Best-selling author brings 'Madness' to Creekside

Marya Hornbacher connected with some more of her many readers Thursday night at Skaneateles's Creekside Books and Coffee. She brought smiles, humor and hope to a subject that usually isn't thought to contain those elements: bipolar disorder.

The author has reached the New York Times best-seller list with her book "Madness: A Bipolar Life." It is a compelling first person account of her life-long experience with the mental illness.

In spring, Hornbacher was invited to come do a reading from the book by Susan Cox, an employee of the store.

"I sent her an email and I said that I really enjoyed her book," Cox said. "We managed to work this out."

Connecting to her audience is a key element to Hornbacher's writing life.

"Writing a book that other people can connect with is your whole purpose as a writer," she said. "Your purpose is not to be known. Your purpose is not to get famous or any of that. Your purpose is to connect with a reader -- one reader out there in the world holding your book in their hands. If you can connect with that one reader effectively you did your job."

On Thursday, Hornbacher had just driven in from New Paltz where she had lectured to 600 people on her book "Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia." This night the 35-year-old from Minneapolis was speaking to an intimate audience of 10 fans. They tucked away between the biography and young adult sections of the cozy store on Fennell Street.

Hornbacher stood behind a wooden podium and read with an intense energy. Manic. Staccato. Hardly ever taking her eyes off the pages to look up. She wrote the book in the same style.

"I was writing the way one writes when one is manic so you can get a sense of what it is like," she said "I was trying to show in the language what the mood state is like."

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