Guest Post: Dorothy Deene- What Inspired Me to Write My Story "The Gravity of Lies"
As a writer, there are moments when an idea ignites in us, compelling us to write…write a story that longs to be told. And if we accept the challenge, we begin our journey of getting to know our characters, ones we want to help navigate their most intricate and complex lives. Our protagonist is often someone we can relate to, yet still someone we may need to try and understand as we embrace their journey and triumph with them as we give them a voice so that their story can be told.
The idea for, The Gravity of Lies came to me after my daughter was chosen as one of the cast members on a talent-based reality show. The show centered around a group of talented kids that took on performance challenges in both acting and music. During each show they performed and afterward they were critiqued by industry professionals and a winner was chosen. For the last segment of each episode the cast sat in a circle and they where asked about their thoughts and feelings concerning being in the entertainment world. The kids started opening up about a host of troubling things; paralyzing fears, anxieties, the weight of rejection, low self-esteem, eating disorders, loneliness and depression.
There was one girl when asked if there was anything she wished was different in her life and before she answered, she scanned the back of the room where the parents hung out during taping. Only after she was sure her mother wasn’t in the room did she break down sobbing and through gut-wrenching tears she said she lived in a garage with her mother and worried if she didn’t become famous it would be her fault they’d always be hungry and poor. She said she wished she knew where her father was, insisting he was the one who could fix everything.
After the show ended, I thought about what might have happened if that girl did find her father. And that’s what ignited a spark in me, compelling me to write about a sixteen-year-old girl I named Skye Perry, living in poverty with her dysfunctional mother, forced into a precarious acting career as she desperately held on to the hope of finding her father. But when she ended up on a reality show and her father was found, she discovered her whole life up until that moment had been a complete lie. And when she found out the truth, it would begin an unraveling of everything she ever thought was real.
As I wrote The Gravity of Lies, I not only pulled from the inner workings of the entertainment industry, but also from my own experience from when I was a young girl and the feelings of helplessness I struggled with while living with my mentally ill mother. And much like Skye, when I was faced with a painful truth, I found my power to get out and find my place in the world.
It was truly an honor to give Skye a voice and share the accounts of her journey through her razor sharp perception of the world around her. And I’m so thrilled that my novel will be sent out into the world because of my publisher, Sword and Silk and their belief that The Gravity of Lies is a story that needs to be shared.
My hope now is that Skye’s story will give its readers the inspiration to never give up and trust that although life may not always give us that perfect ending, it can offer us a new beginning.