Linda Vigen Phillips welcomes media inquiries. See below for some useful information and resources.
MENTAL HEALTH MONTH PRESS RELEASE (MAY 2015)
Julia Kenny, agent, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ingrid Wolf, Eerdmans publicist, IWolf@eerdmans.com
Long story short
Linda Vigen Phillips is a retired teacher living with her husband in North Carolina near two sons and two grandkids. Crazy, a YA novel written in verse, is her debut book, drawn from her own experiences coming to terms with her mother’s mental illness while growing up in Oregon.
Long story medium
Linda Vigen Phillips has always loved reading and writing poetry. As a retired teacher she delights in having enough time to pursue these passions. Crazy, her debut book, is a YA novel in verse. Drawn from her own experiences growing up in Oregon, it tells the story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her mother’s mental illness. Linda hopes that the book will speak to teens or adults whose lives have been affected by a loved one facing similar challenges. She and her husband live in North Carolina where they ride vintage bicycles on greenways and make regular play dates with the grandkids.
I was born and raised in Oregon, something I will never get over. I grew up in Klamath Falls, a mill town with an elevation of just over 4,000 feet on the east side of the Cascades, touting an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. Humidity is nonexistent, there are few household bugs that need exterminating, the summers are gorgeous, breathtaking views may be found in any direction, and the winters offer a full array of snow and ice recreation.
In my youthful exuberance, I could not wait to escape.
So I did. First to Eugene for my B.A. in Sociology at the University of Oregon, and then on to New York, where I worked at the New York Association for the Blind, teaching braille and techniques for daily living. It was there I met my husband, an Episcopal minister. Our ministry has since taken us back to Oregon, on to Montana, and finally North Carolina where we have retired.
We have twin sons. One is a singer/songwriter here in Charlotte, and the other is the director of a small Bible school in Lake Lure and the father of our two grandchildren, Anna and Luke.
My father was exceptionally bright but did not go beyond ninth grade. He worked in a mill for 35 years. He had a broad worldview, an ardent passion for poetry, and a steadfast love for my mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder. These factors shaped who I am, and I like to think, for the better.
I kept a journal most of my pre-teen and teen years and on into adulthood. It kept me sane while I struggled to understand my mother’s illness. It often came out in the form of poetry, mostly free verse, and for the most part, it was purely cathartic.
When my boys were nine I went back to school to earn a teaching certificate. Suddenly I was busier than I ever had been, raising prepubescent boys, fully participating in my husband’s ministry, and finding my way as a new teacher. And for whatever reason, the creative muse began running rampant. I was reminded of Psalm 45, “My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”
Poems about my mother and my childhood and my mixed up feelings about the years of her illness seeped out of me like an unstoppable leak. I began getting these poems published in adult literary journals, and my self-confidence grew along with an increasing desire to be immersed in the writing world.
When I had a collection of twenty poems loosely centered on the theme of my mother’s illness, my closest writing buddy suggested that they needed to be a book. The idea for Crazy was born then, but it wouldn’t mature into a publishable book for another 14 years.