Misfortune of Time
By Christy Nicholas
In the past, I’ve tried to address particular issues as a subplot of my novels. I’ve showcased things such as the Great Hunger in Ireland, forced marriage, or marginalized populations.
However, Misfortune of Time deals with a difficult subject – abuse. In order to get a proper feel of the horror of this situation, I interviewed three friends, all of whom suffered from spousal abuse. Gretchen, Ian, and Lindsay were all kind enough to give me anecdotes (which is a hopelessly innocent word for such stories) of their time with their partners. Examples of gaslighting, physical and emotional abuse, using a child as a tool to inflict harm.
In the course of this research, while writing the novel, the explosion of the #metoo movement came into popular media coverage. The sheer volume of voices shouting against the centuries of injustice have finally become too loud to drown out in misogynistic bullying.
The legion of men (and women) who are being brought down by the increasing cries of abuse increases every day. While some may be false cries or exaggerations, the vast majority will be true accusations, shattering the previously impervious armor of Establishment and Custom.
In my book, I try to highlight the fact that this abuse is NOT new. It is endemic to many cultures, many times, many people. The only way to minimize this abuse is to make it not normal. The only way to remove it from normalcy is to call it out as something unacceptable whenever it’s encountered. The wolf whistle on the subway or the condescending mansplaining in the board room, both need to be called out.
I also wanted to portray the heroine, Étaín, as someone who isn’t young and naïve. An abuse victim can be any age. Even if she ‘knows better’, if she’s had abusive partners in the past, she is MUCH more likely to find herself in another abusive relationship. The spiraling self-doubt is not easily cured. Étaín has lived many lifetimes thanks to a magical brooch that allows her to maintain her age. Despite her years of experience, she once again falls into a marriage with a husband who becomes abusive. And yet, she stays to protect her grandson, despite being beaten to within an inch of her life.
For all the men and women that struggle from day to day with their partner, their parent, their sibling, their boss, whomever is in their life and abusing their trust, believe that there is not only hope, there is avenue for escape. There are friends who will help. There are agencies designed to extract you and your children. There are options for each and every one of you.
People care. They really do care. If you cannot believe that, remember that your brain can lie to you.
If my novel reaches one person and convinces them of the above, then all the hard work and research that went into writing it will have been worth it. All it takes is one life made better.
Misfortune of Time
Book #6 of The Druid’s Brooch Series
In 11th century Ireland, Étaín must hide her pagan magic from her pious Christian priest husband, Airtre. She wants to escape his physical abuse, but she must stay to protect their grandson, Maelan. Over many lifetimes, she has learned how to endure her own pain, but Maelan is young and vulnerable. When Airtre's paranoia and jealousy spiral out of control, Étaín has no choice but to escape in the night with little more than the clothing on her back, leaving a trusted friend to protect Maelan. This is not the first lifetime Étaín has fled, and she knows how to survive. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she must make decisions that may result in disaster for her, her grandson, and everyone she loves.
Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, is an author, artist and accountant. After she failed to become an airline pilot, she quit her ceaseless pursuit of careers that begin with ‘A’, and decided to concentrate on her writing. Since she has Project Completion Disorder, she is one of the few authors she knows with NO unfinished novels.
Christy has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she’s a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were.
She wants to expose the incredible beauty in this world, hidden beneath the everyday grime of familiarity and habit, and share it with others. She uses characters out of time and places infused with magic and myth.
Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
What an excellent post, Christy. So many abused victims tend to hide in the shadows, regardless of the century. And perhaps your story will help them to step out into the light. Thanks so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! I hope I did the horrible aspects of this justice. I interviewed several friends who had gone through abuse to get details.ReplyDelete