The time has come for me to reveal the cover for my debut full-length book, In Search of a Salve: Memoir of a Sex Addict.
I imagine several people looking at their screens and saying, “Memoir of a Wha?” I am here to assure you that you are reading the correct words.
Hi, my name is Katherin. I am a recovering sex addict, and as only a creative nonfiction writer would do…I’ve written a memoir about it.
I’ve been writing and revising this book since 2014. Subsequently, there have been several title changes. Initially, the book was going to be called Petulia, the name that my birth mother assigned to me, but the story morphed into being a narrative about more than adoption. The next title was Codependent; that was after I did a deep dive into Melody Beattie’s book. Still, something wasn’t quite right. The something was that I was trying to save my public reputation and avoid revealing the real issue—the integral (and awful) part that sex has played in my life.
So, I took a deep breath, made a decision, and revised the memoir once again. This time, the title would be Diary of a Sex Addict and written as an epistolary. But that didn’t work either. I hadn’t really kept a diary of my life, and trying to re-create one came off as inauthentic, something I don’t want to be.
My next title was Addicted. Years ago, Zane, a famous, Black erotica author had written a fictional novel called Addicted, and I thought it would be clever to play off the title as a sort of nonfiction response, like hey…this is what real sex addiction is like. It is not pretty or sexy. It is dangerous and scary.
But my publisher told me I couldn’t name it that for two reasons: Zane had already written a book with this title, and more importantly, the book is about much more than sex addiction.
She was right.
After careful thought, I renamed it In Search of a Salve, because it encompasses what I did much of my childhood, adolescence, and adult life—searched for something to heal the pain of unresolved trauma and the feelings of being thrice abandoned by each of my parents. Sex is how I did that; thus, Memoir of a Sex Addict is the subtitle.
So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can tell you about the cover.
As an indie author, I typically work with people I know for each phase of book production; however, this time, I went with a boutique/independent publisher (more about that decision later). Working with a publisher meant trusting that person’s contacts and process, including their graphic designer. That was hard.
Before sending materials to the creative, I envisioned and made a mockup of the cover. I kept this rendition to myself, and then sent three photos and sample covers of bestselling books that I liked. What I created is on the left. The actual book cover is on the right.
Pretty amazing, huh?
I’m happy the graphic designer chose this photo. The picture accurately depicts how I felt during much of my life: deserted, sad, and bewildered. Overall, I was living life in a despondent kind of way. Even if I was donning the big, bright smile that many people know me for, I still felt like the little girl in this photo on the inside for much of my life.
I’ve spent the last nine years writing and revising this book, and now, with the help of my editor and NEW Reads Publications, it is nearly ready for public consumption.
I do hope you’ll consider buying a copy once pre-orders go on sale, which is June 27, 2023. I also hope you’ll endure hearing about it, every now and then, because, well, that’s how books are sold in the 21st century.