IndieView with Joshua Shea, author of The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About

Despite still having shame and embarrassment that will stick to me forever, I knew I could share my story in a way other’s could not. When it was clear the book concept was too controversial for large publishers, I went after indie publishers. That’s what I’m trying to do with this book. Thankfully, the one I settled with was a good fit. It forced me to really figure out what were the key parts of my descent into addiction and what were things I just told myself were important. When I’m ghostwriting biographies for clients, I tend to find I can write a solid 2-3 hours in the late morning and usually another 1-2 in mid-afternoon. Joshua Shea – 16 March 2018
The Back Flap
Joshua Shea   seemingly had it all. I wait until I’m done. End of Interview:
For more from Joshua and to learn more about pornography addiction and the resources for recovery, visit his website. When it comes to memoir, especially ones of suffering through life, I think it doesn’t get any better than Augusten Burroughs or Jeannette Walls. Next door to Lewiston, in Auburn. I wrote the book for two groups. Following his arrest, he sought help and treatment through intense one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and at inpatient rehab facilities. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? It largely depends what I’m writing. The pieces I’m the most proud of are probably the worst-paying. I’m in a weird space with this book because I’m finding it very easy to get news coverage, podcast interviews, etc., which I know a lot of fiction writers can’t get. I was told by one, “If you make this successful, you’ve broken down the barrier for everyone after you. If so can you please describe it? I grew up in Lewiston, Maine. The second draft, which was mainly transcribing and cutting along the way, took another six months. The first draft (of about 200,000 words!) was written when I was jail, serving six months for encouraging a teenage girl to behave in sexual inappropriate ways on her webcam. The second was for the person who wonders if they have a problem or are in the early stages of pornography addiction. I’m hoping that this shows them there is no stereotypical pornography addict. Talking about myself. His business ventures began to collapse. I’m living proof that while not managing addictions and mental health can absolutely drag you down, it’s possible to stand up again and make a life for yourself. It’s the second-largest city and still doesn’t crack 40,000 people. What would you like readers to know about you? While the public got one picture of Shea, behind closed doors, his longtime mental health and addiction issues were festering. A loving wife, two children, and a supportive extended family. Addiction memoirs are a proven market, but not one about porn addiction that involves an infraction with the law. The first draft was written over two months, 4-6 hours per day, every day. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? First, is the person who likes memoirs. Do you have a target reader? Unfortunately, nobody did it before you.”
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? That’s what I’m trying to do with this book. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? I didn’t want it to be exploitative or graphic and a couple pushed me in that direction. There are many with negative feelings toward me who will probably not like the book, no matter what I wrote about them. I thought that maybe I could be a voice of hope, and caution, for others. I wanted to find one who would allow me to tell my story the way I wanted, but still help shape a good book. I’ve only heard from a couple people what they thought. Finding it easier to lose himself in a bottle of tequila and adult websites, Shea’s relationships with his family, colleagues, and friends grew distant. It’s also possible to make a better life where you give back. When did you start writing the book? The esoteric answer would be that I’ve been writing it since the day I was born since it’s a memoir. Do you listen to music while you write? I’ve tried without and it’s like trying to get somewhere without a map. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? I just can’t focus well enough. About the book
What is the book about? Get   your copy of   The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Where do you live now? I had a fair amount of input, including choosing the cover image, but the publisher had someone do it. We all know how important it is for writers to read. Eighty percent of the time, no. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?  
Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) I feel like once I have a complete “big picture” it’s easy to fine-tune the details. My publisher handled this, but it was fantastic to get feedback from someone who had no ties to my story and could look at it through an unbiased reader’s eyes. Life as he knew it came to a screeching halt when he was arrested on a charge of underage pornography possession in 2014. With a very few exceptions, I didn’t change names or identifying characteristics. Within a year, he was one of the founders of Central Maine’s largest film festival and had won a seat on the City Council in Auburn, Maine. We’re doctors, teachers, lawyers, brothers, daughters, white, black, poor, rich…it’s all of us. A workaholic by nature, he actively ignored the red flags surrounding his long-existing pornography and alcohol problems. I’m hoping this is a cautionary tale to get help before you reach the depths that I did. In 2010, after nearly fifteen years working his way up the journalism ladder, he launched a lifestyle magazine in his hometown. Do you outline? Bothered at the lack of quality resources and open discussion around the topic of pornography addiction, Shea is now sharing with the public his experience with the addiction in the hope he can help people to not head down the same road that he did. This book was very different as it was started when I was in jail and it was mostly editing and rewrites on the outside. What came easily? But, since it’s non-fiction and about a subject that makes some squeamish, getting legit reviews is more challenging. If you want to be a professional writer, you’re going to have to strike a balance between making money and doing good work. I always outline. It’s also possible to make a better life where you give back. Shea was convicted and served six months in jail in early 2016. Accolades, including receiving the Key to the City and being called one of the “Next 10 People Shaping Maine’s Economy” by a state newspaper followed. It was written with mini-golf pencils into four composition notebooks. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? I also wanted to show both groups that I’m now 4 years sober from both porn and alcohol, so recovery can be an absolute reality. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? I also think my matter-of-fact casual voice has been influenced by Chuck Klosterman. Yes, and to larger publishing houses. It’s a first-person memoir about the final years of my descent into pornography addiction, analyzing how it happened and how cross-addiction and neglected mental health played a part. They’ll sometimes intersect, but don’t count on it. The actual writing was April-June of 2016. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? Shea recounts the last several years of his life leading up to his legal trouble and how his poor judgment and bad decision making led to a life he never thought was possible. About You
Where did you grow up? How long did it take you to write it? Over my 20+ year career as a journalist and ghostwriter, the things I’ve been paid the best for are the things I’m glad my name is not on. Every person in the book is a real person. I tried very hard to show I was the problem, not them. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?   Did you hire a professional editor? When I was at inpatient rehab for my porn addiction, I noticed how many dry, statistics-laden books there were on porn addiction, but almost nothing first person that didn’t play into stereotypes. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? Where did you get the idea from? Anybody who followed my story in the media or has a 10-year-old’s working knowledge of Google could figure out who I was talking about, so there was no need to hide things. I’m living proof that while not managing addictions and mental health can absolutely drag you down, it’s possible to stand up again and make a life for yourself. Cutting it from 200,000 to 91,000 words was tough, but a great recovery exercise. Trying to fine-tune along the way hurts the big picture, I believe. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? I wish I could feign it was difficult, but my dirty laundry in connection with my crime was all over the media in Maine. I got some nice responses that people were behind me sharing my story, but admitted to being nervous to attach their name to it.