Finding Healing And Happiness

Katherine Turner Author Interview

Madly Deeply Wildly follows an aspiring writer who has left an abusive relationship in order to start life over in her hometown. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

This story, as every fiction I write, had a number of autobiographical elements. Because of abuse in my own life, I also for many years struggled to write until I made some progress on healing from the abuse, and while not quite as severe as Renata’s experience, I have also been an abusive romantic relationship (both physically and sexually) and wanted to tell the story of how we can become trapped in relationships like that, and how difficult it can be to leave. There is still a persisting stigma in our society against victims of abuse, a belief that they are somehow at fault for not having left any sooner, and I wanted to help people to understand what it’s like in the mind of an abuse survivor to foster compassion in our real-life relationships. Of course, as with everything I write, I also wanted other survivors to see themselves in the story so they wouldn’t feel so alone, and so they would have hope of finding healing and happiness.

Renata leaves an abusive partner and has to rediscover herself and learn to trust in love again. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

In part because of psychological abuse and in part because it’s human nature to kind of beat ourselves up when we think we’ve done something wrong or stupid, I wanted to show how that can play out in this kind of a scenario. Renata has very real, very human emotions about her ex, a mixture of the love she had for him at one point, fear, loathing, and even hatred. It’s not unrealistic to have all those emotions, even at the exact same time; in fact, it’s common, and it’s normal, and that’s something Renata had to learn for herself. She had to learn to forgive herself, to trust herself, and to trust those around her. She had to learn to undo the conditioning she experienced while she was in a relationship with Damien. And ultimately, she had to learn that she could stand up for herself, which is what she does when she leaves Chad after he becomes overprotective of her. If she had stayed, even though Chad was not abusive and would have eventually learned to temper his overprotective tendencies, Renata would not have known she had the strength and self-love to put herself first. Her decision can be easily viewed by an outsider as an overreaction to what occurred, but you have to remember that with her history with Damien, there was very little difference between Chad’s behavior and Damien’s. When she first experienced that “control” with Damien, she dismissed it and justified it as Damien caring about her. She needed to break that pattern by doing something different when confronted with a similar situation. That was the key turning point in her emotional development.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I truly believe that love—all forms of it—is what gives meaning to our existence and is what we need to heal the world today. All around us there is suffering and pain that isn’t necessary, that can be avoided. People are hurting each other out of fear and judgment, out of a lack of understanding and compassion and love for humanity. With this book, as every other book I write, I want to show how we can heal those things, how we can change things for the better. In order to do that, you have to foster understanding, both for those who don’t have any and for those who feel alone and isolated, so I explore along themes of healing from trauma and differing types of abuse. I want to show how easy it can be to show love to those around us, whether that’s your partner or a friend or even a stranger you meet in a coffee shop. It actually doesn’t require as much effort as many think to be kind, and that’s something I want to show. Of course, I also tackle specific themes in varying degrees in every book aside from trauma, including prejudice against the LGBTQ community, racism, sexism and misogyny, misconceptions about different careers, respecting the environment, and more. These are more subtle themes you could say, but no less important, so I weave as many as make sense into every book I write.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have two more books coming out this year that are in varying stages of final pre-publication activities.

The End of Interludes will be available for pre-order soon and will be publishing in September. In this story, Nina is in her late twenties, has a lucrative career, a convenient high-profile relationship, and is content with the life she’s built for herself. That is until she runs into Myles, and the life she’s been running from her seven years will not longer remain hidden. Her once promising relationship with him had come crashing down when she was assaulted in college, an event she has all but pushed from her memory. Myles, however, remembers a very different version of Nina, and his return makes her question the reality she’s currently living. The façade of Nina’s perfect life crumbles and she’s forced to make a decision: face the music and the past she’s been running from, or continue living the lie she’s been keeping afloat for nearly a decade.

Believing in Never will be publishing in December and is the story of Drew and Tasha, who have been friends since they were fourteen and bonded over both having abusive families. Sixteen years later, however, finds them living in different parts of the country and missing the closeness they once had. When Drew comes for a visit, the first time they’ve seen each other in over four years, their relationship falls right into place, with one notable exception: they both realize they have deep, serious, romantic feelings for each other. This realization, and Drew impulsively kissing Tasha as he’s leaving town, stirs up a deep confusion in Tasha, who had been floating through life searching for someone who would love her in every guy who would look at her. Her current boyfriend, Duncan, is mad with jealousy over Tasha’s relationship with Drew and his pushy controlling tendencies intensify until he pressures Tasha into eloping with him and severing all ties with Drew. While Tasha doesn’t want to marry Duncan, she’s afraid of being alone and ultimately gives in to his refusal to accept no for an answer. What follows is a controlling, abusive marriage that Tasha immediately regrets having entered into, but is unable to escape. It isn’t until Duncan hospitalizes Tasha and she reconnects Drew that she finds the courage to leave him. But the difficulty of doing that nearly pales in comparison to the challenge ahead of her when she realizes just how much healing she needs to do if she wants a future that is different from her past.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Renata is a determined woman: she’s left her abusive fiancé, Damien, moved back to her hometown, and is determined to be the writer she once was and that she’d promised her father she would be before he died. To accomplish this, she’s signed up for a writing conference out of town and gotten a new job at a local café with the friendly Fern, upbeat Caroline, and observant Chad, who welcome her into their friendship group.
Things become complicated, however, when Renata discovers that Chad returns her affection and they begin dating, even as she weaves in lies about her past. As their relationship develops, and she gets closer to finding the words that used to come so freely to her, Renata realizes she can’t continue to let Chad believe things that aren’t true, even if that means the end of their relationship. Despite her concerns, however, coming clean only creates a stronger bond between them.
But that bond will be tested when Damien returns unexpectedly, determined that Renata will leave Chad for him. Will Chad and Renata be able to weather the ways in which Damien’s appearance shakes the foundations of their life together? Or will echoes of Renata’s past irreparably damage their future?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on May 13, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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