A note to the reader (translated by T.):
A Million Little Pieces is (not) about my memories of my time in a drug and alcohol treatment center (I passed by one day on my way to Starbucks). As has been accurately revealed by two (bastard) journalists at an Internet Web site, and subsequently acknowledged by me(Oprah made me), during the process of writing the book, I embellished(flat out lied about) many details about my (someone I met at a frat party’s) past experiences, and altered others (I also heard at that party. Man that was a great kegger!) in order to serve what I felt was the greater purpose (my ego) of the book. I sincerely apologize to those readers who have been disappointed by my actions (sorry suckas, no refund for you).
I first sat down to write the book in the spring of 1997 (just after my Mom made me a bitchin’ grilled cheese). I wrote what is now the first forty pages of it (well, what would have been the first forty pages, if that editor didn’t “fix” it). I stopped because I didn’t feel ready to continue to do it (it was nap time), didn’t think I was ready to express some of the trauma I had experienced (My Mom left the crusts on! Can you believe it?). I started again in the fall of 2000. I had been working in the film industry (getting coffees) and was deeply unsatisfied with what I was doing (getting coffees). I had wanted to write books (because some chick said it was cool) and was writing films (because some ex-girlfriend liked Quentin T). I saved enough money (my allowance) to give myself eighteen months (not counting naps) to write the book.
I didn’t initially think of what I was writing as nonfiction or fiction (I didn’t know the difference, and I still don’t), memoir or autobiography (auto…what?). I wanted to use my (well, not mine exactly) experiences to tell my story about addiction (to hot Cocoa with marshmallows) and alcoholism (I drank six beers once, in one night!), about recovery (my tummy hurt from those beers), about family and friends (those kids behind the 7-11 are way cool) and faith and love (for myself), about redemption and hope (I get rich). I wanted to write, in the best-case scenario, a book that would change lives (well, just mine), would help people who were struggling, would inspire them in some way (to pay me). I wanted to write a book that would detail the fight addicts and alcoholics experience in their minds and in their bodies and detail why that fight is difficult to win (or so I heard some drunk complain about when he begged me for some change). I wanted to write a book that would help the friends and family members of addicts and alcoholics understand that fight (because they’re first hand knowledge is not enough).