On the Porch with Tyler Wittkofsky

Welcome Tyler is so good to have you here at my virtual café. It is hard to believe we met in a Twitter group but live only a few hours up the coast from each other.

Tyler: Thank you for having me Sherri. I’ve met a lot of great people who live relatively close to me. It’s been a pleasant surprise to connect with so many like minded people.

Sherri: My oldest son lives in South Port. We drive through Leland on the way to visit him. It’s a beautiful section of North Carolina but then, I think North Carolina is one of the prettiest states in the Union but I’ve not yet visited them all. I have a few more trips to make.

Tyler: I love North Carolina. The beach, the mountains, lakes, and valleys, it’s all beautiful and almost picture perfect.

Sherri: When did you first become a writer? Is this something you’ve always enjoyed?

Tyler: I probably started writing stories from about 6 or 7. My grandmother was an English teacher and high school principal, so she worked with me a lot from an early age.

Sherri: Tell us about your grandmother’s influence. What did she tell you that still stays with you today?

Tyler: She loved working with me, reading my stories, helping me to craft new stories and she still does. Her love and care, the bond we built, was what influenced me to love writing. I loved her, and in turn I loved writing.

Sherri: In your book “(Not) Alone,” your character, Henry seems to have it all but just below the surface he is hiding the truth. He is dealing with mental illness, like many who suffer from bipolar disorder and other mental diseases, he can only hide it for so long before the truth comes out. This is a very touchy subject and one that is quite personal. How did you come to write “(Not) Alone?” Are you a psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist?

Tyler: No, this story is based on a true story. Henry is based on me. The stories from each chapter are based on different events that happened in my life. The characters are all based on real people in my life who have helped me along my journey and struggle with mental illness. I wanted to try and connect with people.

Sherri: What do you hope people will discover when they read “(Not) Alone?”

Tyler: I want to help people with mental illness realize they aren’t alone and help people who love someone with a mental illness better be able to help their loved one. Most importantly though, I want to start a conversation about Mental Health. It’s so stigmatized now, and people are afraid to talk about it, but it’s conversations we need to have.  I also have a clothing store on TeeSpring dedicated to mental health clothing. Most of the proceeds go to a local mental health nonprofit.

https://teespring.com/stores/wittkofskys-plac

Sherri: Your other book is a poetry collection, were you first a poet and then a storyteller or have you always pursued both?

Tyler: My poetry collection is also a journey of my mental illness, but before I was diagnosed. I wrote those before I ever even had the thought about “(Not) Alone” but was scared to publish them until after the reception I got from “(Not) Alone”. But even from a young age, I wrote poetry more than story telling.

Sherri: What advice would you give to a new author just starting out?

Tyler: Dont be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to beat yourself up and struggle with your own writing, but lean on friends, family, a community like on Twitter, just anybody who values you and let them help guide you along the journey.

Sherri: What do you wish you’d known before publishing your first book?

Tyler: How hard it would be to promote it. I’m in the world of public relations and communications and have a degree in marketing, and It’s still like a second job promoting your book, finding ways to get the word out, etc. but once word does get out, it gets out.

Sherri: Are you working on a new book or other writing project?

Tyler: I’m working on two books right now, one is based on my grandma and her story of being the first female principal in a rural county. The other is a romance series based on mine and my fiancée’s relationship. I’m also writing as Minotauros for the “Legends of the Veil” blog, a supernatural multi-author blog that follows some really cool legends as we create new journeys for them. It’s really fun because the stories really coincide with one another, so it makes you connect to each character and want to follow each one of their blogs.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/blogs

Sherri: Tyler, thank you for joining me at my virtual café, perhaps someday we’ll meet in person. If you all enjoyed my conversation with Tyler check out his books and follow him on social media, his links are below.

Social Media –

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorTylerBWittkofsky/about

https://www.instagram.com/t_withcoffee

https://mobile.twitter.com/T_WithCoffee

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19120835.Tyler_Wittkofsk

Stores –

https://teespring.com/stores/wittkofskys-place

Legends of the Veil –

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/author/wittkofsky

https://mobile.twitter.com/The_Minotauros