Life Inside My Mind

31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

Life Inside My Mind

Edited by: Jessica Burkhart
For Ages: 14 - 99
Your favorite YA authors including Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental illness in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explores everything from ADD to PTSD.

Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every day? Do you find yourself listening to a voice in your head that says “you’re not good enough,” “not good looking enough,” “not thin enough,” or “not smart enough”? Have you ever found yourself unable to do homework or pay attention in class unless everything is “just so” on your desk? Everyone has had days like that, but what if you have them every day?

You’re not alone. Millions of people are going through similar things. However issues around mental health still tend to be treated as something shrouded in shame or discussed in whispers. It’s easier to have a broken bone—something tangible that can be “fixed”—than to have a mental illness, and easier to have a discussion about sex than it is to have one about mental health.

Life Inside My Mind is an anthology of true-life events from writers of this generation, for this generation. These essays tackle everything from neurodiversity to addiction to OCD to PTSD and much more. The goals of this book range from providing home to those who are feeling alone, awareness to those who are witnessing a friend or family member struggle, and to open the floodgates to conversation.

Participating writers include E.K. Anderson, J.L. Armentrout, Cyn Balog, Amber Benson, Francesca Lia Block, Jessica Burkhart, Crissa Chappell, Sarah Fine, Kelly Fiore, Candace Ganger, Meghan Kelley Hall, Cynthia Hand, Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, Tara Kelly, Karen Mahoney, Melissa Marr, Kim McCreight, Hannah Moskowitz, Scott Neumyer, Lauren Oliver, Aprilynne Pike, Tom Pollack, Amy Reed, Cindy Rodriquez, Francisco Stork, Wendy Tolliver, Rob Wells, Dan Wells, Rachel Wilson, and Sara Zarr.
  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481494649 | 
  • April 2018 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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About the Authors

Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Name of the Star, Suite Scarlett, and The Shadow Cabinet. Visit her at MaureenJohnsonBooks.com, Tumblr.com/MaureenJohnsonBooks, or follow her on Twitter at @MaureenJohnson.

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Amy Reed
Brian Relph

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is the author of the contemporary young adult novels BeautifulCleanCrazyOver YouDamagedInvincibleUnforgivable, and The Nowhere Girls. She is also the editor of Our Stories, Our Voices. She is a feminist, mother, and quadruple Virgo who enjoys running, making lists, and wandering around the mountains of western North Carolina where she lives. You can find her online at AmyReedFiction.com.

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Amber Benson
Supplied by author

Amber Benson

Amber Benson is a writer, actress, and director who has written for the stage, screen, books, and comic books. She is perhaps best known for playing the role of "Tara" on the hit television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Amber lives in Los Angeles, California.This is her first children's book.

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Sarah Fine
Photo credit: Rebecca Skinner

Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine is the author of Of Metal and WishesOf Dreams and RustThe Impostor QueenThe Cursed QueenThe True Queen, and The Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. Visit her at SarahFineBooks.com.

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Ellen Hopkins
Sonya Sones

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels TrianglesCollateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

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Hannah Moskowitz
Photograph by Kim Moskowitz

Hannah Moskowitz

Hannah Moskowitz is the award-winning author of the young adult novels BreakInvincible SummerGone, Gone, Gone; and Teeth; as well as the middle grade novels Zombie Tag and Marco Impossible. She lives in New York City. Learn more at HannahMoskowitz.com.

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Wendy Toliver
Photograph © Dimitria Van Leeuwen

Wendy Toliver

Wendy Toliver has explored a variety of jobs, from impersonating Marilyn Monroe for singing telegrams to impersonating a computer geek at an ad agency. She lives in Eden, Utah with her husband, three sons, two dogs, a cat, several fish, and an occasional mole.

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Jessica Burkhart
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Jessica Burkhart

Jessica Burkhart (a.k.a. Jessica Ashley) is the author of the Unicorn Magic and Canterwood Crest series, which you can learn more about at CanterwoodCrest.com. She is a former equestrian who writes from her apartment in Tennessee. (It’s not the size of Crystal Castle, but Jess tries to decorate like a princess!) Jess’s aura would be hot pink and she loves glittery things. If she had a unicorn, it would be named Sparkle. Visit Jess at JessicaBurkhart.com.

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