Character Interview: Emily Zylaz

Today is Emily Zylaz’s birthday. This is the day that she has chosen to kill herself. After struggling for many years to cope with the roller-coaster of mental illness, a devastating failed marriage, and a soul-destroying career that is going nowhere, she’s giving up. Feeling like the only solution to all of her problems is to take her own life, Emily plans to hang herself at midnight. She believes no one will care that she’s dead, that she won’t be missed, and that everyone will be better off without her and her fickle moods. As we journey alongside Emily, counting down the hours on her last day alive, we explore the twisted labyrinth of her troubled mind and learn why she so desperately wants to die.








Welcome back, and Roni, thank you for returning.  Who do you have with you today?

  • Emily Zylaz

Welcome Emily.  Why don’t you start us off with a little about yourself?

  • Madison calls me Emmy-poo because when I was a toddler, that’s how I said my name when people asked. It stuck and she uses it whenever we see each other.

Who is Madison?

  • Madison is my older sister. She’s more than ten years older than me so she wasn’t around much when I was growing up. She kind of drifted in and out of my life when I was a child, spending most of her time away at school, and then later on she moved away to work as a curator in Belgium. She’s a bit like a stranger to me, and I feel like I don’t know her that well. There were times when we did things together when I was a kid, but we also clashed from time to time. Most of the time, I just remember her being absent.

Sounds like you’ve had a rough childhood.  Has this affected the way you get along with others?

  • I don’t play well with others, and prefer to be left alone with my books. Mostly it’s because I’m secretly afraid of scrutiny and criticism, and I get tongue-tied in the company of strangers, especially men. My tongue feels like a rolled-up carpet and I have no idea what to say. I can’t help but feel stupid when I’m expected to speak.

Has this created enemies for you, or given you a group of people you don’t like?

  • Bullies do so much invisible damage to a vulnerable person that it’s difficult for someone like me to speak out against them. They come in all shapes and sizes, ages and professions, and their range of bullying tactics seems to be endless. It seems like a cycle, that those people have suffered somewhere in their lives too, and feel the need to snatch back their power by taking the power of others. I’d like to see all bullies and their victims united in the struggles of life and helping each other get through the tough spots. No bullies, no victims, just everyone helping everyone else. It’s impossible, I know. But dreams are free.

Yet, that is such a worthy dream to work towards.  Is there anything you would like to change about yourself that would help you bring that dream closer to reality?

  • I would become one of those confident self-assured women that I see around me, defending their rights and the rights of others, speaking out against injustice and social bullying and harassment, and walking with my head held high as I march down the street, instead of focusing on the cracks in the pavement and pretending to be invisible.


Has this led to any secrets you’re willing to share with us?

  • I never told anyone about the baby I lost when I was married. My husband Garrett knew, but he found out too late that I was pregnant. I hadn’t got my head around the idea yet and didn’t have the opportunity to tell him. After I recovered from the physical trauma of the miscarriage, I was so ashamed at my failure to protect my baby that I didn’t speak to anyone else about my loss. It’s a heavy secret I’ve carried inside me for years.

I’m so sorry to hear that.  But, you can speak of it now, which is a positive change.  Do you have anything you’d like to say to the folks who have read your book?

  • [No]

I understand.  Thank you for being brave, and coming in to talk to us today.  Roni, thank you so much for bringing Emily by.


If you are interested in more of Emily’s story, I have the book review here, and you can pick up a copy of Broken here on Amazon.

And, there she goes folks.  Roni Askey-Doran.  If you enjoyed the interview, you can find her blog here, Twitter here, and Amazon page with most of her books here.  (Don’t ask me why Amazon doesn’t have them all listed.  Shame on you Amazon!)

She will also be returning on Sunday with Emily from her latest book Broken.

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please stop by my Offered Services page, and send me a submission.  I will be glad to discuss details with you.


Comments and questions welcome.

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