The highly-anticipated novel, “Butterflies Wake” launches this June, and may very well find its way to the bestseller list before the end of the summer. The novel is about an underground female mafia that rights the wrongs of an unjust society.
Along with the book, I have put together a photo campaign that depicts vigilante women in positions of power, in an effort to go up against the mainstream depictions of women as victims of a domestically violent and rape-excused culture.
The messages the photos send are very clear, “We are not afraid” and “You are not alone”. For a fiction novel it seems to hit home, with many women often asking me, is it real? If so, can I join?
While my usual reply is that it’s just a tongue-in-cheek fiction novel, it does raise the question about whether or not its time for women to become more vigilant in their own protection against a culture that excuses such violence towards them.
Want an exclusive on the Butterfly Project with all the photos? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
An excerpt from my upcoming novel
Release Date: September 2012
Fairytales always start with once upon a time and end with happily ever after. Somewhere in the middle there’s a prince, an evil queen and a distressed maiden, a victim of her own beauty. Gallantly, the prince rides in, saving his true love, proving his manhood and once again restoring balance to the universe. My fairytale, however, was not like that at all. Let’s take for example my ex-husband Ron. In our fairy tale, Ron was no prince. Don’t get me wrong; I truly believe he started off with good intentions. But, then he lost his job, started drinking and I became his personal punching bag. After the third miscarriage I was told I could never have children. At that point, I really didn’t care if I died.
But, on one particular evening back in 1977, something happened that would change my life forever. I had come home from the grocery store to find Ron sitting on the front steps of our house with his usual can of beer suctioned to his left hand as if it were an extension of his fingers. I could tell he had been drinking all day and was itching for a fight, so I didn’t even bother asking for help with the groceries. There was still the idea that I had to walk up the steps and past him to get to the front door. I prayed he didn’t attack me with the groceries still in my hand. I walked at a slow pace, avoiding eye contact and carefully slinked passed him hoping not to hit the back of him with the screen door as I squeezed through.
I made it into the kitchen and managed to at least put away the frozen food, eggs and milk before the first punch was thrown. I could feel him coming up behind me and so I instinctively blocked my body with the bag of groceries since he usually struck me in the stomach where nobody could see the bruising. But this time he caught me off guard with an elbow to my throat and as I fell to the floor he kicked me in the face sending me smashing into the corner of the table, which dislocated my jaw. Everything got distorted and I felt a piercing hum coming from my ears. I couldn’t hear what he was saying and I was pretty sure my right eye had swollen shut so I tried hard to move into the bathroom using the sight of my left eye that only had a little blood dripping in it. I was able to catch my breath for a minute before he began round two.
When it was finally over, I found myself lying on the front lawn covered in blood. I thought for sure I would be dead any minute judging from the amount of blood pouring out of my nose and the severity of the pain coursing through my body. But then something happened; I saw out of the corner of my left eye a little boy standing in the street staring at Ron as he sat on the front steps drinking his beer and watching me die.
The boy’s name was Patrick, he was around ten years old and he lived in our neighborhood. He stood there holding his baseball glove and ball and just stared at Ron for almost two whole minutes. I wanted to scream for him to run away but no sound would come out of my mouth. Then he turned and ran as fast as he could towards his house. I was happy he was safe, I didn’t want Ron to hurt him and I didn’t want that poor boy to have to witness anymore than he already had. I blacked out again for a while and waited for death to take me. But it never came.
Instead, two women from the neighborhood came running towards me and were picking me up off the front lawn. Their names were Priscilla and Sally. They lived a few houses down from us. I never got a chance to get to know them on account of the fact that we didn’t have many visitors and Ron would never in a million years let me have a life outside of him.
I was scared for them but I couldn’t say anything. I could barely even move. I don’t recall much about what transpired at the time but I do remember some words being exchanged between Priscilla and Ron. I didn’t know Priscilla that well, other than that she was a nurse at the local hospital and had a son named Patrick, the boy who saw me on the lawn. He must have run to her for help. Thank God for him. I feared Ron might hurt them too but they didn’t seem scared of him. They picked me up and carried me away. I was a rag doll, lifeless in their arms as they carried me back to Priscilla’s house. That was the last time I ever saw Ron again. I don’t know what happened and I didn’t ask questions. I was just grateful that they found me when they did because they not only saved my life, but they changed the course of it forever.
Butterflies Wake is an experiment that took to life in August of 2010 originally as a TV pilot. We shot a short 25 minute “pitch concept” but had little to no budget to make it how it needed to be made. Now I am turning it into a novel, letting it unravel the way it was intended too, without constraint of budget to interrupt the flow of idea. I look forward to sharing it with you soon. For more information on the short film made about it you can visit the website and catch the trailer while you are there. Stay tuned for more updates!