Questions and Answers
"New Beginnings" Q & A
Your book deals with an all-too-familiar story - a woman abused and seemingly trapped in a marriage.
Yes. And it happens all the time to millions of women throughout this country and the world. The abuse varies and can be verbal, emotional and physical. Alcohol and drug abuse not only affect the abuser but every member of the household.
You say you started writing this book at the suggestion of your therapist. Was your own abuse a catalyst?
I have lived with, and have been surrounded by, alcohol and drug abuse most of my life. So yes, I have been a victim of abuse. I started writing down my feelings and experiences at the recommendation of my therapist. At the time, I had no direction or intention for my writing. But after it was suggested by a dear friend that I write a novel, I decided to write New Beginnings.
The question always remains, why do women stay in abusive relationships?
The reasons why women stay are very complicated. Fear is a big factor. Many women believe that if they attempt to leave, there will be more physical harm. Abused women often feel guilty about the abuse . . . that they somehow deserve it for not fulfilling the needs of their spouses. Their self-esteem is low, there is the matter of shame and they may fear being alone and, as difficult as it is to imagine these women love their spouses. They believe they can change them and frequently just accept the promise of change.
As we can see in the news, even strong women take abuse from their husbands; strong affluent women like Hillary Clinton, for example. There's a perfect case of standing by a man who has publicly humiliated his wife.
Yes, and it is a good example of domestic abuse knowing no social or economic boundaries. It can happen to anyone.
Although your main character is a woman, you say that abuse can happen to men, too?
Abuse happens to men as well as to women, though for men it is not often reported. My book could have been about an abused man. However, since I was writing about my abusive marriage I used the female point-of-view, and decided to place a female as the main character.
While exploring the abuses, your book also exposes the darker, even criminal side of some adoptions.
I put the issue of illegal adoptions into my main character's life. There are many adopted children who will face similar situations involving biological parents being revealed and circumstances of their adoption.
Is there any statement you would like your book to make?
That life is not written and played out like a fairy tale. There isn't always a happy ending, but there is always hope and the opportunity to have New Beginnings.
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