Introducing Janelle M. Worley who will be republishing her memoir Tomorrow Isn’t Promised next year with Radiant Crown. Janelle’s story of her husband’s suicide is told through pseudo-dairy entries piecing together memories, poetry, and letters to and from the dead. The cover design was handled by Aliva Anders/White Rabbit Book Design and editing will soon be underway. Below, get to know Janelle and her memoir that is slated for re-release in September/October of next year.
“I wanted to end this torment the way that Mark had ended his…I had been set adrift…and my heart blown into oblivion.”
When Janelle lost her husband to suicide many years ago, she never imagined what her life would become without him by her side. In her heart-wrenching memoir, Janelle recounts life with Mark and when he was gone. Haunted by the knowledge that she’ll never truly understand why her husband chose to leave her a widow, she confronts her pain, confusion, and doubts about God with the use of journal entries and poetic prose. The ups and downs of married life, the tornado that followed Mark’s death, and an inspiring story of resilience in the face of depression converge in Tomorrow Isn’t Promised.
1. First, tell us a little about yourself. Why did you feel the need to compose a memoir? Who are you?
I was married to a wonderful man, Mark, for nearly sixteen years. I am originally from Elgin, IL. After marrying, I moved to live in Michigan with Mark. From there we moved to Lubbock, TX; Irving, TX; Austin, TX; Phoenix, AZ; and San Diego, CA. I have always had a hard time with change, but somehow, this is what I needed to help me grow and flourish. It wasn’t always easy, but it was never dull! I am the type of person who pretty much just goes with the flow. I had plenty of experiences that were worth writing about and enjoyed doing so! I first started officially, keeping a journal in high school when I took a creative writing course. I have pretty much continued writing since then.
After Mark died, one of the only things that helped me hang on was to tell his story. I spent the majority of my time writing everything I could think of that would make his life and story come alive. Probably the first time I was ever really on a mission! The memoir was everything to me!
2. Have you always kept a journal or diary?
The journals that I keep now aren’t as extensive as they used to be, but I do still keep one. I probably started back when I was a kid by keeping journals of family trips, and this blossomed into feelings and experiences.
3. RCP “was founded in 2016 to showcase quality fiction, diverse stories, and unexpected protagonists.” What does that mean to you?
I think that RCP is a wonderful format for great fiction as well as memoirs. Having diverse protagonists is something that will appeal to a large, discerning, audience and is something needed in the publishing business!
4. What do you think makes a good memoir, a genre that’s very popular today? How do you think your story Tomorrow Isn’t Promised fits into or varies from that description?
I think for a book to be a good memoir, it needs to be written from the heart and to contain as much detail as possible, so the reader can be immersed in the story. I think my memoir is definitely a story from the heart and I think it holds the reader’s attention and gives them a glance into my tragedy.
5. How has your husband Mark suicide effected you in these 24 years? Has it made you see things in a different light?
My husband committed suicide 24 years ago, and my life has been forever changed by that one event. I will always wonder why, and wonder what I could have done to stop and prevent his death. Living in the moment is something I don’t do too well. In many ways, the road of life stretches out on a long, scary route. Anxiety is always close and I am forever questioning if I can really live on my own. I see how quickly things can change and that if there is joy to be found, take it when you can and always tell those you love them frequently!
6. Your memoir was originally published in 2005. What are you hoping changes with it being republished in 2017?
When I first published my memoir in 2005, I really just wanted to get it into print. Since I had to pay for the publishing, I had no additional money for marketing or promoting. I did have friends and relatives who read my account and I was touched by their reactions. I hope this republishing can get the story out and help those are struggling with suicide issues. That is my main goal!
7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for other widows of suicide, their families, and even those considering taking their own life?
Surviving spouses have a unique hell. Suicide is a topic that is still taboo for many people and feeling the pain of losing a spouse in this manner is excruciating. The look on people’s faces when they are told the manner of death is even more painful. Living without that person who has been there 24/7 is hard to describe. These people and families need compassion and someone to listen to them. Be there whenever they need you. That “one person” is no longer there for them. I can’t emphasize enough the void this leaves. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please confide in someone! If you feel there is nobody, call the suicide hotline. Remember: “Where there is love, there is life.”