RCBC student publishes novel to spread mental health awareness
Monday, Jan 23, 2023

Has creativity ever struck in hard times?

For Computer Science major Josh Seagraves, taking a step in a creative direction over the course of the pandemic led to the completion of his debut novel, Carol, Contemporary Dread.  The anthological-style narrative centers around the perils of making mistakes and going through major changes as a young person, facing issues such as isolation, anxiety and grief. 

Seagraves explained that the idea for the novel stemmed from the feeling of new issues piling up daily during quarantine, and he turned to writing as a cathartic outlet, “one story at a time.” While many topics were based on his own experiences, he also expressed challenges faced by friends, family and fellow students. 

While Josh has been writing on and off for about three years, he takes a large sum of inspiration from the potential of helping others with his work. “The slight anonymity of just writing down your feelings can connect to a lot more people who have similar issues that are difficult to express,” he explained in one interview, conveying the zeal for letting others know that they are not alone in their struggles. In this sense, he feels that reaching others and feeling mutually heard can each alleviate the pressure that is so often induced by feelings of isolation.

In terms of his other interests, Josh enjoys writing larger, more narrative pieces with a focus on mystery. In the case of his latest release, he thought more outside of the box in order to reach his audience and connect with those who feel similarly.

Concerning the main message of the novel, Josh explained that his primary goal was to let readers know that they are not alone. “You may have a lot of issues, things that pile up in your life, but there will always be another chance to solve them. You may feel like you’re drowning, but there will always be a chance to learn from your mistakes and escape from the dread of it all.” 

As such, his target audience for the novel was fellow college students contending with the same struggles expressed in the story. Mental wellness was of particular interest to Seagraves during the writing process, especially in terms of conveying how common mental health issues are. Seagraves’ novel serves as a resource to aid others in feeling validated and seen by the media they consume. For the young author, helping other people has always been his biggest inspiration.

In addition to being a computer science major, Josh explained that he will always be interested in pursuing writing further into life. He’d like to learn more about his peers and their struggles, and even penn another novel to promote togetherness in a collection of shared strife. This way, he’d like to spread awareness among his generation that mental health is not something to hide, and that sharing in common struggles can bring immense strength.


For more information on Student Support and mental health at RCBC, visit rcbc.edu/student-support