How witnessing autopsies influenced my writing (Author Interview)
I am honored to be interviewed by Feed My Reads!
Here's an excerpt:
Tell us about your book:
The Enemy’s Keeper series follows an otherwise unremarkable English peasant, Heather, who becomes torn between two sides of a rebellion as embodied by two young men, Matthew and Toby. The setting is 1075AD England, during the last serious revolt against William the Conqueror’s rule in England. Matthew is a Norman squire loyal to the king, while Toby is an English rebel. As the story progresses, Heather must side with one of the two men and, therefore, one side of the rebellion.
There are several slow-burn clean romances intertwined with adventure and suspense- my favorite kind of story! While the target audience is young adult, many older readers have enjoyed beta reading my book.
The Enemy Keeper series came as a need to process the suffering I saw in my patients and their families during my medical training. As a pathology resident, I witnessed nearly a hundred forensic autopsies. This grueling experience was my strongest drive to write. I saw bodies from suicides, infanticides, stabbings, fires, drownings, car accidents, and more. I saw the outcomes of incredible evil and tragedy. Over and over, I wished for a different ending for these victims, for someone or something to have stopped the final, fatal event. I also learned, through the reports of police, that often the perpetrators of such atrocities were not simply born depraved and thoughtless. There was often a backstory- of mental illness, betrayal, abuse, and heartbreak.
I removed my angst from the 21st century and moved it back to a setting nearly 1,000 years ago. It was far enough not to trigger my tears from my forensics rotations, and still close enough for my characters to be relatable. Homicide and death were commonplace during times of great upheavals, such as following the Norman conquest of England. How did people back then cope? Through my characters, I could explore what may have driven ordinary people into acts of the unthinkable. I could fantasize about alternative endings to disastrous events. Someone did step in. Children were saved. My lead characters, all orphans or outcasts, discovered the heroes in themselves.
And most of all, my characters held onto hope in humanity despite the pain they witnessed and experienced. This is the hope I also hold on to, especially given what is happening in the world.
Read the rest of the interview here!