Everyone who writes, does so for a reason. Some of us have a story to tell. Some of us want to change the world. My books Safe Beginnings and Safe House are set in a battered women's shelter because I'm in the second group. I want to change the world.
I'm not out to depress people. Nor do I think readers need education on the subject of domestic violence. Most of us know plenty because most of us can name at least one person we know in that situation. But I want to keep the problem in plain sight, not sweep it into that corner we reserve for depressing things we can't get away from. I don't want to rub the reader's nose in it either.
So I started to think abut genres. Romance was obviously out. Sci Fi or Fantasy didn't right either. So I started thinking mystery. Mysteries are one of the best genres to write in, because you are, by nature of the genre, guaranteed closure.The bad guy will be known in the end and usually he'll be caught and punished. I decided to make it a traditional mystery because I didn't want to put people off. Traditional mysteries have no graphic violence or language in them, their point is to bring the reader into a community. In this case, the community would be the shelter.
The plot of the first book was right out of the newspapers.. A fire occurred in a battered women's shelter here in Colorado. And I couldn't stop thinking about it. It had to be hard for these women to leave their homes and everything they knew. How much harder would it be if they thought the shelter that was supposed to protect them wasn't safe?
Can authors change the world? Probably not. But readers can. Bit by bit.