Sarah Rennie Deborah Henderson had never intended to publish and share her stories, though she has been writing for years. It took a special nudge from someone very dear for her to complete and publish her first novel, The Missing Pieces. A former Valley resident with many ties to the region, she first released the book in May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, as the novel focuses on a woman and her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s a subject Henderson knows all too well. Deborah Henderson’s book, The Missing Pieces, received first prize in the thriller category at an awards ceremony held October 25. (Photo: Courtesy of Deborah Henderson) “Though it is not my story, I have been there,” says Henderson, who has had to come to terms with a number of traumatic experiences in her life. “I know I am not alone, but I know the emotional impact that PTSD can have on your life,” Henderson says. “My healing journey has begun, and I’m confident that sharing my book and story will bring hope and courage to others who suffer silently.” A psychological thriller told in the first person, The Missing Pieces takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster as the main character, Bobby, tries to cope with the traumatic events of her past while piecing her life back together. On October 25, the book received first prize in the thriller category at an awards ceremony in Columbus, Ohio, held by Author Academy Elite, which has been described as a “collaborative publishing company.” Henderson says she was genuinely shocked when her name was called. To be nominated, she relied on public support to vote her book into the Top 10 in her category. “There was stiff competition, doctors, teachers, and people who had written and published many books,” Henderson says. “I never dreamed this could happen.” She admits to being surprised by the support her book has received. “Fifteen years of emotional pain was poured into those pages, and I think it has touched people’s hearts. I have met so many others at my events who are just like me. It has been wonderful to share each other’s stories and then hugs.” Henderson is particularly aware of the support she has received from the Valley. “Thank you to everyone for being here for me,” she says, noting she will continue to write. The book can be purchased online, and Huntingdon’s Little Green Library has a copy.