It’s My Pub Week!!

Caged Eyes is now in bookstores!!

I’ve waited a very, very long time to write that sentence. I began writing my memoir ten years ago. I started searching for agents three years ago. And I signed a book deal a year and a half ago. Like I said: I’ve waited a very, very long time to write that sentence!

Throughout this process, I’ve wondered what this day would feel like. I’ll be honest: I mainly thought I’d be so stuffed full of anxiety on my pub day that I wouldn’t even be able to form a coherent sentence. The great news? That’s only partially true! And, actually, in what can only be attributed to divine intervention, I nailed this interview on NY NPR Brian Lehrer. I felt present and in the moment and even enjoyed being in the studio despite the fact that in doing so I was sharing with the world my deepest darkests.

Yesterday on my publisher’s blog I wrote about how in the last month, I’ve been able to refocus mentally and I came into this week much stronger than I had anticipated (How? Climbing a big fat mountain, of course!). I feel much less panicked and calmer, more able to celebrate this accomplishment and less focused on my fears.

The other thing that has obviously lifted me this week is the Op-Ed published Sunday. I mean, I started by pub week with a BYLINE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES!! It’s impossible not to shove the anxiety away and celebrate that for a long minute  – even though yes, it’s terrifying to expose myself the way I am.

The other thing about starting my pub week with the OpEd and the interviews that I’ve done is that it has refocused my attention. I didn’t seek to publish Caged Eyes as either some twisted form of therapy…or retraumatizing masochism. I wrote it and did the endless work to find a publisher because we have a real social problem, within the military and without, and I want to be a part of the conversation to find a solution.

Since the OpEd ran three days ago, I have been inundated with messages, almost all highly supportive. Other survivors, both veterans and civilians. Parents of survivors. Parents of cadets. Former cadets themselves. Activists and clinicians.

This week, I’ve finally stepped out from behind the computer screen where I’ve endlessly dissecting my life and into the national dialogue about sexual violence. It’s finally not about my story; it’s about how my story fits into the larger whole of the problem. I’m honored I have the opportunity to be an agent of change.


That last line couldn’t be more true today, too.

Author: Lynn K Hall

Lynn Hall is a memoirist, activist in the movement to end sexual violence, ultra-runner, and crazy cat lady. Her memoir, CAGED EYES: AN AIR FORCE CADET’S STORY OF RAPE AND RESILIENCE, was published by Beacon Press in February 2017. Her writing has previously appeared in the New York Times, The LA Times, Hippocampus Magazine, The Sexual Assault Report, The Manifest-Station, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and elsewhere. In the summers, Lynn copes with publication anxiety by spending too many days in the Colorado mountains, and in the winters, with pans of brownies. She lives in Boulder with her partner and their 23 cats. Just kidding…she only has five.