Tag Archives: mental health issues

Guest Article: Mark Matthews Talks About His Choice of Title for His Book The Hobgoblin of Little Minds @matthews_mark

I have the distinct pleasure of hosting a guest article from Mark Matthews on the occasion of the release of his new novel, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, a psychological horror novel. Mark is always and often advocating for mental health awareness, whether in working in the field, talking about it in articles or social media, or intricately so, in his writing of books and stories or editing of anthologies. I admire Mark for his dedication and thoughts to the human condition and believe he’s a fabulous writer who has important things to say through his words. Pick up a copy of his work, or an anthology with one of his stories, and you’ll see what I mean. Or to get first glimpse, read the article below and pick up a copy of his newest book.

“I Was Told There Would Be Hobgoblins”
by Mark Matthews, author of The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Yesterday, January 28, 2021, was the first full moon of the year! With that, I’m very excited for the release of my new psychological horror novel, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, to coincide with this lunar activity.

The novel has received some great reviews from early readers, but I do fear some elements might disappoint. For example, I imagine eavesdropping on readers and hearing things like:

“I was told there would be Hobgoblins. Where are the Hobgoblins?”

Sorry, there are no Hobgoblins inside.

 “No Hobgoblins!? But there are at least Werewolves, right?”

Well, sort of. But you’ll not find the word ‘Werewolf’ inside, not even once.

No Hobgoblins. Never mentions Werewolves, What the hell?

Let me explain:

The title of the book comes from the phrase “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” For those who’ve read the transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, the phrase strikes a chord immediately.

The concept is a theme throughout the book. This idea that repeating things as they’ve always been done out of mindless repetition stops creativity and ingenuity. The quote is heralded, and ultimately twisted, by a psychiatrist, Doctor Zita. Zita is the villain in the story, to a degree, but certainly a sympathetic character.

Doctor Zita grew up witness to her mom struggling with mental illness. After one of her mom’s many suicide attempts, her dad abandons the family, saying “you fix her” as he leaves out the door. This becomes her driving principle and obsession— to ‘fix’ bipolar disorder, and not repeat the foolish mistakes of ineffective mental health treatment of the past.

“She was going to find a way to fix bipolar disorder. To siphon out the worst parts, and make the best parts boil to the top. She had to try something new, because ‘foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.’ The same efforts bring same results.”

According to the Doctor, the symptoms of bipolar do not need to be blunted and minimized the way psychiatry has tried for years, but rather, magnified and harnessed. The boundless energy of mania, the primal passions, acute senses, and savage strength are resilient traits that have helped humans persist.

This is not a belief that I subscribe to, but through the viewpoint of Doctor Zita, I do hope to show empathy for family members who rely on mental health treatment, and have so often been let down by a science that is far from perfect, and at times causes more harm than it does cure. This book shines the light on some dark challenges of mental illness, and portrays it with humanity.

The werewolves inside are definitely beasts, but they are not monsters. They love. They have hopes and dreams. They speak as much as howl. They visit their churches and their childhood homes, mimicking much of their human behavior. They do not grow hair, but they do grow stronger as a predator when the moon is full, and have explosive and vengeful rage, often with the best of intentions but worst of results. They are propelled by boundless energy and amazing powers of perception. All of this is what happens, in a sense, in bipolar mania.

As noted, the word werewolf is never mentioned in the novel, much in the way the word zombie is never mentioned in The Walking Dead. In a sense I did this because there is no such thing as werewolves, right? And I want this story to ring true. It even occurs in a true setting, the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital.  

So, no, there are no Hobgoblins inside, nor any little minds being eaten, but I do think you’ll find that there is so much more.

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, About –

Kori Persephone Driscoe suffered through her dad’s mental illness. All she wanted was for him to get better, but instead he disappeared. Kori trespasses into the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital, the last place her dad was treated, seeking solace and traces of his memory. What she finds instead is something no longer human living deep in the underground tunnels.

During the last days of the hospital, a rogue psychiatrist had been manipulating the mood swings of the mentally ill, transforming patients into savage, manic creatures who seek justice by the light of the full moon. When the creatures hunt for prey, only an escaped patient and her beloved child can help Kori survive. But they better act fast, because the creatures want blood, Kori wants to save her dad, and the whole hospital is about to be blown to pieces and bury Kori alive. 

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds is available at:

Kindle for Amazon – Cover above is Kindle Cover!

Amazon paperback – full wrap cover above!

Or…

Barnes and Noble

Indiebound

Powell’s

Mark Matthews, Biography –

Mark Matthews is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a licensed professional counselor who has worked in behavioral health for over 20 years. He is the author of On the Lips of Children, All Smoke Rises, and Milk-Blood, as well as the editor of the anthology Lullabies for Suffering and Garden of Fiends. His newest work, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, is available as of January, 2021. Reach him at WickedRunPress@gmail.com.

Follow Mark Matthews on Twitter.

Author’s Webpage

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Tanya J. Peterson Gives Us a Compassionate Look at Mental Health in Her Debut Fiction, Leave of Absence

9781592998838 cov.inddMay is Mental Health Awareness Month, but mental health awareness is still such a societal struggle–there is still a battle being waged to break down barriers–so when a book comes along such as Leave of Absence by Tanya J. Peterson, I become hopeful that it can carry a message about mental illness beyond any certain month, but throughout the year, for many years to come!

After reading Leave of Absence, I believe that this book is so complete in its portrayal, so accurate and endearing, that it could possibly be a catalyst of modern literature that brings the true mental dilemma of human nature to light.  Peterson understands the mental illness in her characters. Instead of giving a dramatic portrayal of characters, such as what you sometimes see in the movies, Peterson shows the struggles and emotions her characters, especially co-protagonists Oliver and Penelope, go through in their minds. She paints a vivid and clear picture of their thoughts and desires. She showcases the internal angst that people like Penelope, who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, deal with just to keep facing the day, every day. She makes us aware of the fact that not only do they have to battle their unwanted internal struggles, but they also have to face the guilt they feel for what they think they do to their family and friends.

Leave of Absence was a book more centered on character development than plot, as we began to feel connected to Oliver, Penelope, and even William, Penelope’s fiance, which is what really needed to happen for us to be focused on the message Peterson was writing. I felt Peterson’s portrayal of William, with his steadfast, understanding, patient, and unconditional love for Penelope even when she felt she did not deserve it, was so compassionate and touching. I know many people with mental issues who have felt that they were, or are, a burden to their loved ones and I was happy to see Peterson take this angle.

Even though some parts of Penelope’s schizophrenia were humorous, such as Peterson’s portrayal of the voice in Penelope’s head as a dictating Eleanor Roosevelt (Mrs. Peterson–Eleanor was such a strong supporter of women’s rights and by the way, I’m related!! LOL), I felt that overall as a reader I grew to love her. Penelope’s creative and caring mind was so touching. Which I hope, overall, might be the message.

I suppose you can probably tell by now that I grew most connected to Penelope, even though it is Oliver we first encounter jumping off a building and going into the behavioral health unit. Oliver becomes a die-hard friend and support system to Penelope and I loved as their relationship unfolded. If it wasn’t for William, I would have loved to see Oliver and Penelope become a couple and for that to help Oliver overcome the loss of his wife. But instead it did show a wonderful platonic friendship, which are also so valuable in the healing process for so many with depression and mental illness.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary reads that shine light on the nuances of human nature, but I also recommend this book for caregivers, family and friends of those struggling with mental illness in hopes that it would help them to find more compassion and understanding. The book is also a wonderful piece for those studying sociology, social work, or psychology.

See the Video Trailer Here:

 Leave of Absence, Synopsis~

9781592998838 cov.indd“Oliver knew deep in his heart that he would never, ever be better.” In this insightful and evocative novel, Tanya J. Peterson delves deeply into the world of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.

When Oliver Graham’s suicide attempt fails, he is admitted to Airhaven Behavioral Health Center. Unable to cope with the traumatic loss of his beloved wife and son, he finds a single thread of attachment to life in Penelope, a fellow patient wrestling with schizophrenia and its devastating impact on her once happy and successful life. They both struggle to discover a reason to live while Penelope’s fiancé William strives to convince her that she is worth loving. As Oliver and Penelope try to achieve emotional stability, face others who have been part of their lives, and function in the “real world,” they discover that human connection may be reason enough to go on.

Written with extraordinary perception into the thought processes of those grappling with mental illness, Leave of Absence is perfect for readers seeking an empathic depiction of grief, loss, and schizophrenia, as well as anyone who has ever experienced human suffering and healing.

ISBN-13: 978-1-59299-883-8 | ISBN 10: 1-59299-883-6
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Inkwater Press
Retail Price: $17.95 (paperback); $2.99 (e-Book)
Available at: Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Powells.com, iTunes Bookstore, Kobo.com, and Inkwater Books.

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You can read the guest post that Tanya J. Peterson did with me about why she wrote the novel and why women need to take time for their dreams, by clicking HERE! Stay tuned next week for our exclusive interview!

See more stops on her tour at:  http://tanyajpeterson.com/virtual-book-tour/

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Author Tanya J. Peterson, Biography~

Tanya PetersonTanya J. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, Master of Science in counseling, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor.  She has been a teacher and a counselor in various settings, including a traditional high school and an alternative school for homeless and runaway adolescents, and she has volunteered her services in both schools and communities.  She draws on her life experience as well as her education to write stories about the emotional aspect of the human condition.  She has published Losing Elizabeth, a young adult novel about an abusive relationship, Challenge!, a short story about a person who finds the confidence to overcome criticism and achieve a goal, and a book review of Linley and Joseph’s Positive Therapy: A Meta-Theory for Positive Psychological Practice that appeared in Counseling Today, the national publication of the American Counseling Association. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children.

See Tanya’s great website at:  http://tanyajpeterson.com/

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