Writing A Book About My Sexual Assault
Updated: Sep 16, 2018
I wrote a book!
I’m going public with something I never thought I would tell anyone. I have two big things that I am sharing. The first thing being that I wrote a book! This is so exciting to me. When I tell people this (the few people I have told) they get really excited. Then they ask me what the book is about. That’s where it gets a little awkward. I haven’t disclosed about my rape to many people. It’s just not something I bring up. So to tell about the book means telling about the rape and that’s a lot of information! Let’s get the basics out in the open. I was raped by a student at my college, on September 17, 2011. I turned to my school for help and was told not to go to the police and “waste their time.” I was convinced to do a judicial case through my Dean of Students. The outcome was devastating. Following this, I struggled with my mental health including-severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I was eventually able to get help and today I am a very happy and functioning person! Onto the book! Well......I can’t say too much about the book right now. As of yet, it will be published in January 2019 in the UK and March 2019 in North America!!! This summer, I got to work with an amazing editor and now my book is in its final stages of edits at the publishing house. The publisher has created a cover with a lot of my input and I am so pleased with it! If I could show you I would. The publisher is going to start promoting the book soon and that’s terrifying exciting. The book is being published by Trigger Publishing, which is an incredible publishing house that focuses on mental health and making recovery accessible.
Trigger is a new publishing house that has already put out life changing books from people
that share their stories of struggling with anorexia, depression, borderline personality disorder, and more. Trigger was created by the Shaw Mind Foundation which is a charity that helps people with mental health struggles and has the goal to reduce suicide around the world. Many of the proceeds from the books go to this charity!
What is the book about?
The book is about what happened to me and how I navigated the judicial processes, being a college student, my rapid mental health deterioration, and how I was eventually able to get help and be the person I am today!
How did I start writing? Let me tell you!
There have been a lot of stories about sexual assault in the media and every time one would come up, I would get a little twinge that I wanted to share my perspective or share in solidarity with the people this affected, but I never felt like I could. In the spring of 2017, I had some free time on my hands and I started writing out what happened to me. It consumed me wholly for about three weeks. Then I had what I will loosely describe as a book. It was short and at times cringey. It overshared where it shouldn’t and glossed over things I needed to talk about. But, I had a book and this was thrilling!
I no longer had to carry each part of the story and hold tight to the details, they were on paper and these words gave me ownership of my story. I thought about what I wanted to do with my book and I was at a loss. I kept working on it, adding to it, and editing it. I would put it down for months and then add to it with new energy and new things I remembered to add. Eventually, I decided I wanted to publish my story. I wanted to help to break the stigma surrounding sexual assault and help people to get help.
I was searching through Twitter one day in January of 2018 and I saw a post that a YouTuber I follow had retweeted. This led me to the profile of the woman who had made
the original tweet and somehow this led me to a tweet by Trigger Press. I looked through their twitter and then their website. I then saw that they were looking for submissions from people that had mental health stories, I thought…. I have one of those! I grappled with whether to submit for a few weeks and then finally I decided I had nothing to lose. To submit my story, I had to email them the first three chapters, a summary of each chapter, and an overall synopsis. I worked for a few nights to make sure my submission was as close to perfect as I could make it and I forced myself to hit send. I waited for close to two months before I got an email that they wanted to Skype with me! On March 22 at an ungodly hour in the morning ( they are based in the UK) I got to speak with two lovely women (Katie Taylor and Stephanie Cox) at the publishing house and they told me that they wanted to publish my story. I was in so much shock, but so unbelievably proud and happy. The whole day I felt like I was carrying a shining secret. I still do! Then came contract signing, lots of emails, some more painfully early Skype calls, and lots more excitement. Now it’s August and we are closer to the book launch than ever! I am still in awe that my story is going to be published in the UK and the US and that people will be able to read about what happened to me and understand the reactions of people who have been affected by sexual violence and to see the way systems that are supposed to help us can hurt us. I don’t know how people in my life will react. How this will affect my relationships and my everyday life. But I’m excited and proud and I’m not ashamed. For so many years I was so ashamed. I plan to update this blog with book updates and more information on mental health.
I am excited for this journey and I’m excited you’re here with me for all that will come.
Thank you for reading, Laurie