Today I am pleased to welcome Madeleine Black on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some intriguing answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I have only written one book, which is my memoir Called Unbroken. It tells my story of being gang raped at thirteen by two American teenagers and follows my journey of survival, healing, forgiveness, transformation and hope. Writing my memoir has liberated me from any shame and guilt I felt and I no longer feel that I am hiding or concerned that people will find out about my past. Using words to help me find my voice has helped me enormously
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
I always have a cup of herbal tea, my favourite at the moment is liquorice and peppermint.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Not really, but I do need the house to be empty and silent!
How do you research your books?
It didn’t really need any research as I was the subject matter, but I did apply for my hospital notes from when I spent 8 weeks in a children’s psychiatric ward following a suicide attempt after the rape. That was a tough read but I wanted to see if they had any idea to what had happened to me, sadly they were clueless. I really hope things have changed now
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
When I’ve heard people say that their book wrote themselves I’ve never understood them until I decided to write my own. I would see the title names and chapters flying around my head at night when I couldn’t sleep and the following morning when I sat down in front of my Mac all of my words would flow out of my fingertips. And in eight weeks I had written nearly 70,000 words and was finished.
About the book
For many years after that night, my memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented… difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand.
Violently gang-raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will.
Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage it wrought, as men continued to take advantage of her fragility in the worst possible way.
Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all: leading a fulfilling and happy life. But the road to piecing her life back together was long and painful. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It takes a real desire to understand those who have done us so much harm. It is the ultimate act of courage.
In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her deeply moving and empowering story, as she discovers that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity. We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up.
About the Author
The sharing of her story publicly in September 2014, opened many doors for Madeleine in ways she never imagined and the invitations started to pour in.
She has taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to share her story of being gang raped as a teenager at conferences, events and schools.
She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has now found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for her, but for so many who can’t find theirs yet.
She is married and lives in Glasgow with her husband, three daughters, her cat, Suki, and dog, Alfie. Her memoir, Unbroken, was published on April 4th 2017.