I’ve been asked by those in the know why I chose to write about such a dark theme in my novel, and the answer is, ‘I really don’t know.’
With NaNoWriMo, you’re supposed to begin with nothing more than a glimmer of an idea, maybe one character, and that’s it. All I had was the idea of an isolated kid, somewhere in England. On Day 1, I started writing, and without really knowing why, it developed into a tale of physical abuse and psychological torment. After reading the excerpt in last week’s newsletter, one of my former proffessors at the U.E.A. had this to say:
“I cannot bear the thought of violence against children, and I’m sorry to say that your first paragraph actually put me off (buying the book). But that is not your fault, that is to do with me and my lovely five-year old. The thought of anyone lifting a hand against a small and gentle creature like her makes me well-nigh sick. So here is the question: why begin with such a violent image?”
It’s a very valid question, and I suppose my answer is that I wanted to start out with a strong, shocking scene. She also added this:
“Your writing of it is powerful, don’t get me wrong.”
So I guess it worked. I’ve always had an abhorrence for any form of child abuse, and in fact for fifteen years I had a Direct Debit set up with the N.S.P.C.C, that great British Children’s Charity. Since my story took on such a dark and abusive theme, I’ve now decided to donate 10% of all royalties I make from sales to the N.S.P.C.C. It’s the very least I can do.
Before you ask, I have no personal experience of such heinous crimes, but I sympathize greatly with anyone that does. By donating my little bit to such a great cause, you’ll also know that a little of your hard earned money, that you’ve so kindly spent on my book, also goes towards helping kids that need it the most. If you are not buying my book, you can still donate to this worthy cause HERE
Below is a slideshow of a few stark and terrible statistics about child abuse in the U.K.
Just scroll left or right to see.