To all who have supported me on the publication of my novel,

It is with great sadness I inform you that A Feigned Madness did not achieve the funding milestone necessary for the publisher to proceed with the project. It was a longshot from the beginning, but I decided to try because I thought the story was one that needed to be told. Alas, it won’t be told through Inkshares. I would, however, like to thank everyone there for giving it the support they did. In particular, I’d like to thank Janna Grace, Avalon Marissa Radys, and Adam Gomolin.

Mostly I’d like to thank all of you, dear readers, for believing in me and the book enough to follow me. For those who ordered, please know how much that means - and will always mean - to me. Inkshares will be processing your cc refund after the campaign officially ends 10/20.

I will most likely be pursuing other avenues with it and will keep you posted on my progress. 

Thanks again.


Hello readers! The funding campaign for A Feigned Madness continues! In the way of an update, I want to talk about two numbers: 82 and 27.

Stay with me because I think you’ll find them compelling.

Let’s start with 82.

Much of A Feigned Madness takes place inside a women’s insane asylum. Nellie Bly, in order to get the attention of the newspaper she so desperately wants to report for, deliberately puts herself there. If she can expose what’s going on inside by writing about her account, they might (might!) just hire her.

But the thing is, it’s 1887. A time when so little is understood about mental illness. Many asylums, if not most of them, are simply one-way tickets to Hell.

When I was researching the book, I wanted to know not just what happened to Bly once she was inside, but how the women she met landed there in the first place. In my research, I uncovered a gem. I found one asylum’s list of reasons why patients got admitted.  

And it horrified me.

From 1864 to 1889, the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane compiled a list of reasons why inmates were placed into that asylum. The list, taken from a log book, is one bizarre road trip to You’ve Got to Be F$*&-ing Kidding Me.

How many reasons were there? 82.

There are a few that aren’t terribly surprising: brain fever, congestion of the brain and epileptic fits, for example, would likely have caused severe enough symptoms to necessitate hospitalization at least for some bit of time - although we can argue the efficacy of “treatment” at a time when so little was understood about these things.

But some of the others? Here’s a taste:

                -Political excitement

                -Religious enthusiasm


                -Immoral life


                -Bad whisky

 And then there are those concerning women:

                -Woman trouble

                -Uterine Derangement

                -Female disease

                -Medicine to prevent conception

                -Fits and desertion of husband

 And my personal favorite: Novel reading.

 Based on this list, anyone (then and now) could’ve been committed. I mean, who hasn’t been stricken with “grief,” “greediness,” or “fever and jealously” at some point in their life?  And what hope for release for the poor fellow with nothing so much as asthma?

 You never know what you’ll undercover doing research. Sometimes the little details, that remarkable factoid you find, can enrich your story immeasurably. And it’s what entertains readers. The women Bly befriends at the asylum have their own reasons that ultimately lead to their admittance to the Blackwell’s Island Asylum. I think you’ll find them as shocking (and sad) as I did.

Now for that other number.

If every follower of A Feigned Madness who hasn’t yet pre-ordered places an order, my sales would increase 27%. That’s a sizable bump. I’d like to see it happen. Inkshares has been incredibly supportive so far by making it the pick of the month in two categories, but it’s pre-orders that move the needle.

Thank you ALL so much for hanging in there.

Until next time,



Wanted to let you all know things are going well! The book trailer for A Feigned Madness is up and ready to view! Take a peak here. I think you’ll be intrigued!

As for the campaign, thanks to those who have come out and ordered. I truly can’t thank you enough. Your support means everything. None of this happens without readers like you. If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, please consider it. I’m coming up on triple digits! Will you be my 100th order?

The true story of Nellie Bly and her courageous ten-day stay in an insane asylum in 1887 to prove that women belonged in the "man’s world" of journalism is a shocking one that says a lot about the confinement women felt at the turn of the century and the ends they were willing to go to in order to make change. You don’t want to miss it.

To order, read a chapter and/or comment, click here. I’ll be forever grateful.


Vr rpcye Tonya Mitchell · Author · added over 1 year ago
Whether you’ve landed here by a direct appeal or by browsing, thank you! It means the world to know you’re reading! 
Please feel free to:
- comment
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 In order for Inkshares to publish A Feigned Madness, I must get 750 pre-orders...in 90 days! That’s Oct 21. This is somewhat of a Herculean effort for a first-time novelist like me. Not easy, but with readers like you and a little magic dust, it’s doable. You can have a direct impact on whether Madness hits bookstores, libraries and online stores for others to discover and read. You can also help by spreading the word and directing fellow readers to this page so they can support me, too.

One note: if you do pre-order (and a heartfelt THANK YOU if you do!) and I am not able to get to the 750 requirement, you pay nothing. No worries.