Today's post isn't necessarily a normal guest post for me. Normally I let authors write about whatever they want to write about. However today's guest blogger, David Trotter, asked me to give him a question to answer. Because I had a question I was really wanting to ask I did (just remember that I'm a bit long-winded when you read my question!). So here is today's guest post, and be aware there is a bit of a ***SPOILER***!!!
The emotion in this book was so raw, I am honestly surprised that I didn't cry many many times (as I too have been on the "giving" end of an affair). When writing a fiction book that carries this emotion I would imagine that the author is able to disassociate themselves from what is happening in the story. Being that this wasn't a story, this was your life, it had to be such an emotional ride to bring all this back to the surface, for both you and your family. So my question is, was it difficult to write this, not only for you but for everyone involved, Laura, Kurt, Ron, Dyno, your kids, etc? Did the pain lessen because of writing, or did writing make it new and raw again?
From the day the ‘other woman’ left me in April of 2008, I had a sense that I’d share my story one day. I have lived a rather public life, and I don’t mind allowing people into the inner recesses if there is possible benefit for their own lives. As I hit rock bottom, I was coming to a realization that I lost my 14 year marriage, 10 year career, and the woman I left it all to pursue. I had no clue how my life was going to unfold, but I knew it would be a wild ride nonetheless. Thankfully, it ended up including a reconciliation with my wife and children as you read in the “Lost + Found.”
In December of 2008, I was flying back from a humanitarian trip with some friends in India, and I felt like it was finally time to capture the story in an outline format so that I would have ‘breadcrumb memories’ to re-trace my steps. I spent a couple of hours on that flight typing up the entire outline for the book, but I didn’t look at it again for an entire year. Every time I even thought of starting to write the memoir, unbearable pain would gush toward the surface...the guilt of harming my wife and children, the remorse of hurting so many people who trusted me, and even the wounds of being left by the other woman. It was just too much to bear.
A year later, I was feeling stronger and more confident in my ability to re-visit the story of my own life in detail. Although I had been processing the events with my wife, our therapist, and close friends since the moment it all began, writing about it in story form seemed to feel like such a daunting task. In fact, I felt like I needed someone to walk with me in the process, and I ended up hiring a writing coach (Stacey Robbins) who my wife and I both trusted with the crafting of the story. My coach’s help on a regularly basis provided me with the needed encouragement to allow the depth of the memories to come to life...not as a mere recounting of events, but as a true-to-life experience for the reader.
Each time I would sit down to write, I would close my eyes and allow my memories to transport me back to the very moment in time. A great deal of the book was written with my eyes closed as I replayed the scenes over and over in my mind’s eye. At certain points, I would draw upon collateral materials that I kept in a special envelope which helped me tell the story in more detail...correspondence, photos, blog posts, etc. Although it would have been easier to keep a ‘safe distance’ from the emotion of my story, I truly wanted the reader to experience every moment along the way. I wanted them to feel the highest highs and the lowest lows...even if they hated me in the process.
In the process of crafting the book, I would write for large blocks of time...up to an entire day. At first, I tried writing for shorter periods of time, but I found it difficult to re-enter my ‘new normal’ with my wife and kids. It tweaked my mind and heart to go back and forth in the midst of all the emotions. As each chapter was written, I found that my own raw pain began to dissipate. I started to feel a deep healing radiate through my soul as I was willing to take a look at my own hurtful actions and process the painful results. Toward the final chapters, I was giving myself at least an hour of down time to allow all those thoughts, memories, and emotions to settle before re-engaging with my family. Otherwise, I found that it was too difficult to bounce between the two lives...my old life and my new one.
Please know that this memoir wasn’t written as a proof of my transformation or to gain the approval of others. I wanted to share the story of my redemption against the backdrop of my own depravity. It was written to inspire people to invest in the relationships they already have and challenge them to re-think the allure of an affair. Ultimately, I wanted to give hope to those who have experienced an affair and shine a light down the road of forgiveness. Grace and transformation are available.
Thank you so much for that response. I love to get "inside" the heads of authors, especially when it's a subject so dear to their hearts
Again, thank you David for writing this book. Many of you will never know the heartache that goes on inside a person who is committing an affair (and I pray that you never will be on either side of that situation). It's a difficult situation for all parties involved.
I want to clarify to my readers that the reason this book resonates so much with me is that I have cheated in my past. In my situation I was not married, but I was engaged which doesn't make it any less hurtful to the man I cheated on. Admitting I've been in that situation is different from sharing the circumstances that lead to it and I do not think I could ever open myself up in this way for everyone to see. I know I regret to this day my actions and wish I could take them back. I hope that none of my readers think less of me for admitting this act from my past. I can not rationalize my actions, I can only ask for forgiveness from those I have hurt.
If you would like more information about Lost + Found please visit David's website.
You can also read my review of Lost + Found.