Sunday, September 30, 2012
If you were expecting The Last Resort...
If you were expecting another woman in jeopardy, frantically trying to escape her abusive husband, with the aid of another man (cop, new love, whatever) then you're not. That's been done. And in real life, it just doesn't happen.
I didn't want to write about a victim, but a survivor. And not just a survivor, a fighter.
And Carrie - the heroine - is a fighter.
I wanted to write about the person you can become down the road, but in a way that was both entertaining and slightly more realistic. And yes, I based Carrie's Rescue Rangers on a group I read about a long time ago - retired cops and ex-military who joined together to help victims escape their circumstances. I'm not sure what happened to them, whether - faced with the reality of the situation, the lack of support that forces too many women to return to their abusers - they just fell apart or quit.
A lot of The Last Resort is based on reality, including the main story. The missing girl was based on someone I knew and worked with - one day she just wasn't there. I never found out what happened to her. That was woven into the sub-story - also based on reality and taking place in the same time frame.
I also wanted a non-traditional hero, someone comfortable enough in his own skin to accept that the woman he loved was strong enough to take care of herself, but she'd still need him to be there for her. A stand-up guy. As one reviewer said "not your traditional hero, but I think you'll find him attractive." Not that he doesn't struggle with the situation.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a survivor of domestic violence myself and have struggled with PTSD for years as a result of it (just as Carrie does), but I have to be honest and admit I get tired of the expectation of victim-hood. The next person who tried to lay a hand on me in violence I stuck a fork into his arm - yep, he was done. I also studied jujitsu so the next time I'd know how to fight back more effectively.
In the face of that life-long expectation of victim-hood, I wanted to create a heroine who would inspire survivors to believe that they could not only survive but thrive. That they didn't have to be victims. That they did nothing wrong except trust that the person who said that he/she loved them truly did. That's not a sin, and it shouldn't be a life-long sentence. It can be changed. I'm neither special nor unique.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner.
Despite the grim statistics, The Last Resort was written to be an entertaining, upbeat book. As a reviewer said, "a story that is real; maybe too real in some ways. I came to know the main character, Carrie, and felt like I was present in everything she was going through in the story. Some things in this world are hard to hear but need to be said. This story does that. And huge props for the author in creating a pretty big cast of supporting characters, each with their own personalities. It’s a crazy, scary, fun gang of people that are both emotionally present and will kick butt for their closest friends. As a romantic suspense, it covers both pretty well and though Carrie’s love interest is not a story book stud, I think you’ll find him attractive. There were some very nice settings in this story and a great wrap up at the end. Overall an enjoyable read."
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Last Resort will be free Oct 5-7.
20% of all proceeds from The Last Resort will go to aid victims of Domestic Violence. (Once it's no longer free, of course!)