We are this close to choosing the book cover! And while that is exciting, I am distracted by a conversation that I had last night with a dear friend, and fellow author. Her debut book is a novel based on a true story, and some of our content is similar. She has been a wonderful support and mentor as the publication date for Girl on the Right: Memoir of a Life Upside Down approaches.
My friend has shared the highlights and pitfalls of being involved in certain online communities, as well as what to prepare for after my book launch. You see, there are people in the world who believe if you write about your experiences with childhood sexual abuse (CSA), you are somehow advocating and peddling child porn. This took me by surprise, as I had not thought of such a thing. If anything, survivors who break their silence are working to prevent CSA. Am I wrong here?
I have been warned that there will be haters among my readers, and haters who never read my book. Her experience involved death threats, the sabotaging of online reviews, and complaints to Amazon. Her book was even pulled for a number of months so that Amazon could investigate these claims. All because a group of spineless, hateful, mean-spirited people made it so. She missed out on book sales and promotion time, and more importantly, she missed out on spreading her message of survival. It is a profound novel, and I am proud to own a copy.
After our conversation, I chewed on her advice, guidance, and experience. It pissed me off, quite honestly, that she was bullied, more than bullied, because she told the truth. How messed up is that? I realize that reading on this topic is tough, but last I knew, we have the freedom to choose what we read and buy. Nobody is forced to read anything they don’t want to. In addition, her book comes with multiple warnings about triggers for survivors, and that it contains graphic details that are difficult to read. But I still own it. I haven’t read past page 61, but that’s about me, not her. I will finish it because, aside from the topic, it is great writing.
Here is my disclaimer: My book contains possible triggers for survivors of CSA. While it isn’t ALL about my abuse, the topic is covered. My writing about it is purposeful, and not just to shock and hook. I am not that controversial, honestly. My origins are an integral part of the woman who stands before you today. I can’t change what happened to me, but I can do everything, including using my voice and words, to support and uplift others who have/are dealing with the same thing. I’ve sat in silence, whether self-imposed or not, for far too long. I will never be silenced or bullied by assholes. EVER.