A Look Back: An Interview with LIGHTER THAN MY SHADOW's Katie Green

Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. One day you can find yourself being told you have two weeks to live.

Lighter Than My Shadow is the hand-drawn graphic memoir of British artiest and writer Katie Green's struggle and recovery; a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness. 

Green delicately deals with the important real-world topics of eating disorders and sexual assualt in a sensitive, honest, and memorable way. Previously published in England, Lighter Than My Shadow has received reviews in The GuardianStylist Magazine, and Bella Magazine, and was named the Best Graphic Novel of 2017 by Amazon.

Now, Green opens up about the last year of promoting her touching graphic memoir as well as the her reflection on its release. Lighter Than My Shadow is currently available at all major wholesale and retailer outlets. To order copies for your store or library, please contact your DBD Sales Representative.

Ashley Kronsberg: What has the feedback been like since Lighter Than My Shadow has released? IT has been given a lot of press and praise, how has that impacted you as the writer of the story and as the person the story was written about?

Katie Green: It’s been so lovely to hear and read such positive feedback about the book, but it’s also quite surreal: I struggle to take it in sometimes. It’s a wonderful compliment, and it makes me so happy that people are connecting with the book in the way I’d hoped. 

Ashley Kronsberg: Lighter Than My Shadow deals with the topics of eating disorders and sexual abuse, but it is ultimately a story of bravery, strength and recovery. What was it like putting this story on paper when you first started writing compared to now when you have the finished product?

Katie Green: I didn’t really stop to think what it was like to put the story on paper. It just felt like something I needed to do. Now it’s out in the world and I’ve had chance to think I wonder if I should have done it, but it’s too late now! I’m glad I didn’t think too much and just put it out there, otherwise the book might not have happened. But it is odd to think about how much of my life is out there in public.

Ashley Kronsberg: The graphic novel is an interesting format to use to depict your memoir. What led you to decide to use graphic literature to tell your story as opposed to the traditional novel? Can we expect more graphic novels from you in the future?

Katie Green: When I read my first graphic novel it was like discovering I could speak a new language, and I knew immediately it was the right format for this story I wanted to tell. It’s the perfect medium for expressing an experience like mental illness which is so real to the sufferer, but often invisible to those on the outside. In comics you can transition seamlessly between ‘reality’ and visual metaphor in a way that no other medium can. I’d definitely like to explore this language more in the future so yes, I hope there might be another graphic novel one day.

Check out a preview of Lighter Than My Shadow below: