Sky-Bound Misfit Flies High At Book Launch
The wind blew and the windows rattled as the season's first snow storm spun its way through the streets of this tiny mountain village and Jita's Cafe filled with curious characters from all across Canada. Skis tucked away, toques hung on hooks, chatter abound, books being signed, the buzz of creative minds is nothing new in Golden B.C. and on this day I had the honour of hosting the party.
A book launch to an author is a celebration of not only a finished story, but of the journey that made it possible for the finish line to be crossed. Sky-Bound Misfit is a story that began within me during the 1980s, while I attended school in the legendary High School of Montreal building. Although my novel is a work of fiction, my life experiences are what brought this book into fruition. The challenges I dealt with as a teen, such as building friendships and first love/rejection, as well as bullying, sexual assault, and depression, were not unique to me and this is where I drew my inspiration from. I wanted to add my voice to the chorus and to help bring awareness to how these challenges can change a person's life path and influence their choices.
Sky-Bound Misfit is about a teen girl navigating her way through 1980s Montreal. It deals with some tough topics, including bullying and sexual assault, but it also highlights the possibility to overcome the after-effects from such difficult events.
Although my book is a work of fiction, the events in it are based on my own experiences of assault-related trauma during my teen years. The trauma that I experienced is not unique to me. Many teens face similar traumatic events. Most of us never talk about it. We stay silent because silence, we think, silence will cover up the shame we feel and make it go away. This is understandable, but it doesn’t work.
For me, the assault that I was a victim of had after-effects that I struggled with for many years - that I still struggle with. I had to change schools in the middle of grade 10. I stopped caring about my education and almost didn’t graduate. I became depressed and angry. I went from being a studious and polite Corey Hart fan at the age of 13 to being a rebellious raging anarchist at age 15. By the age of 17 my parents had given up on me and I was committed to youth protection services. By the age of 19 I had developed a bad case of social anxiety that I struggled with for many years.
Yet somehow I’m a survivor.
Somewhere along the way I learned that I had control over my life. That I could change my path if I wanted to. So I decided I wanted to. I took back the reigns.
At the age of 21, as a young mother with a two year old, I enrolled in college. From there I went on to get a bachelor and master degree. I travelled and lived all over the world. I manage my dream business: consulting, proof-reading and copy editing for new authors.
I learned to live again. To be happy again. And I learned to love again.
It took a lot of work, but I did it. And so can others.
This book was a story that I just could not NOT write. I want survivors to know that they are not alone and that they too can take hold of the reigns and not only survive but they can thrive.
Perhaps most of all though, through my writing I hope to contribute my part in changing society so it becomes a safer place for teens. I hope that in the future teens will not be faced with the challenges that I had to deal with as a teen. We are far from there yet, but we are on the right path. We'll get there.
Before I sign off, I’d like to emphasize that we all have a story to tell in us. It took me years to finally write my own because it is HARD to get it out on paper!
I chose to write it as fiction because it is the message that matters most to me, and I didn’t want to tell the real-life stories of others as they cross into my own story.
If you have a story that you'd like to tell, this is something I can help you with. Check out ThoughtDoodles for details.
I also do presentations and readings. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a date.