WSU student writes for cybercrime and mental health awareness

WSU+student+Heaven+Love+self-published+her+first+book+%22Cyber+Spy%22%2C+which+is+set+to+release+April+4.+This+is+the+first+book+in+the+series.

Courtesy of Heaven Love

WSU student, Heaven Love, self-published her first book "Cyber Spy", which is set to release April 3. This is the first book in the series.

Wichita State junior Heaven Love self-published her book, “Cyber Spy,” which is set to release April 3.

Love began her writing journey at age five and hasn’t stopped since. Originally from Edmund, Oklahoma, she moved to Wichita after high school to attend Wichita State, where she is now majoring in integrated marketing communication and minoring in English. 

Her book, written for young adults, is a mystery novel following protagonist Rebekkah Rye as she begins a journey to stop a mysterious character, Gray, who is building an exploitation empire by abusing a fictional 24/7 livestreaming app.

Though fictional, “Cyber Spy” deals with several important real-life issues, including domestic violence, stalking, cybercrime, mental health, and suicide prevention.

Love constructed her book through personal experience and three years of research. She started writing it during her senior year of high school back in Edmund.

As a result of the thorough research, the reader finds themself in a fictional setting with real emotion they can actually relate to.

“I enjoy doing research, especially because there are some mental illnesses that I don’t personally know or have that I wanted to incorporate into the book, so I wanted to do as much research to learn about it to accurately describe everything,” Love said.

Some of Love’s topics did not require research. She suffers from PTSD and was cyber-bullied in the past. People sometimes make assumptions towards occurrences like these that are inaccurate. Love said she wrote the book to raise awareness of these issues.

“People make a lot of assumptions about mental illness, and I’ve always been a mental health advocate,” Love said. “There is a stigma attached to them and they just need assistance.”

Love gives this assistance through her deep characterization and in the situations her characters find themselves in. Some of the characters are battling depression, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts. One character comes out as gay. 

The characters, despite their circumstances or mental state, overcome their obstacles — obstacles that the reader, too, can overcome.

Love’s own life is an inspiring story. She was hospitalized last year, but that didn’t stop her.

“This time last year, I was in the hospital for mental health issues, and now this time the following year, I have a book published,” she reflected.

Love’s story and book remain a real voice for those needing help. She prevailed, and like her characters, overcame her challenge to prove that recovery is possible.

“That is something I want the book to talk about, whether it’s mental health, suicide, depression, is that you have to hang in there because a lot can change over a period of time and things will change you won’t be stuck there,” Love said.

She published the book herself and had some help with an editor and cover art design. Love chose the self-publishing company IngramSpark and paid for it herself, but it was all worth it when she got her first copy, she said. 

Still, it can be scary to share such an intimate part of yourself with the world.

“There were multiple times when I wanted to quit because I was thinking about how people were going to take the issues that I tried to inform and educate about,” Love said, “I’d rather have a lot of people hate it but it help someone in a tough situation help encourage that things will get better, help encourage someone to get mental help.”  

Love’s advice to emerging writers and artists is to find inspiration by making time for themselves. She recommends not to worry either, and to trust your voice.

“Cyber Spy” is the first book in a series, and is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. The next book in the series is entitled “Wired Existence.”

An audio version and eBook of “Cyber Spy” is set to be released soon.