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Monday, July 8, 2013

A Little About Me and My Crazy Book

Hi everyone.  First of all, thank you so much for all of the support and enthusiasm in the past two weeks since Escape from Paradise published!  With a story of this nature I was extremely nervous and didn't know what to expect.  I know there are disturbing parts - believe me, I was uncomfortable as I wrote them, but in my mind they were necessary to the plot.  Even so, I had to get a pep talk from my friend before each scene early in the story, needing her to push me through it.

You see, "in real life" I'm not a gritty, badass, hardcore woman.  I'm sort of a softie.  I work with teens and I rarely curse.  I giggle a lot and I embarrass easily.  My television can be found on Disney Junior at any given time (for my kids, not me, I swear).  

Strange to imagine for those of you who have read my book, huh?  And for those who know me?  I'm afraid for them to read it.  In a moment of desperation for editing eyes prior to publication, I had my husband read the story.  He laughed at my lack of gun knowledge and helped me out with some of Colin's scenes.  But I still get funny looks from him sometimes. . . like he's not sure if he should be turned on or disturbed by me.  Perhaps a little of both.  Poor guy.  But I tried to warn him ahead of time.  It's some shocking stuff that came out of my head.

So, where did I get the idea?

Years ago when Natalie Holloway disappeared from Aruba, her family was on Dr. Phil (back when I watched grown up stuff on television now and then).  There was discussion and speculation that she was possibly sold into sexual slavery.  I remember being terrified at the thought, and horrified on behalf of her parents.  But one little thought bubbled up from that - I thought, Well, if she is still alive, then maybe there's a chance of escape or rescue!  At least if she were alive somewhere, there might still be hope.  But I suppose that would have depended on her circumstances.  Death is preferable to some lives.  

Over the years I was morbidly intrigued by these thoughts.  About how a "normal American girl" like her or me or you would fare in that kind of kidnapping scenario.  How long would it take to break someone down?  What kind of atrocities would a "master" perform to psychologically break down a slave, and to make him/her loyal?  And what would life be like after slavery for one who was rescued?  These are all questions that were swirling around in my mind for a long, long time before details of this story began to emerge and take over my imagination.

I would never make light of sexual slaver.  Ever.  The sex trade is real, and it's disgusting.  My husband just forwarded an article to me this week about news that surfaced about a former powerful dictator's secret life as a slaver.  It made me ill and so terribly sad.  As I say in the book, there is nothing sexy about rape.  For those who worry that I'm exploiting the sex trade or trying to romanticize it, I assure you my intentions are the opposite. 

Please keep in mind that Escape from Paradise is a work of fiction meant to be about facing one's demons - a story where we can explore the mind's many dimensions and how sexuality plays into that. And it's a story about how love and hope can rise up out of the ashes of something horrible.  Because that, ultimately, is something I believe in.  Love and hope.

Thank you and take care,


  1. I loved escape from paradise!! I hope you write a sequel about Angela and Colin!
    I read that NY Post article on Khadafy. Insane!! So very sad.

  2. I am really excited to read this. Every review I have seen, they loved it and I love stories like this even though they are terrible. I love Captive In The Dark by CJ Roberts.