Title: I WILL NOT KILL MYSELF, OLIVIA
Genre: New Adult
Word Count: 98,000
After suffering a freak accident, surfing pin-up boy Jimmy Wharton’s dream of making the pro circuit is shattered, so he vows to study hard at school and go from the bottom of the grade to the very top. No-one thinks he can do it, except for the gorgeous, breathtaking Olivia, who he falls in love with at the start of Year 11. With Liv by his side Jimmy succeeds in the classroom, and life once again is full of hope and promise. They start university together; Olivia’s studying Psychology and Jimmy Commerce/Law, and he’s also begun writing a novel. But despite having overcome his injury and turning his life around, Jimmy falls victim to a ghastly depression, which threatens to destroy the world he’s worked so hard to rebuild.
At first Olivia tries to be supportive, but as Jimmy is sucked deeper and deeper into the vortex of his illness, the strength of their love is fiercely tested. ‘It’s breaking me, Jimmy. The drinking, the cutting, the drugs . . . and then there was the bridge incident. It’s wearing me out. I can’t take it anymore.’ Despite his anguish, Jimmy resolves to fight his demons and conquer them no matter what. But will Olivia still be around then? Is their love strong enough to survive such a toxic illness?
Confronting, erotic and at times harrowing, yet brightened by abounding moments of strength, true love and hope, my 98,000 word novel I WILL NOT KILL MYSELF, OLIVIA tracks Jimmy’s quest to overcome severe clinical depression whilst continuing his love affair. Set against the backdrop of Sydney’s famous seaside Manly, I WILL NOT KILL MYSELF, OLIIVA is a chilling exploration of an illness that afflicts as many as one in five Westerners.
I am 23 years old and recently quit post-graduate Law to try and make it as an author. I have been working on my novel for approximately five years, over which time I have been fortunate enough to have been mentored by Nick Bleszynski, author of the bestsellers Shoot Straight, You Bastards! (Random House, 2002), You’ll Never Take Me Alive (Random House, 2005) and Bloodlust (Random House, 2008). This is my first novel and the only work I have ever written, except for a 100 word short story that received an Honorable Mention in the ‘100 Words or Fewer’ Writing Competition.
I picked up the sharpest piece of glass I could find and put it to my throat.
‘No!’ someone screamed, running towards me.
‘Stay back!’ I yelled, holding out the glass.
The man froze, raising his hands in the surrender sign.
‘Pl-please . . .’ he stuttered. ‘Please don’t do this. Whatever happened . . . it can be fixed.’
‘What the fuck do you know?’ I yelled. ‘You don’t know what it’s like to be me! You’re not crazy! You don’t wanna kill yourself one week and chase hallucinations the next! What the fuck do you know? What the fuck do you know?’
‘OK, OK,’ he motioned, patting the air. ‘I’m sorry. Just please don’t do this. Please.’
The crowd all tried to talk me into dropping the glass but once again I brought it to my neck. I pierced the skin, felt hot blood drip onto my hand. Death . . . I craved it, craved it. It was like a maddening hunger that I wanted to feed so badly. Holding that piece of glass was like having my favourite food in front of me: all I wanted to do was scoop up spoonfuls and shove them in my mouth, slit my bloody throat. I was gasping for air through gritted teeth as sweat poured down my body, as the crowd begged me to drop the glass. But they didn’t understand. Everything was so fucked up. Everything had been fucked up for so long and I was sure that this was the only way out.