Quiet Chaos by Jason Sullivan
Hello everyone. Happy fourth of October, if there’s something like that. So today, I decided to move out of fiction, to explore. I wanted a mix of both fiction and non-fiction. And I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to have my first non-fiction author here.
Q: Hi Jason.
A: Hello Yinka. How do you do?
How do you do? I’m glad to have you on my author interview today.
It’s a pleasure.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am originally from the United States. I have been in Kuwait for 10 years. I worked as the Director of Counseling for American University of Kuwait for 9 and a half years. During that time I started the first Art and Music Therapy Program on a University Campus in the Middle East. In 2018 I started The Quiet Chaos Podcast and began writing the book. I have been a therapist for 13 years and have worked with Disaster and Crisis Management groups as well.
Wow. This is amazing.
So what made you evolve from podcasts to writing a book about Quiet Chaos?
Well, it all came together as a program that I began to help normalize mental health in the region. I began the Podcast and developed a website that would allow people to have access to good resources without the social stigma of going to therapy. The podcast of course was an extension of that. It allowed me to have more contact with people who needed help. We are now in 69 countries and were rated number 1 in Kuwait this year. The book was one more extension of the outreach. Anxiety is the most common issue that we face and I wanted to offer something that was conversational, honest, transparent, and still educational.
Yes, I agree with you. A good number of people are anxious about their future. Plus the lockdown just worsened it all.
Exactly. The pandemic has intensified this problem. I have clients on four continents and all are struggling with some form of anxiety.
Very true. So what genre do you write?
That’s nice. Do you mind telling us how the title “Quiet Chaos” came about? Because it’s an oxymoron I can’t seem to understand.
The title came out of my own personal struggle with anxiety. I was diagnosed in 2004 with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. On the surface, I looked normal. Inside, however, I was having panic attacks, constantly worrying, always afraid, and my mind was racing constantly. It was quiet chaos.
Oh. Then “Quiet Chaos” must mean a lot to you I guess?
It really does. I read so many books over the years, attended therapy, and found that the majority of resources offered, at best, placebo effects. I wanted to offer something deeper and more in line with how I see growth and development through a disorder like this.
Jason, that was very thoughtful of you. Okay, so I assume Quiet Chaos is your first publication?
Yes it is.
I must admit Quiet Chaos is a great leap for a first publication.
Most authors write a book for their audience but it looks like you wrote Quiet Chaos for yourself and for other people going through the same struggle. Am I right?
The overall approach to the book is a combination of my own struggle to offer something for those reading to relate. It also entails the deeper issues that we face. Isolation is one of the biggest issues for example. Trust is another. If I am constantly worrying then what would cause me to trust? How can I be close to someone when my entire body is telling me to run, fight, or freeze?
Yeah, I get your point. So what was your favorite part of the writing process of this book?
I love to write. It challenges me to expand my own view and to even counter it to strengthen my own perspective. As a Therapist, I know the stories of clients. I have spent over 40,000 hrs in sessions so I understand where people are coming from. My favorite part of the process though was putting the pieces together and laying it out on paper. The publishing process was so much tougher than writing.
The publishing process is always hard, I agree. But the promoting process is the hardest for any author.
Yes, it is for sure.
Do you have any author whose works inspires you. If yes, who could that be and why?
Well, I loved reading a lot as a child and read a lot of C.S. Lewis. As I got older I fell in love with Philosophy. So Aristotle, Plato, Hegel, and also Ernest Hemingway. Although Hemingway wasn’t a philosopher he had such a way with words. I also love Jack Kerouac as well.
Who wouldn’t love C.S. Lewis? The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is my favorite of his books.
Yes!! I got to meet his stepson Douglas one time.
Really?😱 oh my. You deserve bragging rights for this Jason.
I was floored😂
Of course, anyone would be. Assuming you were riding an elevator with C.S Lewis, and you’re to chip in “Quiet Chaos” in a sentence. How would you go about it?
I would say, “remember that book a Grief Observed? I loved the way you poured your grief of Joy into that. It played a huge role in how I wrote Quiet Chaos”. I actually quoted “the lion the witch and the wardrobe” in the book.
This is brilliant! Honestly, I was expecting something quirky. Smart move Jason. This would have definitely caught his attention.
Do you think your book would help people struggling with anxiety without having to visit a therapist?
Well, I think it is a starting point. I believe that there are four fundamental needs in every person: Survival, Purpose, Freedom, and Community. When one of those is threatened we begin to struggle. Sometimes therapy is the start of rebuilding the community.
If a therapist knows the isolation of anxiety they will be compassionate and patient as they work with the client. The book itself though covers those four needs and if someone can work through those areas then yes they could make it without therapy.
That’s good to know. Okay, for the fact that this book wasn’t a regular fiction story. Did you encounter a writer’s block? Or the ideas were penned down smoothly?
Oh, I definitely ran into writer’s block. lol, The 7th chapter is about why we should trust. I was excited to write it but when I began I remembered how I felt when my anxiety was out of control. I realized that I literally had to ground trust from the bottom up and this was tough. It took me weeks to work through this.
I can imagine the struggle you went through in writing the 7th chapter. But the Quiet Chaos being published already just tells me you did more than overcome the writer’s block.
Thank you. Yinka
So Jason, we are interested in Quiet Chaos and we would love to know where your book is available.
It is available through Amazon worldwide in both Paperback and Kindle Editions, and you can get it here. Also, it’s on Jamalon.com, Through jarirreader.com, and 325 bookstores around the world.
It’s available in 325 bookstores around the world?
Wow your book has toured the world than I could.
Selling it as a new author is the tough part 😂. I also have an author website. It is a resource for people who are looking for more information and resources for mental health. It’s kind of a one-stop-shop. Videos, podcasts, books, blogs etc.
This is wonderful. Thank you Jason. It was a delight to have an interview with you.
Awesome! Thank you so much! It was a fun interview!!!
Alright, guys. If you need more information about mental health or you need help. You can get through to Jason here.
While you’re at it, see Mariatu Kargbo’s Interview. She’s an inspiring Sierra Leone children author.