We all have a purpose when writing no matter if it is fact or fiction, but whatever it is we write or for whom, it is all about making people feel and to stir up emotions of some kind. I can honestly say that I take it as a huge compliment if someone tells me they hate Luca's father, from Finding Home or Anthony or the Colonel from Haven's Revenge, because no matter if we are trying to stir a lot or a little, make people feel anger or happiness, love or hate, thought or simple the pleasure of letting the reader read something that makes them sigh contently and feel blissful. It is all about causing and getting a reaction.
I don’t know about you, but when I start a project I always have this image in my head, or several as it may, about what the finished product will look like. There’s always some higher purpose than to simply entertain, it doesn’t have to be extraordinary in any way, it can be as simple as taking anything Shakespeare and use it as a base for writing a short novelette for an anthology to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th birthday, to making a grand very in your face political statement like I'm trying to do in Silent Terrorism.
We have Swedes, especially teenagers and young adults, that are forced to live in two worlds, Swedes who at home are forced to live under their parent’s rules which are of course from their own upbringing, most likely in from another culture with different social views on what is right and wrong, expectations and so on and so forth. Obviously being from another country doesn't have to entail that but it is a stated and proven fact that this is the case for many young Swedes today.
Their parents expect one thing from them, all based on religious and social beliefs from being brought up in another country where men are men, women are women, LGBT is non-existent and abnormal, women cover their hair and faces, men don’t cry, children are beaten into submission, and you marry the man/woman your parents tell you to marry. In 2016, there are children and teenagers of Sweden that are forced to live through the fear of honor killings (which still happens in this country way too often), we have boys who had family members thrown acid in their face for dishonoring them, we had girls who have been sexually mutilated at home in their own bathtubs because in the country their parents are from girl's genitals are dirty, both boy but mostly girls are forced to marry someone they don’t want to marry, and this all still happens because we as a nation refuse to touch upon the subjects for real and bring them up to the surface because lord beholds you might be accused of being a racist. (And for those who want to shove statistics in my face about how many millions of Swedish kronor our government spend on anti violence each year, save it money isn’t worth two shits if we don’t verbally agree that a problem exist and is real, and actively DO something about it.)
Luca represents the struggle that a lot of Swedish teens have to go through today, to live a double life, one demanded by their parents and then one demanded by the rest of society, but none of their own. They have to go out into the everyday world where everyone else live to go to work and go to school and fake another identity, because how do you explain to your fifteen-year-old girlfriends that you spent Easter, back in whatever country your parents come from, with a man twenty years your senior, getting married or lay in bed in agony because in the culture your parents come from the girl parts of your body is dirty and should be sown together. You don’t, instead you stay quiet because no one ever said or did anything all those other times when there was a girl or a boy on the news who gone through the same thing. Society (politicians) always stick their head in the sand and pretend to not to see to afraid to be accused of being a racist than dealing with the real issue and taking a stand.
American’s are generally speaking one of the most good-hearted, helpful and including people I’ve ever met. I’ve lived some of my best years in the US and that including living through 9/11, and working at an American airport during that horrific event. In my entire life, I have never experienced anything quite as surrealistic and terrifying before or after, but I’ve also never been part of anything that after the fact been as inspiring and left me with the feeling of "we will get through this". In crisis American’s come together, if you are there and living there you are American and you belong, there’s no "go home where you come from", there’s no excluding because you are not a citizen.
Kai stands for what to me is America the Beautiful, pride in one’s heritage, pride in one’s family, one’s self, that you stand up and fight for what you believe in, that you help out thy neighbor even if he might be a tad odd, you thrive to see your children grow up and become the best them they can become even if it is the opposite of what you would do or want. The good about the US is the epiphany of Kai.
There’s a lot of good things about Sweden, and Swedes, I love my country, just as much as there are things that are rotten about the US and which drives me absolutely batshit crazy. But my point for doing what I do, and in this particular case is to show and to prove that no culture is perfect and we can’t let ourselves be so blinded by what is good that what is till there to be dealt with disappears from our sight. Nor can we let ourselves become so colored by what is bad about a place or a people that we can’t appreciate what is good and that the knowledge they have to share is still something we can take part of and learn from. We can still learn from those who have a long way to go because seldom to never is something black or white and no matter what we never stop learning and why not learn from other people’s mistakes so we don't have to make them too?
Finding Home, a contemporary romance in all its glory, set out to entertain and maybe even make you sniffle a bit, but that also carry a darker hidden message if you like. Nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it first appears, and know that it takes a wise man to learn from the mistakes of others and it takes an even wiser man to know that when pointing a finger you always have three fingers pointing back at you.
And don't worry if you think this is it, just you wait til I let you in on the symbolism and hidden messages that are in Haven’s Revenge and the Caddo Norse Novels. As for Silent Terrorism, it won’t need an explanation, because that entire series is a rock solid political statement no one can ignore.
To me writing is like breathing, this is not saying it is always easy or fun, but most of the time it is and even when it isn’t I still can’t think of a single thing I rather do, well besides reading. Words come to me I put them down on paper and the first draft of something is done pretty quickly, unless we are talking about my current WIP Silent Terrorism. The ending of this WIP has been beating me with a frying pan at the back of my head for weeks. But I recently punched him in the face, so we are all sorted out now. Have I told you I don’t condo violence in any shape or form, well unless it’s in consented and called spanking.
Anyways, I seldom to never have trouble getting ideas, my head is full of them, everything from grand love stories that will be sweet enough to make you almost sick to your stomach, to political pieces that will make you wish you hadn’t picked the book up but still keep going. I’d be the first to admit it is not always good words, fun words or easy words but they are words; my words. They are stacked up in que at the back of my mind some waiting kindly for their turn others roaring with anger to get out. I have more conversations with people in my head than I have with people in real life. Let’s just say I sometimes feel slightly schizophrenic.
I am not a person that think first talk/write later, I react and say/write it first and then maybe the oops moment occurs, if we’re all lucky, or if I’m lucky my editor snatch it up. So we are on a touch and go with my blog posts because they are all me. In life out here in the real world people usually say with a smile on their face and a slight shake of their heads, “Phetra that was, hmmm, subtle,” with sarcasm drooping with every word. What they really are trying to say in a vary subtle way, is to get me clued in that I need to change my ways. Since I don’t do subtle, I’m like my ADHD and ASD son there, most of the time I don’t get what they are saying. The rest of the time I simply play stupid and pretend I don’t get it. Most people around me are used to this by now and know when to push and when it's a lost cause to argue.
I am as impulsive in my writing as I am in my way of being out in the real world. Writing is a way of being alive, I am alive therefore I’m writing might be a good way of putting it. In my writing I always have that one character that will speak his or her mind, not censuring themselves ex. Haven Naranjo from Haven’s Revenge, Charlie Morin from Love of the Game or Johannes Alm for that matter in the same book, even if they have two different approaches to saying what’s on their minds. In Silent Terrorism, you have the rebel reporter, Mattis Andersson, who will walk through fire to get the truth out there and save his friends.
I assume everyone has heard the expression “I rather live in the world that my mind has created than in the real world”, that sort of wraps up me and how committed, or in need of writing I am. I can’t turn my head off I read a book it is spinning along with the words in the books creating scenes from what I’m reading. When I’m not reading what I have read inspires my mind to come up with new great ideas, I am grocery shopping and people around me doesn’t exist because I’m busy plotting, brainstorming or visualizing my next scene/project. People I know can sometimes stop me as they meet me on the street, breathing hard from running to catch up to me and say. “God what the hell is the matter with you I’ve been calling your name for the past 5 minutes.” My reply will always be, “Really! My bad I didn’t hear you.” Because I haven’t, besides the fact that I have heavy metal blasting in my ears most of the time when I’m out, I just don’t see people. I might not be physically writing but my mind is.
I’m an introvert, and I think that is what people in my life find to be the hardest with me. Because I don’t really need people, unless I am in the mood. That is not saying I don’t enjoy like minded souls when I meet them. People, are for the lack of a better word complicated so I avoid them. I have no problem spending a whole week by myself without real company, writing and reading gives me all the company I need. If you ask those close to me they could probably tell you this, because seldom will you hear me suggesting meeting up with friends for brunch or a walk. I might say I’m taking a walk and having lunch by myself or I might bring one of my kids with me for some one on one and nice mummy and me time. However, one who will bitch and moan more than me, at least on the inside and smile like the good girl I am on the outside, when someone suggest a get together. Ask my domestic partner. He is the calmest person ever who seldom to never gets worked up, but if there’s one thing that annoys him about me it is my lack of interest in spending time with people. But sitting interacting with my characters or people online who feeds my soul that is no problem.
I don’t think I am alone in this, I rather think for once in my life embarking in this so-called writer's journey I might have found a click of people who are just like me, other writers. I’ve always been the odd man out, easily bored by the company of people because chit chatting about the weather is about as appealing as talking about someone latest cramps, it doesn’t give me anything. It might sound selfish and maybe it is, but all our lives we are taught to adapt to the world, to make sure we act accordingly, behave accordingly, talk accordingly, are courteous and conscientious to other people’s feelings and make sure others are well settled before tending to our own needs. When writing I am allowed to be selfish and just think of my own or my characters needs, the rest of the world's morals and expectations matter not. When I write I can create the world into that place I like to live, kill of the asshole that came into my office the other day and yelled orders because I happen to be the first person he met walking into the building I work in. But bring me a stimulating conversation from an exotic and “swim against the stream” person and I’m game!
Writing to me is a way of dealing with the world I’m forced to live in, a way to vent all those things that gets to me and change them awful things to something I rather want. To me writing is my way of contributing to changing the world. One person may not be able to do everything but we all can do something. This is one of my many way of doing that something.
And as for the image choice for this blog post... how can a perv like myself resist. *winks*
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.