Interview with Cindy Collins, Author of Born Under The Gaslight
28 Apr 2020
What can you tell us about your new release Born Under The Gaslight?
Born Under the Gaslight is a memoir about my struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder. The book is about surviving a legacy of abuse and trauma. It covers a time period when I was homeless, dealing drugs, and making money by street racing. The reader goes on this dark journey, watching me graduate from one unhealthy situation to the next before finding help and recovery through Dialectic Behavioral Therapy. It gives insight to the mental health community and gives hope to those diagnosed with this condition. Overall, it is an entertaining story showcasing dark characters straight out of a madhouse, wonderland situation. It combines science, humor, and raw visceral emotion to give the reader one wild ride.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Born Under the Gaslight is my first book. I was approached by multiple therapists to write a book. They were utterly fascinated with my life story and shared it like wildfire. People love a train wreck, underdog story that leaves them with hope and inspiration. They also felt that it could give others in their profession valuable insight into the mind of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. There’s over four million people in the US alone that have been diagnosed with this Borderline Personality Disorder. Sadly, there’s only a handful of books on this condition. Even fewer books written by those diagnosed with BPD.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Books of hope and inspiration that feed your body, mind, and soul are my jam!
#1 Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
I have read this book more times than I can count. I do love a story about a social outcast that finds their way in the world.
#2 Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder by Shari Y Manning, PhD
This book I will always love because it helped make such a difference in my marriage. Very insightful and beneficial to those that are trying to have a healthy relationship with someone diagnosed with BPD.
#3 The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s very hard to pick just one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books. I am in love with all works created by him. He has the reader see things through a different view while helping you find inner peace.
#4 Fine Things by Danielle Steel
It makes me cry every single time. I adore any book that provokes such an emotional response.
#5 Four Seconds by Laura Andrade
Her writing is just beautiful. She has a way with words and is so accurate on her description of what it’s like to live surrounded by people on drugs.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Thich Nhat Hanh! I would love his help on obtaining his level of inner peace and grace. It is portrayed through his words perfectly. I aspire to find that level of calm.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
My words will live on forever. It moves me to tears thinking I was able to create something that will entertain and help others long after I am gone. It is such an honor to be able to take the reader on a journey.
What is a typical day like for you?
I live a quiet life and I love it! Considering the adrenaline fueled, chaotic background that I came from, it is a relief. My daily alarm clock is whenever my emotional support dog Bozworth wakes me up for his breakfast. I start my pot of coffee to help me stay focused on my daily writing. I have begun kicking around ideas for my next book. Then my husband comes home from his job and we watch our favorite tv shows or play video games together. I am grateful to be alive and love my life.
What scene in Born Under The Gaslight was your favorite to write?
I really enjoyed writing scenes involving the Munchausen by Proxy abuse. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is when a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. It can also be withholding medical care for those in need. It is a dark topic, but I felt it was important to expand others knowledge. TV shows such as The Act and The Politician have recently brought this level of abuse into the light. I believe it is important to educate others on things like this to help prevent abuse of children. Although it was terrible for me to live through, I felt empowered and rewarded by being able to write about these instances. I knew that it might help someone in the future recognize this behavior and be able to stop the abuse that’s occurring.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
You never know what hidden demons people are struggling with. Mental illness isn’t something that others can visibly see. Therefore, practice patience and kindness towards others. It makes more of a difference than you can imagine.
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