Pam Franklin is the author of the new book My Five Sisters: A Psychological Thriller Based on a True Story about Multiple Personalities. She is a businesswoman, and she lives in Celebration, Florida.
Q: Why did you decide to write this story as fiction rather than nonfiction?
A: Everything that happened in this book is true. I changed the names in the book to protect the identities of family members and to protect the book from legal issues.
Q: What are some of the most common perceptions and misperceptions about multiple personalities?
A: In the 1950s in rural Mississippi no one really knew what multiple personalities were. My sister had a depressed personality and a violent personality and both were thought to be a somewhat normal behavior for a teenager.
When the violent behavior excelled, a priest was brought in to do an exorcism. Basically everyone thought she was possessed by the devil.
Q: How difficult was it for you to write this book, given the very painful topics you discuss?
A: It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I had stuffed all of the memories so far back into my mind that when I started writing I knew I couldn’t stop or I would never get it written.
I wrote eight to 10 hours a day for three months, and cried for the first month. When I finished it after the three months, a weight seemed to be lifted from my body and soul.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
A: There are three important factors.
1/You do not have to let abuse define who you are and what you become.
2/I want people to recognize the difference between sibling abuse and sibling rivalry. Sibling abuse contributes to domestic violence, prison, public shootings, and other violent behavior in adults.
3/Untreated mental illness can also lead to drug addiction, alcoholism and violence in adults.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am working on a novel entitled The Sisters. It will be told from the perspective of each of Angela’s personalities. It will deal with their individual lives and the craziness of surviving in one body. My daughter is a psychologist and we are co-writing the book together.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I am a businesswoman who has owned and operated multiple multi-million dollar businesses over the past 40 years. My life was not easy, but it made me a survivor and a very strong and determined person.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb