Interview with Marlene Essence Dotts, Author of "Different Faces"
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Marlene Essence Dotts shares her heroic story of overcoming addiction and reclaiming her life in Different Faces. We had the opportunity to connect with Marlene recently to get to know her a little better. Here’s what she shared with us:
The book cover is unique. How does it represent the story you’re sharing?
The book cover represents people faced with different challenges of addiction.
Writing about going through rehab couldn’t have been easy. What inspired you to tell your story?
People need to hear that someone like me are just like them who can give hope and strength. Some people feel they have no hope, and no strength.
What has been the biggest benefit of sharing your personal story?
To move people to know the ordeal I went through and how I over came the shame, the guilt and resentment.
What would you say was the turning point for you that made you decide to go into rehab, and begin to face all the changes that it would create?
I lost everything, including myself dignity. I lost hope, mentally as well as spiritually.
Many people have gone through rehab and shared their stories. What sets yours apart and makes it unique?
Going through the rehab and seeing girls leave, then a few days later hearing they died of an overdose. Also hear women share their pain of addiction made me take a deeper look at me if I didn’t stop.
How long have you been sober now, and how would you describe life “after” rehab differently than life before?
I'm proudly to say I'm a grateful recovering addict of 2 years and a month sober. Before the rehab I was lost, thinking of suicide, depressed and now I'm happy, content. I can wake up every morning and know I'm sober just for the day. I look at life like I've never did before. I have a lot to live for.
What was it like for you to write your memoir? Did it come naturally or were there things in the
process you needed to work through in order to tell your story the way you wanted to?
I started writing in the rehab, I felt someone need to hear there is hope. Yes, there were things I had to process. It also help me heal during the process of writing Different Faces.
How did you decide what to put into the book versus what to leave out?
I want the audience to feel the part as I'm going through daily life in fear of get caught, selling drugs. All this was happening to me wasn’t fun. It was hell. I didn't want to glorify using drugs. I didn't want to put that in the book. That is what I left out.
Many people want to write memoir, but worry about what others will think – especially their families. What kind of response have you gotten so far?
I thought about that, I no long care what family or friends say. It's about me, me getting sober and staying sober. It's about me overcoming my addiction.
What did you learn about yourself while writing “Different Faces”?
I learned to face challenges and learn to deal with them as they come, keep in mind the serenity prayer. There are some things that is out of our control so we have to deal with life challenges and issues.
What have you learned about writing and publishing that you wish you’d known before you started?
It was difficult at first learning about editing and punctuation, and the amount of money getting the book done, but what I know now the publishing company I'm with, Golden Ink Media, they republished my book and didn’t cost as much as the other company charged me.
If someone asked for your advice about writing a memoir, what would you tell them?
Think of your starting point. Once you start writing it will flow. You just have to know different event like when, what, who and how.
If you today could sit down and talk with the woman you were at 18, what would you tell her?
I would tell her this world is ugly but great. Take the greatness and lead by example. What makes the world ugly is the temptation of it, is so easy to get yourself in trouble but hard to get out.
What comes next for you? Are you working any more books?
Yes, I'm working on another book called Coming Out of The Woods!
If there’s one thing you hope a reader walks away with after reading Different Faces, what would it be?
Inspired and feeling they're not alone, the will to want to live. Don't give up.