The TV show Supernatural’s Always Keep Fighting campaign and RandomActs.org inspired a world-wide blogging campaign with more than 100+ bestselling, award-winning science fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal romance and speculative fiction authors talking candidly about suicide, depression, self-harm, PTSD, domestic violence and mental illness in their books, in their lives and in the fandom community.
I was very moved by the candor and heart I saw from actors Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and the #SPNFamily fandom community in the Always Keep Fighting campaign. I’m especially thrilled to see the #SPNFamily Crisis Support Network creating a fandom-based peer counseling training opportunity. (Yeah, I’m a huge fan of the show.) As Bobby Singer said, “Family don’t end with blood.” In other words, your true family is the one you gather around yourself.
It made me wonder—what would happen if the authors whose books help to create sci-fi and fantasy fandom talked about the personal impact mental illness issues have had on them and their writing? I decided to start a conversation, and the result is #HoldOnToTheLight.
#AlwaysKeepFighting #AKF showed the reach media stars have when they talk about issues, and I wanted genre authors to join the conversation. I recruited my usual partners in crime—John Hartness, Misty Massey, Jaym Gates, Jean Marie Ward, Emily Leverett and my husband, Larry N. Martin—as the steering committee, and we asked our author friends to join us.
The result? More than 100 authors reaching out to fans and readers with honest, deeply personal stories about mental illness-related issues.
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Among the authors participating so far are: Robin Hobb, Jody Lynn Nye, Cat Rambo, Seanan McGuire, Laura Anne Gilman, Chuck Gannon, Kameron Hurley, Catherine Asaro, Gaie Siebold, Karen Miller, Rowena Cory Daniels, David B. Coe, Marc Tassin, Jonathan Oliver, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, Aaron Rosenberg, Jennifer St. Giles, Mark Van Name, Juliet McKenna, Jennifer Brozek, Darynda Jones, Christopher Golden, Clay and Susan Griffith, Gregory Wilson, Josh Vogt, Darin Kennedy, Jon Sprunk, James Maxey, Karen E. Taylor, Justin Gustainis, Misty Massey, John G. Hartness, Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward, Jaym Gates, Laura Taylor, Weston Ochse, Ron Garner, Kathy Lyons, Mari Mancusi, Leanna Renee Hieber, Davey Beauchamp, Cheryl Wilson, Rod Belcher, Travis Heermann, Cara Santa Maria, Michael J. Allen, Trisha Wooldridge, Alyssa Day, J. F. Lewis, Joshua Palmatier, Keith DeCandido Mindy Mimudes, Emily Leverett, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Tera Fulbright, Tamsin Silver, Stuart Jaffe, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Eric Asher, Rick Gualtieri, Chris Kennedy, Ken Schrader, Samantha Dunaway Bryant, Valerie Willis, Alexandra Christian, Jake Bible, Matthew Saunders, Jay Requard, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly Harmon, Sascha Illyvich, Kelly Swails, Bishop O’Connell, Sherwood Smith, Peter Prellwitz, Tracy Chowdhury, Trevor Curtis, Leo Champion, Alma Alexander Natania Barron, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Addie J. King, Joelle Reizes, Gabrielle Faust, Selah Janel, Whitney Evans, Tom Leveen, Deborah J. Ross, Tally Johnson, Calandra Usher, Jada Diaz, Harry Markov, Brian Rathbone, Robert Greenberger, Linda Robertson, Leona Wisoker, Dianna L. Gunn, Emmie Mears, Lyndsey Harper, Tom Wells, Wendy S. Delmater, S.H. Roddey, Jeri Smith-Ready, Delilah Dawson, Phil Giunta, Myke Cole and more.
How can you help spread the message and broaden the conversation?
- Read and share the blog posts by our participating authors
- Visit the authors’ blogs and like, comment
- Tweet or email about the campaign and tag bloggers, podcasters and genre media
- Ask your favorite genre convention to add panels on mental wellness
- Volunteer with or donate to one of the campaign charities listed at the bottom of this post
- Join the #HoldOnToTheLight Facebook page.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight