Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Author: Paige Dearth

Since I was young I made up stories in my mind.  It was my ultimate escape from my rough upbringing.  While most children make up stories that bring them joy, my stories were always dark.  These stories, darker than my real-life, helped me to cope.  

Believe Like A Child is a graphic novel.  It’s written in a sexually explicit manner so that readers feel the horror of child abuse, sexual exploitation and rape.  There is nothing pretty or light about these subjects.  However, while the subject matter is harsh, the novel is written so that readers can enjoy a fast paced suspenseful thriller with a sturdy narrative.  

I like reading dark, dramatic fiction novels, stories that makes your guts twist, keeping you on the edge of your seat and making you come back for more.  It’s like watching a horror movie and putting a hand over your eyes with your fingers spread out like the feathers of a peacock because you don’t want to see what will happen next, but you can’t stop yourself from looking.

Believe Like A Child was written as a compelling dramatic thriller.  However, there is a point to this work of fiction that is worth mentioning.  The narrative describes the real horrors of child abuse and how one act of abuse can, and often does, continue throughout a person’s life.  A young victim becomes vulnerable because of their need to validate themselves as a normal person.  It is so easy for the abused to go from one horrible situation into another.  

After reading my book, my hope is that readers will better understand that exercising simple kindness to those in need can be impactful.  Kindness doesn’t have to cost money rather it’s an emotional investment.  

Alessa, the protagonist of Believe Like A Child, craves these moments, small acts of kindness.  They are integral to the story and how she manages to survive on her own.  Like Alessa, we all need and want people to care about us.  It takes little effort to reach people in a way that matters.  I hope Believe Like A Child leaves my readers with an acute awareness of the power they hold.  The next time you are in a store, at work, standing in line at the bank or wherever, and you see someone with that look of sorrow, and we all know that look, just reach out with a pleasant smile or a nice compliment.  It’s in those moments that we can help people instead of pretending that we don’t see them.  Remember, that person could easily, so easily, be you.


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