Janie goes through therapists like leased cars. Every few years, she trades in for a new one. Blessed with anxiety, depression, and OCD, Janie has encountered a menagerie of therapists. She has experienced the funky, the scholarly, and the incompetent. In a chance meeting, Janie and ex-hypnotherapist Dr. Rob begin a friendship that could be everlasting. With a paintbrush in one hand and a cocktail in another, Janie navigates through her complicated life. From her cottage on Balboa Island to the Doc’s home in Palm Springs, can Janie manage her quirks and hang-ups with the help of the Doc? Find out in this funny, heartwarming, and at times heart wrenching, read. Grab a cocktail, make a toast to Janie, and enter her world.
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What inspired you to write Next Therapist Please?
Next Therapist Please started as separate stories I wrote pertaining to my personal journey with living with mental illness as well as raising a special needs child. They were meant as a means to move beyond the accumulated emotions I experienced. When I finished, I had all these interesting and often rather amusing tales to read. With my love of romantic comedies, I decided, “Hey, lets take these stories and interweave them with fictional characters and a storyline in true chick lit fashion.”
What do you think the average reader without challenges will walk away with after reading?
First, I want readers to have a fun read. Second, I want readers to experience a life they may not understand or ever think about. Raising a child with special needs is daunting, confusing, and during the time my son was growing up, services were limited and inadequate. I want people to understand that mental illnesses do not define a person. Nor, just go away. These are lifelong disorders. And, I want people who are quietly suffering to know they are not alone and there is help for them
How do you think reading a romantic comedy will help people understand some aspects of mental illness?
My first purpose is to humanize mental illness and my second goal is to break down the stigma mental illness carries. 42.5 million Americans suffer some sort of mental illness. That is roughly 1 in 5 people. It is time to bring the discussion of these disorders to the forefront of our dialogues of health care management. Humor and happy endings make most circumstances acceptable.
Who has influenced your writing?
First, the love of reading began with picture books and as I learned to read, books like My Father’s Dragon, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and A Wrinkle in Time fed my imagination. Today I love to read traditional and Indie authors mainly in the rom com vain. Sophie Kinsella tops my list of traditionally published creative, funny, fabulous writers. I also love to read Plum Sykes, Cathryn Michon, and Geralyn Corcillo. My favorite Indie authors are Eileen Thornton, Lizzie Chantree, and J. R. Barrett. I have a weakness for all of Augustin Burroughs books.
Do you have any more books you are working on?
Yes I do! My next book is called Dying to Play Mah Jong. It is a romantic comedy but with the added element of supernatural occurrences and a mystery to solve. That’s all I’ll say for now. It is fully written and I am on the second round of edits. I also have a non-fiction book to finish. I am doing the illustrations for that one and you will find it in the humor section of books. The title is a secret for now.
Laurie Beth Finkelstein lives far enough north from Los Angeles to enjoy a slightly slower pace, but not far enough away to escape the traffic. Laurie shares her life with a husband, two grown sons, and two cats, thankfully not all living in the same house.
Laurie splits her time between painting and writing. Her debut novel, ‘Next Therapist Please’ took years to write and while fictional, mirrors many aspects of her life. Living with depression, anxiety, and OCD, has challenged her as well as provide occasional comic relief in her life. Laurie hopes to help smash the stigma of mental illness one laugh at a time.
“This book is both funny and poignant.” Amazon Review.
Here are some fun facts about Laurie:
~ She does not like pie.
~ She secretly watches SpongeBob Square Pants.
~She worked as Warner Brother’s characters at Six Flags Magic Mountain. For one month. Those costumes were heavy.
~She can’t whistle.
~She straddled the shoulders of a performer on a unicycle whipping around the stage as he juggled. In a dress hiked up beyond her comfort level and screaming during the whole “performance”.
Next Therapist Please received a 5 star review from Reader’s Favorite from Jack Magnus
“Laurie Finkelstein’s romantic comedy, Next Therapist Please, has its light and breezy moments, as romantic comedies invariably do, but there’s a lot more to this well-written and enjoyable novel. Janie’s social anxiety leads her to encounters with six different therapists, and the author deftly guides the reader through the varying types of therapy a person with anxiety may encounter.”
Connect with Laurie at lauriebethart.com