When we examine actions of the damaged and broken, a large flaw in out approach is how we attempt to understand those actions. In those attempts, we insert our own thinking. We apply rational thoughts to irrational thinking, or worse, irrational actions. What we do not do is place ourselves in the mind of another. Unless we do, we will never fully comprehend what leads the damaged mind to failing, falling down and eventually, breaking.
In writing all of my stories, I become the characters that spring to life on the page. The villainous, the heroic, the rational, the damaged and yes, even the broken — I embody them all so it is their stories I am telling.
The four novellas of “The Damaged and Broken Collection” contain around forty thousand words. To understand the characters I was writing, I read more than a half a million words. I absorbed books, articles, research papers and documentaries concerning the subjects I was exploring. And when I sat at my keyboard, Joe Leonardi was not the person typing. The story being told, was being told by the person whose suffering was being related. It was only in that mindset could I tell stories of Bullying, Mass Murder, War, PTSD, Despair and Suicide.
It is why those stories are told in first person narrative. And it is why there were sometimes periods of weeks between writing sessions. So immersed in the characters and stories I was crafting, that I had to step back from their creation. If I did not, I risked becoming lost.
It takes a certain type of arrogance to not only judge, but condemn, actions of those who are not understood. It takes a certain amount of misunderstanding to apply rational thinking to irrational actions.
I invite you, I implore you to purchase one of the stories and help me raise awareness of the damaged before they become the broken. I poured my heart and soul into these stories. They are important, perhaps now more than ever — because when a person breaks, theirs are not the only shattered pieces left behind.
Please click or copy and paste the following link, each book cover is there, when you click on a cover, you will be taken to the amazon page for that title.