Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hands Down and Heads Up!

Last Sunday I promised to explain what I meant by the "hair pulling" reference in my description of Symmetry. Since I'm on vacay this week visiting my step-daughters, (one of whom is the beautiful redhead on the cover of Symmetry) I'm being lazy and letting an excerpt from one of my reviews do it for me. This is from Julie's review on the Girls Just Reading blog:

"What I enjoyed most was Jess's journey to figuring out why she liked to pull out her hair, strand by strand. This leads her to a self-diagnosis of trichotillomania or TTM for short. She begins to try to understand the triggers for this and takes actions to stop. I also liked how she developed a relationship with a young girl named Cara who did not have the support of her family in treating this disease. As a psychology major, I found it extremely interesting that this is a physical disease and not a mental illness. I can see why it would be misdiagnosed a lot of the time. I liked how this also brought her closer to her younger sister-in-law Lexie, and how she was able to help Lexie with her own issues with OCD.

Normally, I would think that authors would have to do a lot of research on a disease like TTM, but not Ms. Scarbrough. For her this was a personal novel because she deals with TTM herself. I always like it when authors use a subject matter they know personally as a source of inspiration for a character. I have a feeling that Jessica is a lot like Joyce in her way of dealing with TTM."

So there it is. I have trichotillomania. The six sentences I chose for this week come from the book's dedication and from the author's note at the end, and they explain why I wrote it.

This book is dedicated to all the people suffering alone who don't even know that what they do has a name. You are not defective, damaged, or mentally ill, and you are worthy of love and understanding.

I’ve often been asked why I decided to include a topic like hair-pulling in a novel instead of telling my own story about it in a book of non-fiction. The answer to that is twofold. First, I have TTM only to the degree that Jess has it, so it’s not a major problem for me—certainly not interesting enough for an entire book about it. Second, I figured the only people who read non-fiction books about TTM are people who already know what it is, and my goal is to raise awareness in the rest of the population.

See, I always knew there had to be a reason God gave me both the ability to write and enough hair for three people!

You can buy you own copy of Symmetry here. And please also check out the other Six Sentencers.

~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!


  1. Great six. I admire your forethought involved in including this issue in a non-fiction title.

  2. Anonymous9:56 AM

    HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?! I figured someone you knew had it, but not that you had it! Bravo on your bravery! xoxo

  3. Interesting six. It's a subject that I didn't know anything about.