"Every two hours in America, a teenager takes his or her life. That's an awful statistic, and we need to fight it, and this book is helping us do that."
Former MLB pitcher and WestBow Press author John Trautwein talks about the love his family experienced after his son Will’s passing and how it inspired him to write My Living Will, which he self-published with WestBow Press. Trautwein expresses the urgency of his message and discusses the creation of the Will to Live Foundation.
My Living Will is simply the story of my life and my experiences since the suicide death of my son Will Trautwein, who passed away in October of 2010. There were so many wonderful things that I experienced and that my family experienced after the death of our son, so much love and so much kindness. And I wanted to make sure that my kids and my wife would have some sort of a memoir of all of the love and kindness that we received during that tragic time. So getting it all down on paper was really a part of my own healing process.
I spend a lot of time with kids and as a result of the death of my son we created the Will to Live Foundation, and the book chronicles how the foundation came to be and the many, many inspirational stories that I was a part of and I was the recipient of, in working with teenagers today. It really is a wonderful and uplifting experience despite arising out of the death of just a terrible tragedy.
The story is, in my opinion, an urgent one, and the concepts of teen suicide that permeate through the book are something that the world needs to hear and they need to hear it now. Every two hours in America, a teenager takes his or her life. That's an awful statistic, and we need to fight it and this book is helping us do that.
WestBow Press author John Trautwein talks about the motivation for self-publishing his book, My Living Will, after the unexpected death of his son Will. Trautwein also describes his mission to raise awareness of teen suicide.
"I have had so many people that I know, and so many people that I don't know, reach out to me...where they explain how my book motivated them, inspired them, or educated them."
On the one year anniversary of my son's death, I decided I was going to try to write a book about it. The reason I self-published My Living Will was simply because that was the only way I was going to get it out there, and so it was a relatively easy decision. What I wanted was my story down on paper in hopes that I could get this in front of people as quickly as possible to give them the opportunity to hear my story and to become a little bit more aware of teen suicide in America and the things I wasn't aware of before my son passed away.
I began my publishing journey with WestBow Press about six months after the book was completed, and so it was a relatively easy decision. I wanted my story to be put down on paper, wanted it to be published, I wanted to have it in the physical form of a book. And it was as simple as that. I had total control over the editing process and the publishing process, which I really did like because I wanted to make sure that the characteristic of the book wasn't lost through the publishing process.
Had I waited, I just feel like I would have lost an opportunity to perhaps educate some people and spread this awareness of not only teen suicide, but awareness of love and hope that does exist in the world today. I have had so many people that I know and so many people that I don't know reach out to me, either by letters, emails or social media where they explain how my book motivated them, inspired them or educated them in one way, shape or form. And that is worth every ounce of energy that I put into the book.