I’m not sure if you’ve read Running Rings yet. It was my first stand alone in the Ruthless Beings World. It’s the story of a young woman who was held captive for 84 days being raped, barely fed, and having no dignity. It’s the story of how she tries to make sense of her life and her sexuality afterwards, while getting her first job, losing people she loves and pining for a lost love. If you’ve read my books, you’ll know that I keep an arms length and write mostly in omniscient third person. I tried not to indulge in florid language, but to tell you a story like I was talking about someone I know and for you to make up your own mind about a lot of things. It’s not popular, it seems cold and abstract, but it’s how I’ve chosen to write. Breaking the show and tell rule, and sentence structure rules, and others too.
84 days. Why 84 days? I didn’t even realise why that number stuck out to me until I was reading the book. Why 84 days? Probably because for exactly 84 days before I turned 18, I lived in hell. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes hell but it wasn’t far off where Verity was in Running Rings. I had two weeks worth of clothes and some add-ons from an op-shop. I had no money, no friends or family, barely any contact with the outside world, and I was in an undignified state because of a man. I was a prisoner. It was different to where Verity was, because I had a few chances to escape the situation. But instead I chose to appease a man who terrified me, and lie and smile and tell people I was fine even though I wasn’t.
I always thank people who read my books for sharing a piece of my soul. Sometimes they don’t realise how much of you is in your books. My ideology about love, and compassion, and helping people and understanding them runs right through the Ruthless Beings World. I wish I was my main character, Amethyst, all of the time instead of only part of the time. Not to be pretty and wealthy or to have two gorgeous partners, but to be in a position to help people and to overcome the adversity with grace and kindness. All I can do is share and give hope to others. Love. Always love.