Interview with J. Peters: Small Fingernails Even Less Love

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Interviewer: I am here with J. Peters, author of University on Watch and Small Fingernails. Mr. Peters, can you say something about the difference between these two books?

J. Peters: These two books couldnt be more different, and yet, in the end, they are the same book.

Interviewer: Can you say more about that?

J. Peters: No.

Interviewer: Well played, Mr. Peters. How has the reception been so far for these two books?

J. Peters: University on Watch seems to be getting more exposure in literary circles. The book is sparking discussion, and has truly had an impact on the mental health community. I cant say the same for Small Fingernails. I’m not shocked, given the target audience was a small clique of people I knew personally from eleven years ago

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Interviewer: Pardon? A clique? Eleven years, Mr. Peters?

J. Peters: A very small clique. My friends from college. At New London University. These are the people I characterize in the book. The book is about my experience interacting with these kids, about six or seven of them. Some of these people were given more airtime than others. The people I really thought weren’t even worth talking about, I didnt. Others, that I spent more time with, got some air time, and others, who I liked, were given praises in the book. You’ll know who I dont like, and my favorites, quickly, when reading Small Fingernails.

Interviewer: You wrote a book about these people? Why Mr. Peters?

J. Peters: Vengence. This is my V-book, or “Vengence Book“. Small Fingernails is very much a hydra of spite, retribution, and unresolved anger towards people in college I never felt had the last word. With Small Fingernails, I do. This was all catharisis. Every page, another excuse to attack, reposition myself over these people, and do it publicly. As far as I am concerned, the world can judge them like so many of them judged me years ago.

Interviewer: Did you achieve your goal? Do you feel a sense of justice?

J. Peters: I feel great.

Interviewer: I had asked you, Mr. Peters, if you achieved your goal and about justice? Instead, your answered with how you felt. Was that what was important here? is that the real reason you wrote Small Fingernails?

J. Peters: My feelings aside, this book’s first goal was the hurt the feelings of those who hurt me so much. I wanted the audience, my readers, to laugh in the faces of so many of the characters in the book. The second goal, to rid myself of all guilt associated with the psychological and physical abuse I inflicted upon my ex girlfriend. Next, I wanted to let go of all personal grief I experienced years ago from inflicted the aforementioned harm. The final goal, in the process of doing all that, ruin as many lives as possible or at the very least, the life and marriage of my ex girlfriend. If this book doesn’t plant the seed of doubt in her marriage, the image of my seed in the book will do just that.

Interviewer: Mr. Peters, why?

J. Peters: Because I can. Small Fingernails was just an exercise in the politics of friendship in the wake of unrequited love. The challenge wasn’t writing the book. The challenge was living out its pages years ago and living to write about it years later. I survived Small Fingernails only to put New London University on Watch weeks later. What will be your fate and reaction to Small Fingernails?

Interviewer: This was J. Peters, author of Small Fingernails: Even Less Love. Thank you, Jacques, for this opporunity. I encourage you all to go out and read the book today.

 

About the Author

J. Peters

J. Peters is the Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health Affairs.

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient J. Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, or the city's Department of Corrections.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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