Greetings, Minions! I’m so happy to reveal the cover of my next book, MADNESS, hitting store September 19, 2017. I hope you like it as much as I do! If you want to know more about me or my books (or my kittehs), be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and spontaneous contests!

To pre-order MADNESS, please contact your favorite indie bookstore, HarperCollins, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Books-A-Million.

Why I wrote MADNESS (Trigger Warning: depression/suicidal ideation):

My Dearest Minion Horde,

The ugly truth is, writing Madness took much longer than I imagined, because I thought this book was going to kill me.

I joke about it now, but the truth is, I was writing it during a three-and-a-half-year period in which I was at my lowest point and thoroughly planning my suicide—the nadir of a five-year bout of depression. I have clinical depression, so the idea of sharing my view appealed to me. But if I’m honest, this book wasn’t just an account of fiction when I began writing it. It was a good-bye letter.

Thinking about it stirs up feelings of shame, guilt, and self-loathing. But I’m on the other side of the tunnel now, thanks to a six-month therapy program that’s designed to give tools to combat depression and hold suicidal ideation at bay long enough to ask for help. Before therapy, I wouldn’t ask for help. Because I knew that no one could help me.

Brooke also knows that no one can help her. Like me in my teen years, she’s made an attempt on her life and failed. Her view of reality is blurred through the lens of her depression. Her story begins with the yearning for an end.

Though I used Brooke to tell this story, what you will watch unfold mirrors my reality in many ways. And not just my reality—an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Maybe you’re one of us. Maybe not. But please trust me when I say that having depression is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m willing to bet that you know at least one other person who suffers from this disease. It’s more common than you think.

Love saved me from my five-year bout of depression. The love of my husband and children, my friends and colleagues, my Minion Horde. And love for myself—a concept I’ve struggled with over the years. Brooke will also find love as a guiding light as her story unfolds.

If you see someone you believe may suffer from depression, please reach out to them. Don’t let the worry of upsetting them stop you from potentially saving their life. If my husband hadn’t pushed through and urged me to seek help, I never would have finished writing this book. It would have remained an unfinished, unsigned good-bye letter. But he did break through, and if I can make it through that dark tunnel . . . well . . . anybody can.

Now, grab my hand. Squeeze it as tight as you like. If you need tissues, I have them. If you need resources, I have those too. And if you need someone to understand, I do.

You are not alone.

All my love,

Uncle Zac