Today, on the 15th anniversary of Valentine’s Day, the One Billion Rising event is occurring all over the nation. Today, women will dance, sing, and walk out to demand an end to domestic and sexual violence against women. Now, I’ve never been much of a spontaneous dancer- but I do believe in the importance of awareness and action regarding violence against women (hence why 10% of all of my own proceeds from ‘Till the Last Petal Falls will be donated to local battered women’s shelters). So, why not celebrate this momentous day by celebrating how other woman authors are standing up against domestic and sexual violence with their own particular skills?
I interviewed author L.F. Falconer, who sponsored a book signing event at her local library to donate all proceeds of the event to her local Domestic Violence Intervention, on her thoughts about donating to such an important cause.
ER: So, L.F., what first made you think of doing a charity event for the Domestic Violence Intervention? Was it suggested to you, was it something you wanted to do?
L.F.: The idea of having a book-signing as a charitable event came to me in a casual conversation with a friend at work one day. I immediately thought of Domestic Violence Intervention as the beneficiary because it related to a portion of my novel’s storyline.
ER: The novel that was displayed at the fundraiser has to do with domestic violence. What made you write about such a hard subject? What do you think is the best outcome of writing about domestic violence? Why is it important?
L.F.: First of all, let me clarify—Hope Flies on Broken Wings is not specifically about domestic violence. The novel includes it and it does figure as a vital component in the novel’s conclusion. But the novel contains many other underlying issues as well, such as child abuse, bigotry, religious intolerance, and perceived socio-economic class segregation. Choosing to write about any hard subject, in my opinion, can only help bring it further into the light to help raise awareness and awareness is half the battle. Domestic violence is a stigma that is not just the stuff of fiction. It is like a dirty little secret, something most people don’t want to talk about or even admit to, but it’s more prevalent than we can ever truly know and is not bound by any social or economic class, age, race, or even gender.
ER: Tell us a little more about the DVI, and what they do. What drew you to them, specifically?
L.F.: Peace begins at home. That is their motto. Domestic Violence Intervention is the local nonprofit organization in my county that offers a 24/7 crisis line, confidentiality, shelter, counseling, and general support services to the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Their goal is to promote and educate their clients about healthy lifestyle choices, empowerment, and safe living while breaking the cycle of violence. They do receive some state and county funding, but appreciate donations of money, clothing, toiletries, etc., for often the women and children that need haven at their small shelter come in with nothing but the clothes on their backs and need to stay for several months as they try to take their lives back. When it comes to charities, theirs is a cause most people tend to overlook.
ER: Would you encourage other authors to use their fiction for charity? Why, or why not?
L.F.: Absolutely, if possible. It doesn’t have to be anything as full-blown as a 100 percent benefit book-signing, like I did, which has the potential to be quite costly on the author’s part, but there are numerous ways for authors, who are known for their creativity, to use fiction to benefit charities. Recently, there was a media drive in my hometown for soldiers serving overseas, and this spring I will be donating a copy of each one of my novels to a silent auction that benefits the American Cancer Society. I only advise that the novel be somewhat appropriate for the cause. I did not donate Hope Flies on Broken Wings to the cancer support group that was requesting books for chemo-therapy patients. I felt my book’s subject matter was too dark for that. It’s a tragic story and anyone undergoing chemo does not need tragedy.
ER: What is one piece of advice that you’d like to give to other beginner writers, or even veteran writers, who want to make more of a difference with their talent?
L.F.: I think I would have to say, don’t be afraid to try and make a difference, no matter how small you might think it to be. The written word is the most powerful tool we own, and if used in conjunction with goodwill, someone, somewhere, is going to be affected for the better.
ER: And now to a fun question: What has been the most surprising moment of your writing career?
L.F.: This is a tough one. I’ve been writing for over 40 years. But I do believe the most surprising moment I’ve had so far is the first time someone asked to interview me! Thank you.
ER: Tell us about some of your current projects.
L.F.: My latest novel, Exit Strategy, a dark thriller about a man suffering from multiple personality disorder, was just published at the end of January this year, and I’ve been feverishly working on the much-requested sequel to Hope Flies on Broken Wings, which I hope to have ready for publication this fall. It contains a much stronger underlying theme of domestic violence, which might prompt me to do another benefit book-signing!
Nevada native, L.F. Falconer, has possessed a love of writing since she learned to read in first grade. Over the last forty years, she has been published sporadically in various Northern Nevada newspapers and college publications under her former name. Now remarried, she resides with her husband, Michael, in the same neighborhood she grew up in and for the past seventeen years has been employed as NAS, Fallon, home of the US Navy’s Topgun school, doing her small part in the training of fighter pilots. Hope Flies on Broken Wings, published in 2012, was her debut novel.
For more information, visit: www.outskirtspress.com/hopefliesonbrokenwings