Now some people might say, “Hmm, Deadly Veils Book One: Provenance of Bondage … must be a Fifty Shades of Grey sort of thing,” but that isn’t the kind of bondage I’m writing about here. We can be psychologically in bondage to anything or anyone. It’s not merely physical. I further believe that until we fully heal from whatever it is we need to heal from, we remain in bondage to something or another and prone to all kinds of obsession. Disentangling from all that is a painful process, and that’s where the path to healing begins.
Though some of the characters in the book allude to a supernatural existence, this is not a paranormal romance or adventure. This story is, in fact, a story of normal. It’s not average, neutral, mediocre, or humdrum typical. It’s bizarre. It’s insane, but it’s stuff that happens. There may be metaphoric parallels, but this is reality.
The first scene takes us to an old house in Glastonbury, Connecticut, which sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso describes as a scary place to grow up. This was the place where she would lie in her bed at night, listening to the sounds of darkness—imagining that the hoarse caw of the crows warned of impending doom. She watches out her window for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls. She’s terrified of what they did to her and what they might still do, and yet her credibility seems in question. She finds herself in a position of needing to sort out her confusion.
There are disturbing memories of her infancy, the accuracy of which her mother contradicts. In adolescence, her older brother convinced others there was something wrong with her.
So what really happened with those two men who have her in such a state of distress?
She tries to focus on other things, her love of writing, her job, her troubled family. Yes, her family, like many other families, is dysfunctional. Her life is a mess, with many beautiful moments. Isn’t life an odd mix of pain, sadness, and joy? And what Danielle experiences, what happens to her—I wanted to explore the lack of understanding in this predicament, the misconceptions. It’s about a person’s struggle in the aftermath of something that nearly destroyed her, about her healing process. As a teenager, I experienced similar trauma and had been trying to express these emotions ever since—to help others come to terms. For that reason, the writing was draining at times but also cathartic, as one might expect.
Despite what some may believe, people don’t always respond the same way or go through the same process of healing. Danielle craves normalcy in an ongoing fight for her sanity. When grief and guilt take her to a dark place, everything around her appears to be spinning out of control. At the same time, many shocking twists and revelations reawaken her fire and spirit, along with her courage.
I will say, creating characters and the worlds they live in had been an obsession for me since childhood. I’d written down names and then added descriptions. After including specific details, I developed their stories. At the time, I had no idea why I did this, but when I wrote my first novel, I expanded on those descriptions, and I used them. Take comfort there if you’ve had peculiar habits yourself; there may be a method to the madness.
For many years now, I’ve been waking at four a.m. every day, including weekends and holidays, so that I can spend hours writing. It starts with nothing more than a forty-watt amber-shade lamp and the moon outside my window, but the focus is so intense, it is light before long. Meanwhile, life has gone on, full of adventures, rife with challenges. I roamed the darkest corners to learn about the world and myself. Setbacks knocked me down. I would get up eventually and find my way again. Since the book’s inception, I became a wife then a mother and an aunt twice. I moved several times. I beat cancer. I had all kinds of jobs—everything from executive secretary to computer system administrator to model and then legal assistant. More and more so, I began telling my story in the books I wrote. It seemed compelling enough, and there was a driving urge to unburden. I became so obsessed with the reality that I didn’t want to steer off its course. I was anal about it, had to get it precisely right. I started over many times with the same tunnel vision.
Then I had an epiphany. I hadn’t signed on for this to tell my story, and yet somehow I’d gotten sidetracked. As a storyteller, I wanted my imagination to drive me. I realized I could tell anyone’s story, and the story I wanted to tell was Danielle’s. I am committed to her story as one that will not only resonate with teenage girls but with women in general and hopefully the men who love women—who genuinely care about them.
Lastly, I would like to say, in this book’s incredibly long journey, I have met amazing people—especially in the final stages. With all the harshness and cruelty of the world, stumbling on these genuinely kind and caring people has meant everything. So thank you, Jesse, Denise, Christopher, Mike, Victoria, Justin, Cookie, David—I’m fortunate to have all of you in my life. I thank you, too, dear reader, for showing up to read this. Enjoy!
November 23, 2015