In HUNTED, Caitlyn's brother Daniel is missing; he hasn't been seen (and she hasn't felt him through their psychic connection) since the night their father was murdered, and a woman snatched Daniel.
When I wrote that scene and the backstory around it, I was using some of the things that influenced my life but turning them around. I have a younger brother who I was close to, just as Caitlyn was close to Daniel. But I'm an incest survivor and ritual abuse survivor--my parents abused me--so when I turned 16, I ran away from home to escape the abuse. I would wonder how my brother was, and if he wondered where I was. I took that experience and turned it around in HUNTED; instead of Caitlyn running away, I had her brother be the one who'd been missing for years, and Caitlyn the one who was left behind, always looking for him, wondering if he was okay.
I think the emotion and emotional truths that we put into our writing help make the stories more powerful--something that resonates with readers. I drew on my emotion and my past to write that scene, but mixed it up using creativity.
Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she's going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.
Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher: WestSide Story
Published: December 15th 2011
I love to read. Books nurture me, helped me survive the abuse I endured as a child and teen. I also love to write. I write fantasy books and edgy, realistic fiction for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while my realistic fiction is gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through...things that I think shouldn't be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength.
In SCARS (WestSide, 2010), Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself before it's too late. It's my arm on the cover. There's a lot of me in SCARS; like my main character, Kendra, I am an incest survivor, I used self-harm to cope, and I'm queer. In my teen paranormal fantasy/dystopian, HUNTED (WestSide, Oct 2011), Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where that is illegal, and she must choose between saving herself or saving the world. Like Caitlyn, I know what it's like to have my life threatened, to face oppression, to experience torture, and to break free from cult or from a group of oppressors. And I know what it's like to have to decide between hiding my true self or being who I am, even if that means danger to myself. I drew on my experience with cults and ritual abuse in creating the world that Caitlyn lives in.
In STAINED, my upcoming YA novel from Harcourt (2013), Sarah, who has a port wine stain and some body image issues, is abducted and must find a way to rescue herself. Like Sarah, I was often imprisoned for long periods of time as a child, had my life threatened, and had to rely on my own strength to survive.
Books were my survival during my childhood, and my journey into myself. Books give me hope. I hope mine will give you hope, too, or something that you need.
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