I am definitely pushing to launch my book too soon. Everyone close to my project probably thinks I’ve lost my mind. After all, I don’t have the big fan base built yet to properly propel a new book into instant record sales.
Why so soon? Well, for one thing, the book is done. As in – I don’t want to change a thing, can’t stand to look at it another minute, done. And, if I wait to organically build the following that I need, I may be waiting a very long time. I’m not into “buying” fans, so that option is out. So why April 1st?
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The family in my new psychological thriller “Hidden in the Dark”, suffers from the pain of abuse of perhaps the worst kind – sexual abuse of a child by a parent. The very subject of sexual abuse is an extremely uncomfortable one for many. But for the victim, it’s often excruciating, especially if he or she hasn’t had the opportunity to begin the healing process.
When I began to write “Hidden in the Dark”, I had no idea the main characters would be victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and child abuse. I’m not the kind of writer who prepares an outline prior to creating a story. Rather, the characters told me their stories as we went along. There were several points in the process that I questioned whether the words were too much. I knew that the book would be shocking. I felt disturbed even as I put the words onto paper. Several of my beta readers felt the same, but they quickly reassured me that the severity was necessary to tell the story.
As the story developed, I began to wonder how adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse manage to…well, survive. I could imagine the shame, the damage to one’s very foundation caused by such a heinous act. I had moments during the writing process that I felt depression for my characters and had to remind myself that they were indeed fictional. In real life, statistics show that approximately 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of sexual abuse. (https://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics). The number is huge. This means that virtually anywhere you go, at least one person in the room was sexually abused as a child. (I’m not a mathematician, so please don’t knock my logic too much.)
There are many resources to help increase awareness, educate, and heal. However, victims may struggle with shame, depression, fear, and denial of the abuse, which often prevents them from seeking much needed support for healing.
https://laurenskids.org/ is a site that offers education and support. https://laurenskids.org/april-national-sexual-assault-awareness-month-saam-national-child-abuse-prevention-month/ I like Lauren’s Kids because the site gives you real opportunities to get involved including the ability to join the movement and to donate.
To learn more about ways you can help prevent child abuse – https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/
In my story, the victims deal with their abuse in ways that aren’t healthy. And while this may make for a very suspenseful and entertaining story, in real life I want to do my part to support victims of childhood sexual abuse and to increase prevention awareness. I’m making a commitment to donate 100% of my book sales profits for the month of April 2017 to https://laurenskids.org/
I hope you’ll join me to increase awareness and bring light to the pain of that which has been “Hidden in the Dark”.