© 2013 Clive Eaton
Taylor Evan Fulks is a practicing Registered Nurse First Assistant, specializing in open heart surgery to pay the bills. She's also a wife, a mother of two very challenging (in a good way) teenage daughters, and an ardent "nocturnal gardener" due to her fight with skin cancer. She resides in a quaint and picturesque town in Southern Ohio along the banks of the Ohio River.
MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS: THE JOURNEY OF A DAMAGED WOMAN TO SOMEPLACE NORMAL
MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS is a courageous and harrowing journey through the catacombs of hell, from the mind and voice of a little girl living with her own monster underneath her bed. Written in first person, this novel is less memoir but more psychological thriller, chronicling one woman’s attempt to claw her way out of the darkness of Child Sexual Abuse, while struggling to find normal in a not-so-normal world.
It is poignant, dark and graphic; not for the faint of heart. This novel will make you feel.
*WARNING* THIS NOVEL IS GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING.
IT IS INTENDED FOR 18+ READERS
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
I am a voracious reader, but I also love to crotchet and garden. The latter is difficult as I’ve been fighting skin cancer for the last eight years. I have become the “nocturnal gardener.”
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
I would have to say boredom. My children are almost grown and will be springing from the nest soon.
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
I began my “writing journey” not as a fulfilment of a life-long dream as most writers do, but more as a panacea to ward off the empty nest syndrome I will soon be experiencing, and to stave off loneliness in my life. I love romance…well, let me clarify, I love a great story laced with romance. I’m a voracious reader (I’ve read over 700 books in 6 years) so I thought “This can’t be that hard to do.” Though not a writer, I can tell a pretty good story or two.
I sat down with pen and paper (I’m dating myself, I know. Computers and I used to be on really ugly terms) and tried to write my first romance…maybe a short story to start out with. I was blank, except for this nagging little voice inside my head. I scribbled some gibberish not worth the paper it was on, then heard the voice again…”Tell our story! Give me a voice Taylor!” For whatever reason, I listened.
In the beginning, my writing was relatively innocuous. I told of my abuser and the abuse I endured with little, to no detail. I continued writing my story bypassing the abuse, moving on to the fallout or damage that victims live with long after the abuse ends. Halfway through my novel, Penn State University exploded throughout the U.S. media with breaking news about long term, persistent, child sexual abuse of young boys in a summer athletic program hosted by the University, and run by Jerry Sandusky…now, a convicted paedophile.
Joe Paterno, the head football coach for Penn State and beloved icon, had been informed of this heinous activity and did nothing to stop it, or prevent it from continuing. He had knowledge of the crime for years, yet turned a blind eye to it. By turns, he was quickly fired for his part in the cover-up. He and his football team were stripped of all their awards and titles, not only for this particular year, but for all accolades during his tenure. The University even went so far as to remove a statue honouring him. The University was also sanctioned and subjected to heavy, punitive fines. I was ecstatic! FINALLY! Someone was taking a stand on behalf of the victims.
I was glued to the television, following the story as it unfolded. I noticed the victim’s interviews were being grossly edited and/or cut. I watched students protest and riot in the streets. The final straw for me was a group interview on the campus with several students, faculty, and some administrators crying “FOUL!” One administrator or faculty member said, “This isn’t right! The punishment is TOO HARSH for the crime!” This revelation changed my life forever.
I was beyond RAGE…a door in my head swung open and something inside of me snapped! I actually felt possessed. I went to the beginning of my novel, read through the first eight chapters that described the abuse (leaving much to the reader’s imagination) then I tore it to shreds! I started OVER…
The words poured out of me like a faucet with a busted valve. I wrote with rage and fury, letting the words and experiences flow from the depths of my soul. I wrote until my hand cramped and my fingers were numb…then I cried. I cried for myself and then for all the innocent children that are lost and have no voice. I cried in Shame…
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) It is a NOVEL based on actual events that happened to me...NOT a MEMOIR.
2) Even though it is a rather dark book, there are elements of humour and light.
3) My novel has won 2 prestigious awards:
2013 INDIE READERS DISCOVERY AWARD 1st Place in Sexuality/Relationships category.
2013 READERS FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS GOLD MEDAL WINNER for Reality/Fiction category.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I interviewed my mother for perspective on her history, and her memories.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
Yes...my book is my story.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
My writing is on hold at the moment. I’ve had health issues lately, as well as issues with my current novel that has taken the wind out of my sails. I hope to return to writing sometime in the future, but right now, the fire I had about writing is merely a smouldering ember.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
My novel is based on a true story...my story. So the process was really a state of rage brought on by news worthy events here in the states, regarding child abuse. I had no plan for writing or publishing...I just wrote until it was all out.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
I envy those that are able to write with music. Unfortunately, I need complete silence and complete seclusion...I talk for my characters.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
My books subject matter (Child Sexual Abuse) is taboo in the standard publishing world...in the real world for that matter. Due to the submission constraints and regulations, I wasn’t even afforded the ability to submit my manuscript. Self publishing was my only option.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Fear of telling my secret
2) Fear of not being believed
3) Condemnation from others
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
This is my first novel. I haven’t experienced writer’s block as of yet. I have another book in my head, just waiting to be put to paper.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Research what you’re getting into...the easy part is the writing. When that is completed, the real work begins.
What genre does your book fall into?
Reality/Fiction...It is a novel based on a true story; my story.
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I wanted to write Mystery/Romance, but I felt I needed to tell this story first, to exorcise my own demons, and then put it on the shelf.
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Diana Gabaldon...She is a very descriptive writer. I want to smell the smells, and taste the meal, and feel the storm pelt my skin as I read about it.
2) Sandra Brown...She is descriptive as well. I love the twists and turns in her phenomenal stories.
3) Megan Hart...She wrote a novel called “DIRTY” which is responsible for giving me the courage to write my own story.
What was your favourite book as a child?
King Solomon...I’m sorry I don’t have the name of the author. It involved the King and a bee. The moral was “you are never too small to be of service to another.”
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
“ENVY” by Sandra Brown
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
“ENVY” by Sandra Brown...It is a wonderful piece of work. Her story is about an author writing about an author. She shifts back and forth from past to present, effortlessly, then merges the two stories in the end. Brilliant!
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
Kindle when I’m reading outside on my deck; it’s easier to read in the sunlight.
Ipad when I’m reading at night in bed...again, it’s easier to see and I don’t need a light.
Paperbacks are added to my growing library for the mere fact I love the smell and feel of a book.
I also listen to audio-books daily. I am able to get things done around the house with a book going in my ears.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
Kate Winslet would be perfect as me...I think she is by far one of the most passionate actors of our time. I don’t feel she would balk at the controversial nature of the topic.
Shirley McClain would be great as my mother-in-law...That needs no explanation.
Willem Devane would be my abuser. He has the eyes and the demeanour for the part.
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Dark Asylum, the wonderful group that graciously allowed me to use their song “House of Tears” for my book trailer.
Drink – Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Meal – Anything Mexican
TV programme – I don’t watch TV and haven’t since 2008.
Film – Braveheart
Method of travel – Car
Sport – Basketball, However...I coached women’s fast-pitch softball for 8 years before my skin cancer diagnosis.
How can people connect with you?
Where can readers find your book?
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