I, Loustella Perry, have always been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved using my imagination and playing pretend. I even had an imaginary friend, named Vanessa. I’d always write short stories and make my mom read them (sometimes I acted them out for her). When I hit sixth grade, I had a friend who was just as imaginative as me, so we would play princesses who had element-related powers. I specifically remember battling, invisible trolls in her living room. This was around the time that I would sit down and write lengthy stories. This was also when I decided I wanted to be an author.
The goal was to write fiction. But as I got older, I had less time to daydream and create stories. When I turned 20, I lost a few loved ones and fell into a very low depression. My boss suggested I read, to take my mind off the stress. I struggled reading longer books as a kid because I didn’t have the attention span for it. If I read at all, it was a Dr. Seuss book. Thus, I decided to read poetry. It was typically short and comfortable to read. Also, it seemed as though a lot of poets struggled with similar issues as me. The idea of not being alone in a battle was extremely helpful. So I started to write some of my own.
Poetry allowed me to write feelings down however they needed to come out. It permitted me to not make sense, to write brief sentences, to write descriptive sentences, and to express myself with any type of sentence I needed. It granted me freedom. As I progressed, I realized that all my poetry rhymed. This does not surprise me, considering I have always loved Dr. Seuss. I wrote in my journal, on my computer, at school, and in photo captions. This was my outlet in a time, when I was mentally exhausted and I completely abandoned the dream of writing books.
When I sat down to write Toast, I had no intent on writing a book. I was more-so making fun of the fact that I wanted to write a book. I had forgotten all my passion for writing and decided to write stanza after stanza of reasons why I was writing the book. This resulted in each line of every stanza in Toast is “I’m writing this book because…”. Once I was done, I noticed that the book told quite a story. Through this process, I have developed my author-voice and found the best way I am able to tell stories.
Toast is a collection of poetry that documents a decline in mental health, after losing loved ones. I take the reader on a trip through grief, depression, love, loss, and healing. Toast shows the pressure I was under to give up on my dreams and my happiness. I am so grateful to share the story of how I built the resilience to overcome the obstacles that kept me from serenity. Thankfully, Authors’ Lounge has given me the opportunity to give you guys a sneak peak.
“I’m writing this book because I’m healing.
Gather around children, don’t be shy.
Let me tell you a story, of extreme lows
and a progressive high.
Now I’m writing this book because I’m healing,Perry, Loustella. Toast. 2021
BEWARE of a few parts.
This book contains depression, grieving, a suicidal attempt,
and matters of the heart.”
I want Toast to be a reminder for anyone who is battling depression to know that healing is possible. This book is physical proof that you are not alone and can get better. I want readers to feel solidarity when reading Toast. I hope they can see that their goals are attainable, even while struggling with mental health. Toast is for anyone who has ever felt the need to give up on dreams. It’s also evidence that not all therapists are bad and sometimes seeking professional help is the answer. A reader that would enjoy my book may be someone who has considered therapy or quit therapy and needs proof that it does work sometimes.
My future goals for Toast are to get it into the hands of as many interested readers as possible. Also, I would love to read it live to an audience, one day.
It will be available to read and purchase in paperback form April 9th!
You can follow my journey and get more updates for Toast on my social media…
- My website: https://loustellaperry.tumblr.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoustellaPerry/
- IG, Twitter, & Goodreads: @LoustellaPerry
Thanks so much for listening! Stay safe & healthy!