Interview with Lisa Palmer, Author of Supply and Sabotage

10 Jul 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Supply and Sabotage?

I wrote my novel to raise awareness about narcissism and bipolar disorder within a family setting. It’s a common myth that “Family is everything” but that isn’t always the case. Loving, caring family is everything and sometimes that’s not the hand of cards you’re dealt. People who haven’t experienced narcissistic abuse or family members with bipolar disorder may not understand what that feels like. I wanted to change that by shining a spotlight on these disorders. Narcissism runs in my family, but as a child, narcissistic abuse seemed normal because I’d been surrounded by it my entire life. It took me years to see how I grew up wasn’t normal or healthy. I want to help young adults (and adults alike) recognize narcissists’ Red Flag behaviors earlier in life so they don’t waste time in toxic relationships. Red Flags are irrational behaviors all narcissists share. Narcissistic abuse is about the narcissist, not the victim, and I wanted to make that abundantly clear through fiction. Fiction is also more accessible to young adults and that’s why I chose to write a novel. Supply and Sabotage is also a love story, full of dry humor and plot twists, so it’s not just about narcissism. It’s a poignant coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who, as she awakens, has to face hard truths about her family and find belonging outside her family of origin. I often write “Discovery is recovery” in my Facebook posts because I believe once you understand narcissists’ irrational behavior you can separate yourself from it and regain your sanity. One of the final stages of healing is helping others. Sharing my story is about saving others from the confusion I experienced. After reading my novel, readers will have a clear understanding of narcissistic abuse and be able to protect themselves. It was incredibly empowering to write Supply and Sabotage. I’m thrilled it’s now available on Amazon! As cliché as it sounds, if my story saves even one person from being a victim of narcissistic abuse, I’ll be satisfied.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Supply and Sabotage, what would they be?

For Eva, it’s “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia.

For Marge, it’s “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon.

For Janice, it’s “The Fear” by Lily Allen.

For Aaron and Nelly, it’s “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley: kick ‘em when they’re up, kick ‘em when they’re down. Kick ‘em when they’re up. Kick ‘em all around!

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I love literature and fiction but I read all genres. I look for quality writing that draws me into the story. ‘Educated’ truly resonated with me and inspired me to write my own novel. I also loved ‘White Ivy’, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, ‘The Push’, ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ and ‘Yellowface’. I’m always reading something and have my next book lined up. If the story sounds interesting and I like the writing style, I’ll read the book.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m looking forward to reading Amor Towles ‘Table for Two’. I loved ‘Rules of Civility’. Towles is an exceptional writer. I’ve also been reading a lot of Patricia Highsmith since she’s the expert at thriller writing. I have an older book of hers, ‘The Tremor of Forgery’, that I’m really looking forward to reading. Her novels captivate me and I can never tell what’s going to happen next.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I loved writing the San Francisco café scene between Marge and Eva. In the café scene, Marge asks to meet with Eva, the main character, to make amends for bullying her during her childhood. This happened to me in real life, but my middle sister asked to meet with me once I was accepted to graduate school at SFSU. She set it up as if she were going to apologize but then asked me not to move to San Francisco, her city. The audacity of her request was overwhelming and at the time I couldn’t process it. Looking back now, I see it’s such a clear example of sabotage that I had to include it in my novel. After Marge says this to Eva in my novel, Eva leaves the café to meet a friend and her anger races to catch up with her. I personified her anger because narcissistic abuse victims often disassociate during abuse and can’t feel what they should feel. Once her anger pounces on her, Eva is so angry she starts to cry, and then she starts to laugh out of sheer relief that she’s no longer numb as she was as a teen who was relentlessly bullied. Narcissistic abuse can make you numb if you experience it long enough and you won’t recognize abuse for what it is. Eva does recognize the abuse, is outraged and has a healthy emotional reaction to the setup and betrayal. She’s also forced to let go of any hope of her sister ever being healthy. Right before she leaves the café, she finally confronts Marge, telling her she’s a malignant narcissist and will always be sick. It’s a powerful scene and it sets Eva free.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Yes! I always work out after I write. I have a spin bike and I do 30-45 minutes of spin and then light weightlifting. While writing Supply and Sabotage, I needed to move out the energy of my story. I would breathe out the abuse that didn’t belong to me and breathe in fresh, healing energy. It left me feeling light, energetic and peaceful.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

True power is realizing you are your own healer, hero and leader. It’s from ‘Inward’ by Yung Pueblo. You have to do your own healing work. No one is going to do it for you. Also, don’t seek validation from others unless you know they share in your experience (like Facebook Groups dedicated to narcissistic abuse recovery and awareness). People who don’t have abusers in their family or are enablers won’t help you, and, in fact, can say things that are quite hurtful. Go within. Get honest about the people in your life. If a relationship hasn’t been working for years, perhaps it’s time to let it go. Be your own best friend and find your way to inner peace and happiness. I’m not saying recovering from abuse is easy, I’m saying the rewards are more than worth it. If you seek therapy, be sure it’s from a trauma-informed therapist who understands narcissistic abuse.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The abuse is not about you. As they say in Al-Anon, you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. Abuse is about the abuser and what’s going on with them. They’re projecting onto you and making you a target. If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, get away, stay away and love yourself.


Lisa Palmer is the author of the new book Supply and Sabotage

Connect with Lisa Palmer

Author Site


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