Writing has always been something I enjoyed (still do) and found to be incredibly useful in expressing myself. I used my love for writing to help get me through each and every day. I don’t believe I could have survived my teenage years had I not been able to transport myself into a world I had created to provide (even for a brief moment) a period of solace and peace of mind.
I had written countless short stories (very short stories) inspired by everyday life during my high school years and the thought of writing a novel was a dream I wasn’t quite ready for.
The ideas for Purged by Darkness came about after an unexpected encounter with an old friend who was still involved in the criminal life. At the time, I had not seen him in over 2 years. After our initial stare down, we gave each other ‘the nod’, shook hands and then embraced. We talked for a couple hours at a local cafe, laughing and joking about the good old days. However, I quickly learnt that most of the boys we rolled with were dead, missing or in/out of prison because of the gang lifestyle they were/still living. What amazed me the most was despite everything he has endured, and the fact that someone wanted him dead, did not (for one second) stop him from betraying his brothers-in-arms by leaving. Once we parted ways, I found out (about two months later) that he went to see his ancestors, which meant he was dead.
I had lost friends previously because of that lifestyle and I had been a lot closer to those friends than the one I had met by chance that day. For some strange reason it was his death that sparked something inside me. I felt a sense of guilt because I was alive and he wasn’t. What made me different was something I often asked myself because in the back of my mind the fate bestowed to him could have easily have been mine.
I had never really had the chance to properly mourn for the loss of my friends. Writing Purged by Darkness had become my way of confronting these painful memories. Although fictitious, I wanted to portray the lives of my friends in way where the reader is able to empathise through the characters in the story just what their inner most feelings are in regards to being a gangster. I wanted to give the reader a taste of what it’s like to look over your shoulder everyday or who exactly can you really trust? The sheer mental exhaustion my friends faced as a result of being exposed endlessly to violence and calamities on a personal level no ‘normal’ human being should have to go through. Many of my friends could have been anything they wanted to be, but they chose the latter and ended up in a life where it killed the very essence of their being. Nearly all of my friends wanted out and all of them died for nothing.
My book is so much more than just a book about gangs, it’s about “choice and consequences”. By empowering the youth of today with the knowledge and tools to succeed in life we give them a head start in becoming the positive leaders of our society. Coming from a nursing background, I honestly believe that the best cure is prevention!
Peace out :o)