Saturday, January 14, 2012
Guest Post from Author Elle Amberley
The first draft for my latest novel was called Lost and Found in LA. However by the time I'd sent it to my publisher many changes had taken place in my personal life.
Like the main character in the novel I too have had to flee and rebuild my life, which sounds a funny thing to say as I was only a teenager at the time.
I know what it's like to live in fear and the constant questions stirring at the back of your mind. What if the police doesn't get here in time? Will my persecutors find me again despite having changed my name and moved as far as possible?
So, for years, I've shun any publicity, until a couple of years when after a tragic loss I first went a little mad and then found myself again. I remembered who I was and how strong I could be. OK, I digress, that's the inspiration for Lost in Your Time, which is coming out this Spring.
Anyway, this prompted a renewal and a discovery, I started blogging on a site called Women on the Verge and as I opened up on there, I realized that by doing so I was not only helping myself but others too. Yes, talking about your experiences and writing about it can heal you. That said, I have refused on many occasions to write a memoir and will continue doing so.
I regained my confidence and when I threatened to leave my American publisher (all smoothed out now) and was taken on by a new UK press I thought I'd do things differently over here, start again but be more open. I didn't want to fear being recognized anymore. Furthermore I reckoned the "nasties" have grown older and it was time to let go of my childhood ghosts.
My editor kept nagging me to go on Facebook and joining this network was the last barrier for me. I jokingly said now I was on all these sites, there was nowhere left to hide. The moment I said, the little light went on and I rang my editor to explain I wanted to change the title.
Natasha’s story is not my story although there are similarities. I wanted to show “victims” do not have to accept labels, that we can all break the cycle. Sartre said that we always have a choice. Indeed how we react is up to us, we can lay down as victims or pick ourselves up, live to see another day and grow from it.