Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ghouls Made Sense To Young Author Who Previously Felt Suicidal

Introducing "Choice"

Guest Post by Author Leanne Waller

Because I wrote Choice, I’m always asked two things. First? Why I wrote about ghouls and, second, how I came up with the story. So, I would like to answer those questions for you here.
Choice by Leanne Waller

I chose to write about ghouls because, even though my favorite fantasy characters have always been vampires, the bloodsuckers didn't fit in with what I wanted to write about. For years I had struggled to put the story on paper. Then one day, when I sat down to read a book of short urban fantasy stories, I came across a tale about a ghoul helping a dying cancer patient to become a ghoul (without telling him) because she didn't want him to die.

It was that simple. My mind finally saw a way to tell the story that I needed to share by making it about this creature that is shunned because it is not like the rest of humanity. Ghouls are whatever the writer wants them to be, but they are definitely not normal, so they were perfect for Choice!

Ghouls are stronger than humans. They can live longer but they also live in fear because they are targeted by others for being different. Some ghouls go the other way and believe they are better than people. They prey on humans because of humanity's weaknesses.

In Choice, there are both good and bad ghouls but they all look human. The only way to tell them apart (from people) are in the small details. Ghouls live longer, are faster, stronger and don't eat anything that isn't already dead and rotting.

Author Leanne Waller
That brings me to the more difficult of the two questions, "How I came up with the story."

I have dealt with depression since I was around eleven-years-old. I became suicidal when I was fifteen. Once I had figured out that there was no way I could kill myself without hurting everyone around me, including people that I didn't even know, I came to the conclusion -thanks to someone talking about their attempt at trying to take their own life and dealing with their emotions whilst getting better after it - that I had to deal with how I felt and face it head on.

I have had people in my life who went on antidepressants and nothing changed for them as they didn't talk about anything, just drugged themselves. I did not want to go anywhere near them. Since then I have helped others come to terms with needing antidepressants and have seen the medicine work for them.

I am grateful that I never took antidepressants. Yet it took me almost a decade to start feeling happy with myself. All the time while I worked on myself, and helped others as they also helped me, I observed so much human strangeness. Fact is - those who have the hardest lives and are outcast as "horrible people" when they are often the nicest people so long as you stay on the right side of them. They will fight tooth and nail for people that they barely know, whilst people who never struggle merely stand by and don't even notice what is happening.

Choice was my way of exploring everything that I had learned through the years in simplest form. The ghouls are representative of humans taken from everyday life ... and are made into stronger people. Ghouls bring whatever beliefs they had as humans into their ghoul lives and fight to determine what should become of the humans.

Choice is written from Danni's point-of-view as a person just out of a bad relationship. She feels like she's lost who she truly is and tries to make sense of this new world which she never knew existed before.

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