Guest Post: Mary Billiter & The Divided Twin

My publisher emailed me yesterday with a simple request. Can you put together a brief 100-200 words or so message to readers about why they should check out your book?

It’s a pretty standard prompt when preparing for a new release. Still, it caused me to pause.

The Divided Twin” is my 16th work of fiction and the first book I will share a cover byline with my son, Kyle Thomas.

When my publisher shared the cover, it was the first time I saw my son’s name beside mine and I instantly wanted to call my dad.

There are so many things I didn’t get to share with my father when he died six weeks after my 29th birthday, which also followed the birth of my first-born twin boys. I didn’t get to share their lives with him, or appear on the same page in the newspaper with him, let alone write anything other than a grocery list with him.

My father was my hero. Sure, he was flawed – he was brutally blunt, expected nothing less than “A’s”, and missed a lot of events in my life due to his work as a journalist. But he also had the warmest smile of any man I’ve ever known, and his brown eyes lit up when any of his children entered a room. He wore this really neat hat to work and made journalism look so romantic. Of his four children, he took me out on assignment with him. I wanted to be him when I grew up. But I never got the chance because he was taken from us too early.

I didn’t find my writing voice until much later in my adulthood. In trying to be Bill Billiter, I never allowed myself to be Mary Billiter. He wouldn’t have wanted that for me. No parent would. So, when my son, Kyle sent me his writing, I knew the gift I had before me. It was my chance to share something with my child that I always wanted to share with my father.

The Divided Twin” is undeniably my most emotionally driven work to date. By integrating Kyle’s voice while maintaining mine, my writing went to a new level. I wanted to bring my best to honor both my son and my father. My son trusted me with his story and my dad taught me that when you’re the writer of someone’s story you bring your absolute best. So I did.

Today’s my birthday. I’m 52. This morning, I flipped through old family photo albums hoping to find a picture with my parents on my birthday. Instead, I found one of my dad and me at our favorite strip of beach in Huntington. It reminded me of his favorite song by the Mamas & Papas.  California Dreamin’ which is exactly what I’ve been doing on such a winter’s day like today.

I hope you’ll take the time to read “The Divided Twin” available for preorder by clicking the BUY button below.

Thanks.

Xoxo

Mary

Why You Should Check Out “The Divided Twin” in 134 Words…  

The Divided Twin” invites readers into the lives of identical twins, Aaron and Branson Kovak. From their turbulent childhood to their final year in college, the only consistency in their life is their bond of brotherhood. That bond is tested in what is undeniably my most emotional work to date. There is nothing superficial or surface about “The Divided Twin.” I turned myself inside out to bring a story about childhood abuse, mental illness, and its effects on a family, to do justice to issues that are greatly misunderstood and vastly underreported. Yet, there is a dark beauty in surviving the unimaginable.

The Divided Twinnot only peeks into the window of Aaron and Branson’s lives, it smashes the glass and steps inside their souls to tell their story of love, loss, and survival.

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