Friday, October 12, 2012

ῷῷῷ - - THE NEXT BIG THING - - ῷῷῷ

{Thank you, Joyce Juzwik, for inviting me to participate in this project.}

1. What is the working title of your book?

The Rose, The Robe and The Road Back.  I started writing it in last year’s NaNoWriMo competition, under the draft title, The Story Of A Girl.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Several years ago, as part of my therapy, I began writing about the ordeal and other things in my life… coming out of the closet… my mother disowning me when she found out I was a lesbian… the kidnapping… the rapes… the torture… the attempt at suicide… meeting Tina and how she saved me… rebuilding my life… the passing of my mother… all these things.  I filled dozens of journals and composition books.  Both Tina and Dr. Kay said I should write a book about what happened… that I should tell my story… the story of a survivor.  This book was their idea, but it was my mother who motivated and inspired me to see their idea to fruition.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Non-fiction… autobiographical… it is a memoir.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ask me this question when I publish my first fiction novel.  I won’t ever sell the movie rights to my own life. 

I will say this, though.  Were I so inclined, I would not choose any of the ‘big names’… the ‘A-listers’.  There are many incredibly talented actors and actresses out there who we hardly ever hear about… people who can act circles around most of the so-called Hollywood celebrities.  These are the people I would choose.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The story of a young woman, kidnapped in the waning days of the summer of 2005, her six months of captivity at the hands of a sadistic ex-boyfriend and his psychopathic girlfriend - during which time she was subjected to unspeakable brutalities - and the road back. This is my story.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Most likely, I will self-publish.  I am not willing to give up creative control and change how the book is written, which a couple of editors have advised me I would have to do if I expected a traditional publisher to pick up my story.  I won’t tell them how or what to publish if they won’t try to tell me how to tell a story.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I finished a little over half of it, about 54,000 words in less than a month... this was my NaNoWriMo novel last year… and about three months to finish it.  Since then, I have gone on to a second and third draft.  I am hoping to publish some time next year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s hard to answer.  I am, of course, aware of other books that deal with this subject matter, but I haven’t read them or even read the reviews.  Shattered by Debra Puglisi Sharp, Anita Wooldridge’s Eight Days in Darkness and Lucky by Alice Sebold come to mind, as well as Elizabeth Smart’s book. 

I know exactly how I want to tell my story and I am not an experienced enough writer to believe that my ‘voice’ might not be tainted, so to speak, by reading these other books.  Does that make sense?  I’m not sure how to explain it better.  I still have ‘holes’ in my memories and I guess I just don’t want to read of similar events and then later wonder if my reading of those stories has influenced my own story… if I created false memories. 

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My mother.  She imbued in me so many things, chief among them a strong sense of justice, courage and the strength to overcome.  I survived my ordeal because of how she raised me… it is her strength that is in me now.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The Rose, The Robe and The Road Back is a story of survival, of overcoming a horrible ordeal and living a life now that is not limited or defined by what happened to me, but rather how courage and honor and love will always triumph over evil.  I’ve been given a second chance at life and I have an obligation to make a difference.  The ordeal I went through will have not been in vain if I can help even one person… to survive… to see that they have a life worth living… that they have worth.

This was sent to me by Joyce Juzwik.  You can view her answers here:

Here are some other writer's responses - 

I sent the ten interview questions to Gretchyn Boshart, Paul D Brazill, Cindy Rosmus, Sandra Davies, Richard Godwin and Ron Dionne.

Thank you.

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
12 October 2012


  1. Veronica, you are not only a remarkable, talented writer but a remarkable woman. You are going to write some great books, and I look forward to reading them, starting with The Rose, The Robe and The Road Back.

    1. Thank you, Richard! I am humbled at your words. My success as a writer will be, in large measure, because of the support, encouragement and advice of my friends and mentors... and it goes without saying, that you are at the top of that list!

      Thank you, my dear friend!

  2. Saying it takes great strength to share the ordeal you endured doesn't begin to cover it. But, Richard is so correct. Remarkable, you are indeed.

    Memories of physical and emotional trauma control our lives until we somehow find a way to file them in the proper folder in our minds and begin to heal. The strength you possess, and are willing to share, will allow others to begin that process for themselves.

    Thank you for again sharing part of yourself, as you always do in your writing. You already impact people's lives with your work and I know your book will help others to heal and hopefully, complete the healing process for you as well.

  3. Thank you, Joyce. I think I would call myself more 'determined' than remarkable, but I thank you.

    You are so right. Those memories can control everything about us... if we let them. And for a time, I did. Even when I was ready to let go... to just end it all, there was still this tiny part of me that didn't want to... that was still looking for that little bit of hope that could give me back some of the strength I once had... something or someone to tell me that I still had worth... that I meant something to someone.

    It has been a long road back... and not an easy one, but I had someone to remind me that there is no such thing as an endless road... that all roads lead somewhere and it takes time... and patience... and hope... and faith... and love... to get there. And no one should have to travel that road alone.

    I guess that's the message I want to give.

    Throughout the course of writing this book, I have had a few revelations and one very significant breakthrough... all part of the healing process.

    No road is endless...

    No one is undeserving of hope...

    No one should ever have to stand alone.


I know... it's a big pain, isn't it? But, I've got to keep the spam-bots and spiders out... they're always leaving candy wrappers and pop cans laying about; sloppy little buggers!

Thank you.