Posted by Literary Titan
Imelda’s Secret is a historical fiction novel based on true stories from women during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I wrote Imelda’s Secret in the hopes to inspire and empower those who read about the Filipina “comfort women” and their continued struggle to find peace and justice decades after the end of World War II. After learning about the “comfort women,” I embarked on a mission to build awareness of their continued plight.
I did not want to write another war story. In this novel, I focused on the continued struggle by the “comfort women.” To survive, many of these women kept their torturous experience a secret that further exacerbated their situation because the alternative was nothing better. For the women who came forward were ridiculed, shunned, branded and sometimes killed. Those who endure with their secrets slowly devolve as their secrecy slowly destroys their lives and the lives of those around them.
If anything, the goal is to help empower individuals, especially women, to have courage and take their power to control their own chosen path.
I thought the historical accuracy of the novel was excellent. What type of research did you undertake to ensure things were accurate?
These were based on stories told to me by members of my family and friends of their own experiences. The first chapter was based on what my grandfather had to do to hide my mother and her siblings when the Japanese army stormed their next door neighbor’s house and how the river was filled with blood and headless bodies. I had a few eyewitness accounts on how male babies were thrown up in the air and sliced with a samurai sword. My very fair mestiza grandmother described how she had to cut her hair, wear men’s clothing, and roll in the mud to hide from the Japanese soldiers.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?
I want to bring awareness to the “comfort women” and the struggle that still continues for them. I truly want my readers to be inspired and empowered to do more. Survival takes sheer will at times. Things may be insurmountable, but change begin with one step.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on another women’s interest book and I plan to have it available next year.
Posted in Interviews
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