By: Trevor Kleinhans
The answer is no, I never, ever thought I would write a book and now be writing my second one!
I remember my school years back in the 1970’s when I went to Northlands Boys High School, now known as Northwood. I was this shy little nerdy boy who would make sure he never got into any trouble. I was no great performer in any of my school subjects, in fact I just managed to get a ‘matric exemption’ as it was called back then; today I think it’s a university pass? You had to at least get an aggregate of E1. Well when I received my long awaited matric results, I got an E1 for all six subjects, including English, my mother tongue.
I used to hate writing essays, I had no imagination whatsoever. Yet today I love writing. Why?
I used writing to express my life and to express myself to others. I used writing to help get me through some of the toughest parts of my life, namely when I fell prey to one of the most addictive and deadliest drugs known to mankind – crack cocaine. So my journey started with writing. I underwent five years of intense weekly psychological therapy with an amazing Psychologist, Claire Moore, whom I still see today, just not as often. My therapy was hard and I would be physically and emotionally exhausted after an hour with Claire. She would tell me how helpful therapeutic writing was and that I should go home and write.
That is what I did, and this is where my writing journey started. I went home opened my laptop and started writing about my life, from my earliest memory. That was when I almost drowned at four years old in a green algae infested swimming pool in the Midlands. There were times when I could not write and those were the times when my writing was overtaking my psychological process. By this I mean, I still had to psychologically deal with being sexually abused by my oldest brother. Claire used psycho-dynamic therapy on me, where she would delve into my mind in order to get rid of the emotions I had stored from six years old. This was extremely intense therapy. I would go home exhausted. Only once my psychological process had caught up with my writing, could I carry on purging my story onto my laptop.
My book ‘Secrets Make You Sick’ was written over this five-year period, whilst I was undergoing therapy. It was written with raw emotion. My story often elicits gasps of shock and horror from people when they read it, yet at the same time, they confess to being able to relate to it. I often wonder how I have got away with a book that is truly shocking and extremely graphic in parts? The reason I believe, is because people are able to connect to my writing. If I had to tone the book down it would certainly have lost a lot of its sincerity and honesty, which is what my life is all about: being brutally honest. It is an easy read for people, and many have told me they read the book in a day or two.
I wrote the book never thinking it would end up in Exclusive Books. I wrote it for myself. It so happened I would tell friends some of the stories I had written and they would try convince me to let them read them. I didn’t want to, but eventually I gave in. I handed my story to three of my closest friends. It was printed on A4 paper and shoved in a lever arch file. They read it within days and encouraged me to publish it. I still did not believe them, so I found five people totally disconnected to me and gave the files to them. I received the same response. That’s when I decided to take the next step and self-publish my book.
I will never forget when I launched the 1st edition in November 2011, 5pm at Harvey’s restaurant, when it was still in Innes Road. By 3am the next morning I received the very first message from someone who had purchased the book and was finished reading it. I was gob smacked that someone had found my story so interesting, that they could not put it down. The reason I believe is because I wrote it from my heart.
I still write from my heart. I will not write something for the sake of writing it. I am a contributor to Huffington Post UK as well as to News24, and I will not put pressure on myself to write everyday or once a week. I write when there is something I am passionate about. Whatever that topic might be, if it is something I hold close to my heart and believe in, I will write about it. That’s what writing to me should be about. Write what you are passionate about, topics that touch your heart. When you do this, you will find people love reading your work.
Visit my website at www.secretsmakeyousick.com