Grayson County-native Sherry Logsdon recently announced that she will release her first novel, Asylum, in late June, early July.
Logsdon said her novel is the culmination of nearly twenty years of research into and writing about her three passions: insane asylums, women’s rights, and the 1800’s.
Logsdon said her interest in insane asylums started when she was a child.
“When I was a kid, I loved horror movies where they used insane asylums as settings for haunted house movies,” she said. But I got hooked by their history more than anything.”
Through her research of asylums, Logsdon said she found many cases in which women were unjustly committed.
“All it took was one signature to put a woman in an asylum in the 1800’s,” she said. “Many women were locked away who weren’t insane.”
Since Asylum - which depicts life for women in an insane asylum during the 1800’s - was first accepted for publication, Logsdon has made it a goal to educate people on women’s rights and asylums.
Logsdon said, in addition to her writing, she is also a public speaker.
Logsdon said she often visits schools to discuss the life of committed women in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the fight for women’s rights at the that time, and how each play into her novel.
Set in West Virginia, Asylum is told from the point-of view of Isobel McFadden, a sixteen-year-old from Scotland, who is sent to work as the head matron of the Helsley House Insane Asylum where she finds the women she is hired to manage are not so different from herself.
Asylum’s narrative is occasionally broken up by poetry, “written” by McFadden as a way of alleviating her fears and worries.
Similarly, Logsdon said she started writing as a child as a way of dealing with her worries.
Logsdon said she found that the rhyme scheme and structured form of poetry helped alleviate her worries.
Over time, she started taking the characters from her poems and writing stories about them, which, coupled with her interest in women’s rights, asylums, and the 1800’s, culminated in Asylum.
On her hopes for the novel, Logsdon said, “Every author has dreams of writing a bestseller, but as a new writer, I want my book to first make a difference. I want people to find it enjoyable to read, and have it change their lives for the better, or at least their way of thinking, even if it only changes a little.”
Logsdon, 53, currently lives in Eastview, Kentucky with her husband, Tim; and has three grown children, Ryan, Kyle, and Amy; and three grandchildren, Kyler, Kylee, and Kyndle.
By the time she was 22-years-old, Logsdon had already had three children, but she said that gave her even more determination to make something of her life.
After the birth of her third child, Logsdon went back to school at Western Kentucky University, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, and taught Special Ed. in Hardin County for nearly twenty years.
Logsdon later earned her Master’s and Rank 1 in Counseling.
Currently, Logsdon is hard at work on the sequel to Asylum, which she said will likely be called Locked Within and place its primary focus on one of Asylum’s minor characters.
Asylum is being released through the WinePressBooks publishing company and will be available for purchase from a number of vendors, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
After the novel’s release, Logsdon will hold a book launch on Saturday, July 13 starting at 5 p.m. in the Centre on Main in Leitchfield. Logsdon will discuss her novel and sign copies for those in attendance.