Monday, February 4, 2013

The Inspiration Behind Twisted....

The inspiration behind Twisted...
I’ve been debating for a while whether or not to post this, but today seems fitting. My husband passed away…six years ago today…and I don’t want to sound like a complete downer but in a very roundabout way it inspired this story. And I do mean VERY roundabout…

February 4, 2007 he passed away, quite unexpectedly. A few months later I was watching TV. It may have been Dateline. It may have been a similar show. That particular episode was about someone wrongfully convicted of the murder of someone close to them. It’s been so long I honestly don’t remember the details, if they were male or female, young or old. They were an adult (I think it might have been a parent convicted of killing their child but I won't swear to that because I really don't remember). They did go to prison. They did face horrible, horrible harassment from people who believed in their guilt--some people do seem to go quite out of their heads--I mean, they were insanely cruel. This person was eventually cleared but they paid (legally and emotionally) for a crime they didn’t commit. The story was utterly heartbreaking.

Obviously it’s horrible to lose someone but sadly, it happens. What I couldn’t get out of my head was the agony of someone wrongfully accused of the murder of a loved one. That was like a trifecta of terrible:
*Knowing they were not just gone, but brutally murdered.
*Being wrongfully accused when you know you are innocent.
*Facing the wrath of those who don’t believe you.

I mean, it’s hard enough to deal with a death. I knew that. And that's why it made it so hard to comprehend the horror of what that person went through. Throw in those factors and it was just unfathomable to me at the time...the immense amount of heartache that would cause. So  a few weeks later I started writing Twisted. And so, there it is. That’s how the idea of Ben was born.

At first I’d planned on writing the book from alternating POVs but decided I couldn’t give Ben an authentic enough voice that way--I just couldn't fathom that kind of pain (even though at the time, I was still an emotional mess). However, with Maya, who could relate to what he was feeling, I hoped I could. I know some people love Maya, some thought she was too aggressive. I feel like she was what she needed to be for the situation. She was the only one who could relate to what he’d been through and because of that, she understood what he needed. Even when he didn't.

As for the names…Our youngest son wasn’t very old at the time. Maya had been one of our first choices for a girl. Ben was my first choice for a boy. We ended up not using it but when I wrote this story, I was able to use my two favorite names.

Lastly, and ironically, I never meant for the book to be about bullying. It was more about rumors and lies. It was about how much grief could change a person. It was about people turning against you. And having that one person never stop believing in you. But because of the age group, it came across as bullying. I wanted to touch on how people deal with grief in so many ways. Some learn and grow from it. Some withdraw completely. Some let it control them--they do things they never would've done before. Because it can be hard to think clearly and keep perspective.

So that’s it. Probably more than anyone wanted to know. Other than, I did write this in 2007 and it sat in a drawer until May 2012 (along with several other stories I've written over the years, most of which I am polishing up so I can publish soon).  I guess I wrote it more for therapy than anything (because writing is what I do for fun and to clear my head)...then proceeded to forget about it until I was looking for a flashdrive.

2 comments:

  1. I just finished the book and was so moved by the story that I just had to know what was behind it- so here I ended up!

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

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  2. Amity, that is the best therapy I think; making something productive and helpful out of a bad\sad situation. I'm so sorry about your husband. You know I love Twisted. It was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story!

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