Sadie Robertson was in the early stages of working on a book about unity and navigating relationships when a friend’s husband died by suicide. The Duck Dynasty alum realized that she needed to refocus to write about life.
The result is her latest book, Live: Remain Alive, Be Alive at a Specified Time, Have an Exciting or Fulfilling Life, which arrived in stores this week.
Robertson, 22, tells Yahoo Entertainment that seeing that experience up close inspired her to act, and she realized how many others are struggling with a similar situation. But she isn’t a therapist or a counselor, and she thought that writing about the issue of suicide was a job for them, for someone more qualified.
“But I did feel like I am a good friend, and sometimes people just need a friend,” Robertson says. “People just need a reminder of why their life is valuable, why their life has meaning, and ways to prevent getting in such a dark hole that you would begin to think those thoughts.”
She wants her book to be the solution for someone struggling with that.
“This is just a breath of life. This is not the answer, but I do feel like this book is a huge help and a step in the right direction for people who just need to know that their life is worth living and how to turn it around a little bit,” the former Dancing With the Stars contestant says. “I think this book just offers a ton of hope. And that’s why I felt the need to write this book, and this book is so different: because I feel like this message, although we wrote it in a simple way and a very light way, I think that it hits people in really deep places.”
Since her family’s popular A&E show ended in 2017, the Louisiana native has become a best-selling author and leader of the online LO Fam community for women, where she writes about faith and relationships. She married Christian Huff in November, and the two are living mostly in Auburn, Ala.
“We started filming that show around eighth grade and then we finished filming whenever I graduated high school, so it was my whole high school career,” Robertson says.
When she looks back on the experience, she thinks the rollercoaster of being a reality-TV star was “wild and crazy.”
“It’s really cool that my family got to do that together,” Robertson says. “Honestly, it was such a whirlwind that somehow it felt normal at the time, just because whatever happens in your life is your reality, so you’re like, ‘OK, it’s fine.’”
Afterward, she considered moving to Los Angeles, but she decided to focus on being in the entertainment business in a different way.
“I just felt like God has given me this platform and a position to speak to a lot of people, and I really wanted everything I did or said to have a lot of meaning,” Robertson says.
She says acting wasn’t her strong suit anyway, and it didn’t really make her come alive. She discovered that writing books and speaking through her Live Original community, first on YouTube and then on tours, was what what she wanted to do.
When asked, she says that, like everyone, she does sometimes feel misunderstood, in part because she in a vocal about her Christianity.
“A lot of times there’s like, ‘Oh, well you’re this, this and that,, and the truth is, like, I just love Jesus,” Robertson says. “I’m not judging anybody. I actually just hope to love people better.”
She was nervous on the day the book was released, despite having been through it before. She also received some early rave reviews
“You anticipate, ‘OK, I’ve spent so much time on this book, and it really impacted me, but what will impact somebody else?’” Robertson says. “That’s why you write a book, that’s what it’s for. So then to see already that it has … that’s so powerful, so that’s been really exciting and now just for it actually to be out … is an exciting place to be in.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
Related: Newlyweds Sadie Robertson and Christian Huff Share Wedding Photos
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