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Happy Release Day: Raising the Bottom by Lisa Boucher

POSTED BY prbythebook ON June 20, 2017

 

In Lisa Boucher’s latest book, out today from She Writes Press, she tackles the tough issues of alcoholism and addiction and shares the recovery stories of dozen other women (and a few men).

Library Journal gave the book a starred review, writing, “Boucher offers recognition, empathy, and hope for family and friends and all women who have struggled with addiction. Highly recommended.”

Check out our Q&A with Lisa below, and pick up a copy of Raising the Bottom today!

Q: In your book Raising the Bottom, you say we live in a “drinking culture” – can you give us some examples?

A: Drinking has become the new norm: wine and yoga, wine and art classes, wine at book club. Bridal and beauty salons serve wine—what about the little flower girls who tag along? At 4, 5, 6 years old, they’re already learning that “ladies drink wine.” You can’t go to a child’s sporting event without seeing all the coolers. Adults hoot and holler about how they can use vinyl wraps or “camouflage” koozies to hide the beer can so they can drink anywhere and people will think it’s a soda. Kids will learn to do this as well. You hear adults joke about “beer-thirty” and “wine o’clock.” Moms sit around drinking wine when they take their kids on play-dates. At toddler birthday parties parents are as focused on the adult beverages as they are on balloons and cupcakes. Parents take their kids to eat dinner in pubs and bars. Kids grow up in these environments and start to think it’s normal to have a beer or glass of wine every day and for every occasion.

Q: How did you come up with the title for the book?  

A: I can’t start a book until I have a title, and the idea for this book materialized out of the ethers. One day, it was just there. I said a prayer: God if you want me to write that book you will have to give me a title. Two days later, I had a visual of the title, Raising the Bottom. It was as if a banner slipped inside my head, and I knew that was the title. I know it sounds woo-woo, but that’s the truth. I like the title because it’s also a concept. There’s always some area in all of our lives that we can improve upon. We can all find some room for improvement, somewhere in our life. Right? “Raising the Bottom” … the concept of becoming a better person. It’s timeless.

Q: In the book, you share your story of your recovery from alcoholism. What was the most difficult part to put onto paper?

A: The hardest part was to write about my childhood. Believe me, I toned it down. The insanity in our house as a result of my mother’s alcoholism was tragic in many ways. Although we can look back and laugh at much of it now, my siblings and I were all very affected at the time. I wanted to paint a picture of what “family disease” means. No matter how you couch it, it’s not pleasant to look at the mess that an active alcoholic or drug addict in a home can create. The alcoholic inflames everyone around them.

Q: What inspired you to share your story now, at this point in your life?

A: It was time. For over twenty years, my mom wanted me to write a book about alcoholism. It just wasn’t there. She died in 2011, and two or three years later, Raising the Bottom (the book and my cute logo) just hit me. I knew it was time to do a book for women about alcoholism. I know the subject intimately, from every angle. I knew what I had to write, and I knew that I was no longer embarrassed to talk about my alcoholism, or my mother’s and my sister’s, and I also found the courage to call it like I see it in the healthcare setting.

Q: You include a number of essays from other women and men who are recovered alcoholics and addicts. How did you approach people about writing their stories for the book?

A: I know a lot of women. I’ve heard a lot of stories. I simply asked God to point me to the people he wanted in the book. There was only one person I approached about the book who didn’t want to share her story.

I wanted a variety of stories that I thought would speak to women from all backgrounds and experiences. Most of the women in the book didn’t hit “low” bottoms—they hadn’t lost anything other than their self-respect. Our society equates materialism with success. Half of the women in the book had all sorts of material goods, but they were failing as people and as parents. One of the women had lost her baby. Grief can spur the frequent drinker right into alcoholism.

Q: You’ve written four novels, and Raising the Bottom is your first non-fiction title. How different was it to write this book?

A: I still love to write fiction. I don’t know if I’m any good at the craft part of fiction, but I think I can tell a damn good story, regardless. With fiction, the book and the characters go where they want. I love having that freedom. When I write fiction, I don’t make outlines or do any sort of planning. With Raising the Bottom, I knew I would have to have a plan, or at least sketch an outline. I ended up laying it out similar to the Big Book in that I put the personal stories toward the back. It was important to me with this book to give the children of alcoholics a voice, as I did in the chapter “What Your Kids Say About You and Your Drinking.”

Q: Who is the audience for your book, and who will benefit most from it?

A: My audience is primarily women ages 25-54, though I think it has an application for men as well. Raising the Bottom is for every woman, because everyone has “that friend,” or coworker, family member, mother, daughter, sister, BFF—most of us know someone who drinks too much and swears that she is fine.

Q: Tell us where we can find your book and more information about you.

A: The book is available online at places such as Amazon and through bookstores everywhere—you can find all of the places to purchase it on www.raisingthebottom.com.

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