“I am immensely excited about this project and can’t wait to read the stories of this stellar cast of writers and thinkers.” – Nathan Filer, Costa Book of the Year
What's this about?
There’s this myth of the famed and successful as some God-like characters leading spotless, unblemished lives. But under the surface you’ll find that these people were often shaped by great personal struggle. They just didn’t become defined by it.
In this book, you’ll meet 16 acclaimed writers, beloved comedians, ingenious artists, distinguished academics and trail-blazing entrepreneurs who will share their secret battles and take you on a journey to the darkest recesses of their minds.
And as they face their deepest fears, the authors will grapple with questions that haunt us all:
How can we live with our demons?
How can we grow from our wounds and
make space for laughter amid life’s tragedies?
Over the past two years, I’ve met some of Britain’s favourite authors and finest new thinkers. Now you can hear the stories that touched me the most, told by the authors themselves.
But isn't this depressing?
Don’t let the heavy subject matter fool you. This will be a riveting read — often heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately hopeful. Its hope, however, won’t be the cheap kind peddled by 'self-help' gurus galore.
Its hope will be the hope that comes when you let your delusions go, embrace your truth, befriend the skeleton in your closet and maybe dance a little jig with your fears.
Head over to the Excerpt tab to get a glimpse into the stories in this book. They are not written yet — this is where you come in.
Why should I support you?
I’ve never seen such fascinating writers come together in this way before. I haven’t heard more important stories about what it means to be alive today. By becoming a backer, you will make it possible to bring these stories to you - and to everyone who needs their message.
It takes months to write a good story. The authors will give up not just their time but other opportunities, too — and they’ve agreed to do this, without an advance, if they know that the book will get published.
I am asking for the minimum to produce a beautiful hardback. If we meet the funding target, the book will get published and distributed to bookstores. If we don’t, the book will not happen.
· A young man stands on the train tracks plotting a leap to end his life. What’s the logic of self-annihilation and what brings us back from the edge?
· An acclaimed memoirist finds that sometimes the only way you’ve got to cope with a broken reality is to go mad
· An athlete-turned-cognitive-psychologist examines how a fixation with proving yourself can lead to a personal loss you can neither expect, nor repair
· To process the trauma of his best friend’s suicide, a standup comedian cracks “sick jokes from the heart”, turning tragedy into craft
· A gifted writer of short stories discovers that her crippling anxiety may actually mask a deep-seated fear of success
· A crime novelist traces her creative impulse to a childhood accident that made her realise that she can both destroy and be destroyed by those whom she most loves
· One man spends 10 years preparing for the world’s toughest endurance challenge — and accomplishes it. But what happens when you live in the future and that future arrives and it’s not enough?
· A teenage girl tries to disappear by starving herself. What’s this force that compels so many women to stay small?
· A high-flying TV veteran ends up broke, drunk and rough sleeping on the English coast. What makes alcohol so hard to resist even as it ruins you?
· A child notices that certain aspects of her reality don't add up. Could it be that she's the only person who truly exists?
Exciting news…After a week of funding, we’ve reached 18% of our target. At this rate, we’ll get to 100% in 6 weeks - or twice as fast as the majority of successfully crowdfunded books!
This is all thanks to you. I’ve no words to say how grateful I am for your help, encouragement and kindness. I am humbled, flattered, fascinated, excited and deeply, deeply touched by all the generosity during…
These people are helping to fund The Things That Happen to Those Who Live.