Novels by M.J. Brett

(a.k.a. Margaret Brettschneider) 

The Voices Know My Name

       ISBN # 978-0-9748869-9-2

     Nobody knows why one person can survive a plane crash and hop right on another plane, while others relive the grinding impact, the dead bodies, and may never get on a plane again. 

     We all experience some type of trauma in our lives, from a child's loss of a pet, to an adult's diagnosis of a serious disease. The "flight or fight mechanism" is your body sending endorphins to your brain to help you survive the immediate danger. For some, this shuts off after the trauma is over, and for some, it never does.

     People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (and we are gradually getting rid of the "disorder" part, since it is not really a mental disorder)  may relive that trauma painfully again and again, even though it may interfere with their daily lives. This is not only true of  military people, but of all of us to some degree. We need to understand this problem better, and have a discussion about how to fix it. While the author is not a psychologist, perhaps  it is a good thing for us lay people to explore the topic, too, since we so often will come face to face with it inside ourselves, or in a friend or family member.

      This novel is the result of two years of research and over 150 interviews with victims of PTSD and their families. Their stories are real, but the five main characters are composites of many victims. 

      In this story, a young soldier with PTSD tries to kill himself, but he is stopped by a total stranger, a civilian. After the event, he remembers nothing. The rescuer has no intention of getting involved, but she soon learns that he is not the only one who hears voices, or can't cope with bad memories. Together with three other friends, they search through crisis after crisis for a way to find "normal," or at least a "new normal."

     Follow the five characters in this novel as their lives entwine to search for answers and hope. They will convince the victim to seek help, and the rest of us to understand.

Comments from Readers:

"I loved that you talked to actual people with PTSD. Usually nobody wants to hear what it is really all about. You offered some hope that someday, somebody will listen to us and help." Dennis M.

"Thanks for some common sense, down-to-earth advice in this story on how friends and family members may be able to help. My husband would never talk about his experiences, but now I think I understand them a little better."  Keisha P.