Dr Annabelle R Charbit grew up in London, UK, and has been writing since 2006, when her comedy play, Sound Advice, was performed by CP Theatre Productions in London. In 2007, she was published in The London Paper and in the British Neuroscience Association’s Summer Bulletin. In 2010 she wrote for TheFrisky.com, an online magazine who commissioned her after noticing her humorous blog, Crazy in a Crazy World.
Dr Charbit holds a PhD in Neuroscience from University College London and has been researching migraine headache at UCSF in San Francisco, about which she has published in scientific journals. The inspiration behind A Life Lived Ridiculously stemmed from Dr Charbit’s research work as a neuroscientist, which motivated her to write a story from the point of view of people suffering from distorted thinking. A Life Lived Ridiculously is Dr. Charbit's first novel.
Tell me a bit about yourself, where were you born and where do you call home?
I’m from England UK, and have lived in America for the last six years. I am a research scientist and a writer, with a PhD in neuroscience from University College London. I also host a blog, Crazy in a Crazy World, that rages about the maddening and frustrating things in life that would drive even the sanest person crazy. Home right now is San Francisco.
What inspired you to write a contemporary fiction book that tackles two very serious subjects, OCD and sociopaths?
The story has been nagging me for years. I wanted to write a story from the point of view of people with distorted thinking, and liked the idea of the character who feels too much verses the one who feels nothing at all. Personally I relate to the one who feels too much.
As a neuroscientist, I’ve always been fascinated by mental illness, especially obsessive compulsive disorder. There are too many people suffering in silence, too frightened and embarrassed to seek help. A Life Lived Ridiculously shows them just how unusual and embarrassing OCD can be, and hopefully lets sufferers know that they are not alone.
Sociopaths are fascinating too, because they are everywhere (4% of the population). Whether a spouse, partner, colleague or relative, most people (whether they know it or not) have a sociopath in their life. I had one in my life and found him fascinating. The way they look you right in the eye and lie. The fact that they are capable of anything, because they are not limited by the same moral boundaries as the rest of us. Even the way they talk -- they have this amazing ability to monologue incessantly while actually revealing nothing. I wanted specifically to capture this trait in my sociopath’s voice.