Rep. Mike Schlossberg novel represents ‘Redemption’ – Times News Online

Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-132) is so upbeat and sociable on the phone that you would not believe he is depressed.

But Schlossberg, who represents communities in Allentown and boroughs in South Whitehall Township, is open to a condition that doesn’t have to prevent anyone from living fully active and productive lives.

Depression is the underlying theme of his young adult science fiction novel Redemption (Ellysian Press; 332 pages; $ 11.99, print; $ 5.99, digital; 2018).

It is the first of his planned “Spades Trilogy”.

Asher Maddox wakes up with 20 other teenagers in an unfamiliar environment who realizes it is a spaceship.

He and the others discover that they are on a mission that may affect the fate of the world that includes a dangerous disease called Spades. The novel, written before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has proven to be fairly timely.

Despite his self-doubts, Asher is chosen to be the ship’s captain. Not only does he have to face the resistance of villains, aliens and rivals, he also has to fight himself. Sometimes his anxiety and depression threaten to overwhelm him.

Schlossberg went public with his depression following Robin Williams’ suicide in 2014. Schlossberg was upset by some of the comments on Williams’ death and went public with his own experiences.

“I was impressed with how positive it was,” he says of the reaction. “I didn’t know how much that would affect. It actually helped my political career.

“The book isn’t too technical. There is a science fiction background to the real story that is about mental health. “

Schlossberg felt the young adult genre was right for his message: “It’s a troubled, impressionistic time of life. Young adults often do not know what is wrong with them, and when they are depressed, do not realize that it is not something that cannot be managed. “

And it doesn’t have to be limiting. “The book is about the highest stakes one can imagine. Anxiety and depression shouldn’t keep you from doing anything at all. “

While the teenagers in the book figure out how to operate the controls in the spaceship, it doesn’t take long before the reader realizes that Schlossberg is very interested in video games, especially open-world and role-playing themed games.

“I’m more of a console than a PC type,” he says.

He is so in love with video games that his children are named after characters in video games.

Schlossberg lives in Allentown with his wife Brenna and their two children, nine-year-old Auron and eight-year-old Ayla.

Auron is the name of a character in “Final Fantasy X”. Ayla is the name of a character in Chrono Trigger.

Schlossberg, born and raised in New Jersey, graduated from Muhlenberg College with a BA in Political Science and Psychology in 2005 and Lehigh University with an MA in Political Science in 2006. He was elected to Allentown City Council in 2009 at the age of 26, the youngest person elected to office at the time.

His earlier non-fiction book “Tweets and Consequences” was published in 2015. It shows how politicians have abused social media and what they should do to prevent disasters.

He admits that the premises in his book were refuted by former President Donald Trump.

“He did everything that I advised people not to do,” says Schlossberg.

According to Schlossberg, the divisive political climate was not good for mental health: “There were many interpersonal conflicts and lost relationships.”

The isolation associated with COVID-19 has also had a negative impact, says Schlossberg, who says one phenomenon remains to be investigated: “Suicides have decreased while addiction has increased. Usually they are related. “

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental crisis, Schlossberg says: “Give me a call. It starts with insurance companies finding a practitioner, “although he adds,” There aren’t enough practitioners. “

People without insurance can call the crisis number for the county in which they live.

Redemption information:

“Literary Scene” is a column about authors, books and publications. To request reporting, email: Paul Willistein, Focus Editor, [email protected]

State Representative Mike Schlossberg

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