Exciting and Daunting

February 21, 2016 at 12:29 pm

excitinganddauntingThose of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter may well have seen the news that I will have a new book published this year. The lead up to a new release is always an exciting time for an author, although it can be nerve wracking as well, as I wait to see how my new novel will be received.

It’s especially daunting this time, as my new novel is probably the most personal book I’ll ever write. It’s certainly the most personal I’ve written to date.

Called Once Confronted, it tells the story of a young woman named Maddy who’s on her gap year after high school. She’s working in a bookstore, and while she’s there one day, she becomes the victim of a violent crime.

The reason this book is so personal is because I too, used to work in a bookstore, and one day, while there, I became the victim of a violent crime. Fortunately, the event in my life was less harrowing than Maddy’s, but it meant that I could capture perfectly what the book is really about – that’s her recovery from what’s happened as she deals with the fear that becomes part of her daily life.

It becomes even more personal as Maddy grapples with the idea of forgiving the men who did this to her. This aspect of it is probably what has me the most worried, as I’m sure the idea that she even considers forgiving someone who’s wronged her in this way will be challenging for many people. It was challenging for me to write it, as it’s something I have had to grapple with myself. I have no idea of the identity of the man who held a knife to my wrist that day, and I probably never will know, so in my situation, being sure I’ve forgiven him is difficult. I think I’ve done it, but if he was face to face with me would I still feel that? I hope so.

In a way, I think this book is a challenge to me to make sure I mean it when I say I forgive him. That can be hard in the day to day, when thoughts of fear and danger might take hold and the anger that goes with that comes back. Mine was a long time ago now, so it’s not often that happens to me anymore, but it’s still something I have to be aware of and sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to step away from those kinds of feelings. It’s still hard, even after all these years.

How will my book be received? Some will like it. I’m sure some will not. That’s the same with any book, but considering this one’s subject matter and the buttons I’m sure it will push, it’s no wonder I’m a little nervous!

Are you a writer? What the most personal story you’ve ever written? Are you a reader? Which novels have challenged you the most? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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