Plaistow author’s personal struggles inspire book

Slavia Toco Picture: Alfred Bronson

Slavia Toco Picture: Alfred Bronson - Credit: Archant

Artist Flavia Toco has written a book to inspire others through tough times.

The 23-year-old’s first book is in a diary form, expressing the feelings of a young woman suffering from depression.

Flavia, from Plaistow, said the book was prompted by his own experiences.

“I went through a deep depression last year. I lost my friends and it got to the point where I ended up getting a partner, but then when we broke up I ended up back in the place I was before,” she said.

“It was at that point, I thought I didn’t want to be like this and that I wanted to fill myself with love.”

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The University for the Creative Arts graphic design graduate’s book took a twist as it wasn’t his original plan to write about his depression.

“My initial idea was to write a book so young people in the borough would start reading again,” he said.

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“It was originally going to be a book called Neighbourhood Watch, but that all changed because I wanted to release my emotions.”

The book details what the main character, Shannon, was thinking at the time when she made a diary entry and how depression can affect people.

“I would like for the book to be used in several charities and in schools,” Flavia said.

“I’m going to try doing some school tours and eventually I’d like to create my own charity on mental health.”

Flavia hopes the book will help people who don’t know what depression is or those too scared to let anyone know their problems.

“Writing is completely new to me, although I have really enjoyed it,” she said.

“There are a lot of things I have written in the book that most people wouldn’t speak about.”

Shannon’s Diary will be on sale at the Newham Bookshop, in Barking Road, East Ham from Wednesday, August 31.

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