, including their graphic designer. That was hard.
Before sending materials to the creative, I envisioned and made a mockup of the cover. I kept this rendition to myself, and then sent three photos and sample covers of bestselling books that I liked. What I created is first. The actual book cover follows.
Pretty amazing, huh?
I’m happy the graphic designer chose this photo. The picture accurately depicts how I felt during much of my life: deserted, sad, and bewildered. Overall, I was living life in a despondent kind of way. Even if I was donning the big, bright smile that many people know me for, I still felt like the little girl in this photo on the inside for much of my life.
I’ve spent the last nine years writing and revising this book, and now, with the help of my editor and NEW Reads Publications, it is nearly ready for public consumption.
I do hope you’ll consider buying a copy once pre-orders go on sale, which is June 27, 2023. I also hope you’ll endure hearing about it, every now and then, because, well, that’s how books are sold in the 21st century.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone, and we were no different. However, we chose, like many, to host a virtual book reading via Zoom! The turnout was around 25, and the conversation was stimulating.
We were fortunate enough to host another book reading for Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships. Each time we do one of these, I'm in awe at how many women have been living with dysfunctional father-daughter relationships and living with unresolved trauma. It's astounding. I'm happy that this book can help so many.
This time, co-author, Tikeetha Thomas planned our reading at The Potter's House.
Our second book reading for Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships was intentionally held the Saturday before Father's Day. One of the co-authors, Bree, coordinated the event to be held at For Keeps, a Black-owned bookstore. We read. We discussed. We empathized. Below is a clip of Bree reading her powerful story, "Abandoned at Breakfast."
In the States, Women’s History Month is a time “commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history” (Women’s History Month). Isn’t that great?
While I believe people like Harriet Tubman and Helen Keller were influential to society as a whole, I used this month as a time to not only reflect on the important role that friends and family have played in my life, but also to pay it forward by encouraging and uplifting women with whom I’m associated.
Therefore, I decided to begin this year’s Women’s History Month by having a book reading. On Saturday, March 2, 2019, four of the authors from my most recent edited collection, Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships and I gathered together to share our stories.
It was a perfect writer’s scenario. It was a dark and stormy afternoon. Seriously, it rained the entire day. The independent bookstore was cozy. Stacks of used and new books served as a backdrop. Right next to us, sat a group of five doing black out poetry. They circled and highlighted words, while also half-listening to our talk. Afterwards, the group’s leader expressed her adoration for the women and the event, highlighting the importance of healing through story.
The support was palpable. This is no exaggeration. The space held supportive energy and the reason was because each author had invited guests who had their genuine interests at heart. Mothers, cousins, brothers, best friends, longtime high-school friends, and book club members were a part of the audience.