As an author, Stacey Chillemi of Manalapan has for the past seven years built a career on words and phrases, sentences and paragraphs
BY ALESHA WILLIAMS
MANALAPAN — As an author, Stacey Chillemi of Manalapan has for the past seven years built a career on words and phrases, sentences and paragraphs.
But Chillemi, author of informational and inspirational texts such as "Live, Learn and Be Happy with Epilepsy" and "Epilepsy: You're Not Alone," says her upcoming book of short stories and poetry goes "beyond words."
"Just like songs, sometimes it's the music that really inspires you, or the passion in the singer's voice, not the words," Chillemi said of the 170-page book due to be released in April, aptly named "Beyond Words."
"I came up with the name because this (book) goes farther than just a couple of words on a piece of paper," said Chillemi, 35, who has self-published 13 books, most based upon her own struggles with epilepsy, from which she suffers.
The book travels from short stories such as "Crossing Over," about the death of Chillemi's husband's great-great-grandmother and the possibility of a better life after death, to a poem dubbed "The Heavenly Caretaker," about an angel who inspires a man to help himself so that he may help others.
She said another "Beyond Words" poem, "The Perfect Love," is about the true meaning of love.
"Sometimes when you fall in love, not everything's perfect," Chillemi said. "The poem is about how loving someone for better or for worse goes beyond that."
Chillemi has long written about the emotional obstacles she had to overcome to launch a writing career in 2000: feelings of isolation because of her illness, of despair because of her newfound dependence on others, of disappointment when she could no longer pursue her career in marketing, she said.
But Chillemi said she opted not to focus on her health condition in this book in order to appeal to a broader readership.
"A lot of people write to me with disabilities or with problems — who don't have epilepsy — who are coming across the same obstacles, feeling alone, wallowing in sorrow," said Chillemi, a wife and mother of three children ages 3 to 8. "I just left (this book) open for people to use it in their life however they see fit, and maybe it can help more people that way."
"Beyond Words" ($22.95) will be available at lulu.com, amazon.com and
barnesandnoble.com on the Web in April, Chillemi said.
ON THE WEB: Visit our Web site, www.app.com/reporters, and click on this story in the Western Monmouth Reporter for a link to: information about Stacey Chillemi's books.
Alesha Williams: (732) 308-7756 or awilliams.app.com
LEAVE A POSTIVE WORD FOR THE WRITER AT THE ABOVE EMAIL. I WOULD APPRECIATE IT.