Last night, I finally finished my book. All 301 pages and 94,000 words of it. A friend had offered to edit it for me since she read my other book about my mother’s death. The book she said, was so well written, that she cried for quite some time after.
“I felt what you felt,” she said after I apologized for making her cry. “Isn’t that the point of good story telling? I’d love to read your next book.”
94,000 is a lot of words. It’s the most I’ve ever written. I sent it to her because I was starting to doubt myself as a writer. The book seemed impossible to finish. And then I realized, I had become so attached to it, that I just didn’t want to let it go.
Other writers get like this too. You become emotionally attached to your characters that you sometimes fall in love with them. This was true for me with all of the main characters. Even the main, Ned Mitchell, who was modelled after my abusive ex in a lot of ways. But also not. I made him devilishly handsome, with mean streak. But also self-loathing and a lot of things that I have felt over the years because of my love for certain things.
Every person I met that had a problem with my lifestyle, got thrown into the book. Every conversation I had about things like power exchange, control, and abuse in relationships, got thrown in there too. It was to the point that I hated myself for my life choices for a long time. I resented those who told me my relationships were wrong. And I pushed down a part of myself for a long time. Ignoring needs that were part of who I am.
When I wrote scenes for Madison, the young girl in the story, my heart ached for her. I cried writing the scenes of abuse and manipulation. Because they were inspired by scenes I had gone through at that age.
I knew that I wanted a happy ending for the girl, and so, their stories are not finished yet. The book is a two part book and there are more parts to the story coming. For now, I need a break. And this resulted in me writing a new character named Mark Moreau. A handsome doctor who falls hopelessly in love with her. He helps her grow into the person she’s meant to be. And helps her learn what love really is.
He showed kindness to her, in a world that wasn’t especially kind.
While the writing process was therapeutic, it drained me. It became an obsession. I had to finish it. Yet I put it off. I didn’t know how to end it. I wanted to give Madison McAllister the happy ending she deserved. But to grow into the person I want her to become, she needs to endure more trauma. More conflict. Because that’s how we grow and learn as people in real life.
There are recurring themes in throughout the book that became very clear early on.
You do anything for family. Especially your chosen family.
Family doesn’t have to be blood related. You can choose those that you spend time with and care about. You’d do anything to protect your family secrets. Family is everything. The brotherhood bond is so powerful that it can make things happen without even trying.
Everyone has a bit of demon inside them.
They can be coerced when pushed far enough, to give into their darkest desires. And the Devil is always there. Listening. Waiting. Pushing for you to succumb to your darkest self. Give into their lusts and hunger. Booze, drugs, sex – are all main themes here.
I used a lot of inspiration from every horror movies I’ve seen, pulling ideas from The Exorcist, The Omen, and even Possession. But with a much more adult theme. As the three main characters do have a bond. A deep bond. A lust for an exchange of power. Dominance and submission. And they learn to embrace this part of themselves. They were born with it inside of them.
It’s more about control and pushing each other’s limits. And choosing to do what’s right, over what you fantasize about.
Madison turns to the lifestyle because as an empath, she feels too much. She doesn’t know how to cope with the emptiness or pain from losing her mother at a young age. And so, she turns to men like Ned for comfort and pays for it dearly.
Drama and conflict – plenty of it
But a book wouldn’t be good without drama and conflict. And conflict for our main man, Ned Mitchell, is that he loathes himself. Has a deep hatred for the kinks and those dark thoughts that runs through his mind. Yet, he can’t help the way he is because it stemmed down from years of abuse from his own father.
A snippet, a peek into Ned’s self loathing. Warning. It’s vulgar. I’m vulgar too.
The story isn’t finished yet. I’ve got ideas on what I want to happen next. That’s the problem with fiction. You change one detail. One storyline. And the whole book can change.
And so…today, I breathed a sigh of relief. I can work on other things for a little while. Take a breather from the darkness of the story. Perhaps work on some smut or general fiction. Maybe dip into other Norse mythology and folklore. Like the magic of elves and fairies.
Writing about the devil and demons honestly took a lot out of me. Are they real? I have my doubts. But the more I wrote, the more obsessed I became with it. Stopping only for essential bodily functions some days in between writing. It was like I was in a trance for two solid weeks. I could hear their voices in my head. Played their scenes as I laid down to sleep.
And when they cried, I cried too. For two solid weeks. I cried. It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I can breathe again. And for the moment, I can, like Madison McAllister, just be.
Trauma and healing
I will note that there is one scene in particular that was really hard for me to write. A scene where Madison goes through some serious trauma. It was inspired by my own trauma and my heart broke for her while writing it. She will get her happy ending one day. The happy ending I always dreamed of for me. Writing this scene out on paper, was one of the most cathartic things I could have done for myself.
The traumatizing experience towards the end of the book is a work of fiction. However. What happened to Madison up on the Cross, happened to me in real life. The rest of the trauma, the beatings and the rape, happened on separate occasions. I combined three major traumas of my life into one.
It freed me.
If you’d like to read more of my writings, I’m self publishing for now on Smashwords. The books are free for a limited time.
A story of grief, love and saying goodbye.