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05/01/15: The editing of this audiobook is coming along so beautifully that it has been difficult to know what to share with you all... I want both to hide everything so as to not give away the excitement, and to give it to you all at once, now, just because I want to share so very badly. Today, we shall split the difference.

Below is a complete chapter...Asylum Entry No. 22 to be precise. And it is one of my very favorites.

When Emily is ejected from the Ophelia Gallery, a turning point is marked. We knew things were rather unpleasant in the Asylum, indeed...but when our girl wakes up in Ward B, we know everything is about to get a hell of a lot darker than we ever imagined.

In re-recording the audiobook, I focused more on how the voices of both Emilie and Emily change throughout the story, for, we are with both of them on their journies for quite a long time. While we descend into the pits of despair with Emilie in the psych ward, with Emily, we actually walk with her as she ages over a span of years. Admittedly, Emily sounds quite grown up to begin with, as is her serious, rather poetic nature. But only a few months into her Asylum residency and her voice has changed to something a bit darker...even a touch sarcastic. A year on in (the period in which the chapter below takes place), and her voice is altogether lower, just beginning to get a bit gritty around the edges, and we can sense that she has grown both stronger and weaker since her incarceration.

Finding my voice changing with Emily on her journey has been a journey of my very own. All of these voices are inside of me, all the time. They were never not there. They have always been. I love Emily, so very dearly. I love all of her voices, her growing grittiness, and the delicacies she tries so hard to maintain, against all odds.

Today, lock yourself in the bathroom and visit yourself ten years ago. Say one brief sentance in that voice -- the voice that was once you. Now, speak in the voice of yourself at five years past. Now one year. Now one month. And now, today. How have you changed? Are you stronger? Weaker? Darker, or lighter? Or perhaps just wiser? And how will you sound tomorrow?

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Asylum Letter No. 22


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


01/23/15: The Cutting Diary is at once the most honest, important, and scary part of the book. There isn't much I'll openly say I'm proud of, but I am proud of the honesty in this section of the story, because heaven knows very few will talk about this subject in this way. I'm also afraid of it, because I see how easy it was for me to begin, how difficult it was for me to stop, and I fear that I will someday feel that same need I once did. This, too, is honesty. However, if there is any one thing that would prevent me from cutting myself ever again, it is the knowledge that I would truly be letting all of you down. I've spoken on this subject very privately to many of you who have had the bravery to show me your scars and speak as honestly as I have. I have told you how we must be kinder to ourselves, and how we must take care of ourselves first if we are ever to help others. I've made you look me in the eyes and swear to me that you will never hurt yourselves again, and that, if you would keep that promise to me, I would keep the same to you. I will not let you down. We will not let each other down.

When I was very young, I vividly recall sitting in a doctor's office and reading a very angry "letter to the editor" contribution to a random fashion magazine regarding the subject of bulemia. The original article the reader was bashing had been written, obviously, by a sufferer of bulemia who had healed and was writing about what they had once done and the dangers of it in an attempt to increase awareness and thus help others. The person critiquing the article and the magazine for publishing it was irate because they saw said article as, essentially, an "instruction manual" on how to become bulemic, continuing to say that they believed many young girls would go and try bulemia on for size now that they understood more about how it works. This struck me. Would reading about the dangerous or unhealthy things some person had done make others do the same? Give them the techniques? Was that angry reader onto something?

No, actually.

That angry reader was a bloody idiot.

And I'll tell you why:

If the irate reader who accused the fashion magazine of being irresponsible in publishing the article on bulemia was correct, then we also should not talk about how the Holocaust came about, how serial killers think, crimes in general, alchoholism, drug abuse, how one might stub a toe or get a splinter or exercise the wrong way, or anything at all save how to bake muffins, because talking about how negative things are done could only give somebody "ideas", as though we are all just copycats waiting to happen, with no sense of personal individuality or morality. Sounds absurd, doesn't it? Also sounds insulting.

Bottom line:

1. If you are in danger of developing an eating disorder/cutting yourself/attempting suicide/etc., you won't need me or anyone else talking about our experiences to tell you how it's done. You'll unfortunately be able to figure it out all on your own.

2. If you are NOT in danger of developing an eating disorder/cutting yourself/attempting suicide/etc., no amount of reading about someone else's experiences will make you develop any of these behaviours yourself.

And this is why, after a long period of wondering if what I am talking about in this book should really be published, or talked about at all, and in such great detail, whether doing so is safe, responsible, and right, I can confidently say that it should, and it is, and it should continue to be, and louder, and by more than just myself. If you have gone through anything like these experiences and come out the other side, GO and tell someone that it is possible. Because, if we don't talk about it, they will:

1. Not realize that they are so very NOT alone.

2. Not realize that it is possible to stop. To heal. To love yourself again. Or, maybe, for the first time.

I love you.

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Cutting Diary (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


01/02/15: So, why didn't the nurse just go in and get the notebook for me? She knew which box was mine. Why stand there while I did it? Why the games?

And who wins?

It is a peculiar thing to know that everything one does is being scrutinized, yet one is being treated for none of it.

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 10 (Excerpt 2)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


12/19/14: Oh my goodness...I just remembered something...a fact so completely absurd, I should have included it in the book somewhere, but I suppose my mind was rather full enough at the time, and a thing or three had to be missed.

Well, here it is.

In the excerpt below, I describe my first experience in the "weigh and medicate" line that all inmates must file through each morning, and at other times during the day. As I had told the staff what medications I had been put on when I was delivered to the hospital, they gave me these same drugs when I went through the line each morning, adding some sedatives for good measure (my shrink was quite right when he said "the hospital will give you the drugs you need while you're there").

Now, here is the good part:

The drugs I told them I'd been taking?

Lamictal. Citalopram. Birth Control Pill.

Let's think about this (and yes, it is about to get real)...

I was in the asylum because I took all my sleeping pills at once. Why did I do this? Because I'm bipolar?


I did this because I figured out that I was pregnant, although I'd been taking "the pill", and I was terrified, and had no one, and the person involved was horrible about it. I couldn't take it. I was sick. It was my worst nightmare. I wanted to cut myself open. But I went a less dramatic route.

How could such a thing have happened? Why didn't "the pill" work?

Lamictal. Lamictal cancels out most forms of birth control. In a display of astounding irresponsibility, nobody had bothered to mention this when the drugs were first prescribed to me. Now, in 2014, I see, for the first time, a warning on the bottles of these same medications...a warning stating that these drugs should not be taken while pregnant as harm will come to the unborn child.

But there is still no warning saying that they render birth control uneffective.

My doctors never told me this. I had to go to a shabby Planned Parenthood with ignorant anti-abortion activists terrorizing young girls outside in order to get the facts. They knew all about it. Qualified medication-prescribing psychiatrists knew all about it too, they said. The studies had been done. But more were "needed". And so, doctors did not yet feel it necessary to tell their female patients about a chemical conflict that could change and/or ruin millions of lives, and cause millions of either unwanted children (who would likely suffer damage because of the medications they were exposed to while in utero) or cause millions of abortions, which are beyond traumatizing and something many women never entirely recover from mentally or physically (which is why the argument against legalized abortion on the grounds that the right to choose encourages sexual frivolity in females is utter offensive tripe -- this is not something women take lightly, or do more often than is sadly necessary, as it is incredibly painful and often ruins us in more ways than one). Had this conflict been of any importance to male patients, I can guarantee the medical community would have been a bit more on top of things, and not waited to let them know. Why? Ashamed girls are generally quieter than outraged boys. The latter are taken a tad more seriously.

And why am I sitting here now, laughing myself clean off my chair?

Because, once in the psych ward, once in the drug line, guess what they gave me, every single day?

Lamictal. Citalopram. Birth Control Pill.



Borderline offensive.

But a fantastic joke.


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 10 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


12/03/14: Is it absolute madness that I only just realized that there are TWO characters in this book called Violet? I believe so.

And all of you ratty geniuses (geniei?) out there have likely been thinking I've done this on purpose.

But I haven't.

Madame Mournington's infant daughter is called Violet, and, I swear to you, I had no intention of drawing any connection to the Violet in the modern-day psych ward when this book was written. And yes, to answer your question, I changed two of the names in my Hospital journals, Lucy and Violet, to preserve their privacy, so I was indeed in absolute control of what they were called.

Or was I?

Believing not in coincidences but rather in meaningful happenings which we simply cannot see the significance of, I do not consider this double-Violet occurance an accident.

By no means.

The question is simply this: Which influenced the other, or, alternatively, is there a deeper connection between these two Violets of which I am not aware? Being the author of this book in no way qualifies me as an expert on much of its content, for what I am aware of is that many things were in control of my pen (or crayon) besides my reasoning.

What do you think it means?

I would like to know...

In the meantime, let's meet Violet (the only one whose voice we ever hear) for the first time. I highly suggest you be prepared to turn your speakers down about three quarters of the way through, as Violet cannot control the volume of her voice.


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 9 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


11/30/14: When all of this began, 'Opheliac' had only just been released in Germany, and I was slated to perform at the famed WGT fest, also in Germany. I fought to get out of the psych ward in part because I had to get on a plane and somehow try to stand up straight before the very first Plague Rats. But, by the time I made it out, I not only could barely stand up, I couldn't remember my own name. That is the person you met on stage for the first time. Good acting, huh?

P.S. I still have all of those little stuffed rats you dressed up in my various costumes you'd seen in photographs and threw onto the stage during the show...bless you, PRs...


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 3 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


11/20/14: This solitary section you may preview below ends with one of the observations I stand most staunchly behind to this day:

"I do not believe that, in itself alone, attempting suicide proves anything at all about your mental state save that, upon weighing the merits of living and dying, you found that one outweighed the other. Is this crazy? I see nothing insane about it at all. Socially unacceptable, to be sure...but not mad."

You may be surprised to know that I have received exceptionally little critique for this book...far less than I had suspected I'd find waiting for me upon it's publishing. But when I have, it has been for this above paragraph alone.

The same paragraph that I most passionately believe in.


The social fear, it seems, is that, if we de-criminalize/de-insanitize suicide, everyone will start doing it, as if it were a fun little drug -- a bit of weed that people would start smoking straight away if we told them it wasn't wrong to do so. This is, of course, absurd on a small handful of levels.

The fact is that, when we criminalize something and, even better, brand it as exclusively insane, we make it nearly impossible to talk about. And when we make something nearly impossible to talk about, we make it absolutely impossible to prevent.

I want to talk about suicide so that fewer of us try it, and even fewer of us succeed.

I have received only one piece of bonafide hate mail regarding this book, and that was from a girl who was offended by the theory outlined in the above mentioned paragraph, and saw fit to write and tell me that she hoped that I would thusly go and die. Context: Her friend was extremely depressed and, in this weakened state, had sought to emulate yours truly in a variety of ways, particularly, some of the self-destructive behaviour I describe acting out in this book. (I should mention that this is the only instance I have ever heard of a person harming themselves or contemplating suicide because I had done those things in my past -- rather, I have heard from thousands that they stopped harming themselves and contemplating suicide because I wrote about these unwritable things, which is precisely the reason I did so.) Now, I'm speaking quite kindly of the letter I received from the poor, depressed girl's "friend", because it was, in fact, pure evil, if of course you consider writing to a person you don't know a bit about with words of unbridled hate and wishes of harm and death and all because of a BOOK they wrote "pure evil", and I happen to. Especially when the BOOK is entirely about understanding and overcoming these topics. After shaking in pure hurt and anger for a few hours, I realized who was actually suffering in this situation. It was this horrible person's depressed friend. That poor girl, obviously in a very unhappy state, had latched onto some aspect of my past life and was finding solace in her present pain by finding any similarities between us. What she needed wasn't for some supposed friend to write to her author of choice threatening death. What she needed was for this friend, or any friend, to point out to her the following:

If you cut yourself, you are not emulating me, because I stopped. (This is in the book.)

If you commit suicide, you are not emulating me, because I failed. (This is also in the book.)

If you care for yourself well and LIVE and CREATE, you are emulating me, because that is what I am doing now.


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 11 (Excerpt No. 2)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


11/18/14: Dearest Plague Rats, silence on my end only means that the Audiobook recording is consuming my time, which is a very good thing for all of us. Still, it's high time for another preview...

Around Hospital Entry 11 is when I really began to figure things out. I figured out that many of my fellow prisoners were no more crazy than I. I figured out that it was no accident that they'd been there so long. I figured out that most of them would never be going home. I even figured out why. And finally, I figured out that, if I actually did go nuts, life inside the Asylum and out would become a hell of a lot easier. But it's more difficult to go crazy than you think...


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 11 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


11/01/14: "Familiarity Breeds Contempt"...a horribly depressing phrase for an even more depressing truth...except for all of those times when it's wrong. I am grateful for all of those times. Getting to know my Plague Rats, VV, Maggots, Marc, and so many others, has been a lesson in loving more, the more one knows. Dr. Sharpe, on the other hand...not so much.

It's funny...Dr. Sharpe's constant and very inappropriate attention made me feel practically "normal", because that's the sort of thing I'd become used to having to deal with in the real world...the free world. Annoying guys that won't go away. That's all. Everyday stuff for everyday girls. And so, you can imagine how it felt all the stranger to have to turn around a moment later and be required to tell some counselor or nurse or other all about why I was considered batshit nuts by the legal system.

If I'm normal enough to be flirted with, I'm normal enough to leave.



AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 8 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/31/14: As much as Emily (with a "Y") has in common with Emilie in the psych ward, she mirrors my childhood even more -- the childhood I always refuse to talk about, and always will. But, through Emily, I do. I've always thought I'd be a brilliant actor because I've been acting my whole life, most particularly when I shouldn't have had to. The worst bit about that sort of thing is, naturally, when one completely loses one's self, no longer knowing where one's own acting begins and ends, and one can't even tell whether one is being sincere anymore, about anything, anything at all...from a smile to a salesperson to a laugh at a joke to a kiss on the lips of someone one thinks one it real? And, after all these years of fakery simply in order to survive, how does one know? It's taken me this long to finally know when I really feel/mean something or whether I am simply acting it out for someone else's benefit, and, often, I still suspect I don't.

And, thus, the journey towards becoming one's true self continues...

Does it ever end? Surely not.


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Asylum Letter No. 2 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/28/14: Just a peek for the moment, it's Emily (with a "Y"), and she's just gotten her first taste of...well, something unpleasant...


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Asylum Letter No. 3 (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/28/14: "Intervention"...the experience documented in this chapter was one of the few Asylum experiences that I truly did not see coming. I mean, I'm waiting for treatment (whatever that means...I still have no idea because it never happened). But, instead, I am utterly ignored (in the medical capacity, anyway). Then, I'm given this piece of paper. Before I actually look at what's ON the paper, I'm startled that somebody is paying attention to me (again, in the medical capacity). I feel important (it's incredible how meaningful the tiniest things can become when they are all you have). I think, perhaps, there's hope. I even think, "They know I'm not like everybody else here. The see it. Finally. We wil all be able to talk to each other like adults now." I couldn't have been more wrong.


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 13: Intervention (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/25/14: Dearest Plague Rats, editing is going brilliantly, and so I've got a complete chapter for you today, and it's quite a lengthy one at that! The pen...the all important pen...crayons may have started the story, but the pen took it to the next level. How could I possibly have fit all of these words into a notebook written in crayon? That's right, I couldn't. Thank you, PEN!!! Pen is responsible for some of the book's illlustrations as well...what a talent...

In reliving this part of my life through the recording of this story, I find myself fixated on the moment when I was being pushed in the wheelchair towards the metal doors, the entrance to the Psych Ward (yes, this corresponds to Emily's entrance to the Asylum, and her first view of the gates, you clever Ratties).

I will never forget this moment...I couldn't...and you can imagine how much I'd like to.

But no, those doors, and those words, white on black, in all capital letters, are burnt into my brain, seared into the backs of my eyes...I remember experiencing the most peculiar duality of emotions as I was pushed towards those doors...a sensation of absolute normalcy, as if words like these painted on doors like these were simply part of everyday life, for everyone, and then, simultaneously, the knowledge that they were not normal at all...that everything in my world, everything aspect of my life, was to change once those doors opened for me. I left the self I knew outside that ward, and the girl who was pushed in, her paltry little bag containing the last remnants of her normal life on her lap, body tense and cold, knees clenched tight together...that girl would never come out again. She died, right there, in that instant, in that chair, on that day, when she saw those words on that door. The girl who speaks in the chapter below is someone entirely different.


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 7: The Pen (Complete Chapter)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/24/14: Ah, "Downstairs, Upstairs", the chapter containing the most...awkward...conversation I have personally ever been engaged in, inside a hospital or out of it. I can see the hilarity in it now, but at the time, it was just...disgusting. As I recorded this chapter, it was frighteningly easy to conjure up those old feelings of guilt, shame, and anger, as you will surely detect towards the end. Did you know that "toward", without the "s", is the Americanized version of the British English "towards"? That is one of the many very intentional stylistic/grammar/spelling differences between the writings of Emilie and Emily...there are many more scattered throughout the book, their primary purpose surving to remind the reader when and where one is, as, often, the words the two girls are saying would not differentiate them, their stories and voices are so many can you find? Look for the "ou"s...


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 6: Downstairs Upstairs (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/23/14: "Hospital Entry 5: The Paperclip" was an especially challenging chapter to record as it is simply...crazy. By which I mean, I'm clearly not in your average, every day, ordinary state of mind at that point in the story. While I may have entered the hospital stark raving sane, everyone, from the doctors to the guards to the very environment, did their best to chip away at that sanity, and you can see my brain breaking apart quite well in this journal entry. The challenge was to be true to that moment in which I was writing this, because, at the time, I certainly didn't feel that I was thinking oddly...fixating on an object...personalizing non-personal actions...humanizing a fact, I wasn't thinking at all. This is simply how things were. So, my goal was to read this chapter as though I were still in that moment, in that bed, in that hospital, and believe in the importance of this object, and in the seriousness of my mission to obtain it, yet knowing what I know now, which is that my mind had already begun to alter. Reading it again after all this time, I believe that "The Paperclip" may have been where it all began...just the quiet knock at that tiny door in the back of the head to...somewhere else. I always thought the red crayon was to Emilie what the Key is to Emily, but perhaps I was wrong... Perhaps it was the paperclip all along...the object that binds pages to other pages and keeps them nice and neat...keeps information in order...keeps things from getting lost. If I'd gotten that paperclip, perhaps it all would have been different. But I didn't get it. And nothing was nice and neat. And the pages got lost.

Today's preview is the entire chapter, as I couldn't decide where to cut it. Enjoy the madness, Ratties...


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 5: The Paperclip


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


10/22/14: Dearest PRs, the re-recording is going brilliantly, though the editing is what is taking the most takes far longer, and is infinitely more difficult, to edit one chapter of spoken word than it is to edit vocals on an entire music album, as you really do hear everything. In fact, one hears things in a spoken word recording that aren't even audible when someone is speaking directly into your ear, and each little pop and click and clack and breath and hiss must be dealt with entirely by hand -- there is no automation for this. I'm grateful for my lack of of funds in my youth, for, had I been able to afford someone to do these things for me, I would never have learned to do them myself. Necessity taught me everything I know, and she is a brilliant instructor.

The second time around, I'm adding bits that aren't in the book itself, which, to me, makes the delay worthwhile (it's as torturous for me to wait to have you hear it as it is for you to wait to hear it), and I very much hope you agree! This will be, essentially, a new edition of the Asylum book, and that is something I never intended, but am oh so excited to share.

The only downside of doing everything one's self, from writing/producing/programming/recording/engineering the music to designing the shows to making the costumes to building the websites to making the artwork to making the products on the Emporium to writing the books to painting the pictures to recording and editing the audiobook alone, is that it all takes time, and that is where, occasionally, your patience becomes the greatest gift you could ever give to me. What I give you in return is the most personal, the most pure, and the truest art you could ever experience, because it is all done by one, solitary girl. There IS, and I do mean this, no one else.

Thank you for giving me the time to re-record this story. I didn't have to. But I wanted you to have the best. I always will.

Here is a fun bit, before I upload some of the scary parts...enjoy, Ratties!


AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Remembrances Of Eggs Past (Excerpt)


~ EA (((>*.*<)))


08/28/14: Download:

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Forward 3 (Excerpt)



08/20/14: Download:

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Forward 2 (Excerpt)



08/19/14: Download:

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Forward (Excerpt)



08/05/14: Download:

AUDIOBOOK PREVIEW: Hospital Entry 2, The Red Crayon



More previews and updates to come, check back daily...



Dearest Plague Rats and fellow Inmates,

This note is intended for those of you who have sweetly pre-ordered my Audiobook Recording of 'The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls', which entitles you to an exclusive copy of the CD set autographed for you, by yours truly.

Many of you are already aware of the audiobook delay and the reason for it, that being the re-recording of the entire massive beast of a thing due to my having discovered a microphone that delivered a superior quality recording, resulting in something much more intimate and powerful than that which I had originally been prepared to ship to you. This re-recording and editing process takes a nearly unfathomable number of hours, but I want you to have my very best work as always, and I am glad to do it. It is my hope that you are glad to wait for this new version as well, though I understand the frustration of some, and will gladly assist in refunding payment to those unwilling to wait (though later purchases will not be autographed, just so you know:). In addition to that initial delay, I am also behind schedule in completeing this new version due to the immense amount of time that was devoted to the preparation and debut of "The Asylum Experience" on the Vans Warped Tour this summer, as well as the current filming of 'The Devil's Carnival 2", which I am delighted to be playing a lead (i.e. very time consuming) role in. While I cannot give a reliable ship date of the new Audiobook recording, I can assure you that I am working as quickly as possible, and will keep you all constantly updated over the coming days.

Now that I've appealed to your patience and love of superior quality recordings, let's get to the fun part! I have created this secret, password protected page just for those of you who have pre-ordered the Audiobook and have chosen to keep your orders open despite the delay. On this secret page, you will find frequently updated progress reports and actual preview chapters of the recording.

It is my greatest hope that you will support this process and know that I am doing this entirely because I want you to have the very best version of this story that it is possible to create. You deserve this...

Also! All who have pre-ordered the Audiobook will receive an e-mailed coupon code for a completely FREE digital version of the entire Asylum book as well as my complete, downloadable recorded music catalog. If you have not yet received your coupon code, fret not -- it's on it's way.

If you do require assistance with cancelling a pre-order or have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Shop Rats at help (at)

With all my love and eternal gratitude to each and every one of you,

~ EA (((>*.*<)))

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