I am very honored to have Cheryl Rainfield today as a Special Guest for YA Saves Sunday.  Cheryl’s literature has not only touched thousands of teens, adults, and readers but has touched me on a very personal level.  Her literature is one of the reasons why I started YA Saves Sunday.  Not only is her literature and writing timeless, but she is gracious, honest, and never afraid to speak her mind and the truth – all qualities we all should have.  So enough of me gushing about Cheryl, without further ado I give you the amazing 

Cheryl Rainfield on her new novel Hunted and using real life in fantasy literature

I love being a writer. I can use fiction and fantasy to draw out real truths that some people might not be able to hear otherwise. I think fiction and fantasy are powerful ways to talk about things that can be painful.

I’m a ritual abuse survivor; my parents were part of intergenerational cults. I know what it’s like to be tortured and exploited, to have mind control used against me, to have my life repeatedly threatened. I wove fragments of those experiences into HUNTED. I drew on my experience with cults, as well as societal oppression such as homophobia, sexism, racism, and made them a part of Caitlyn’s world. For me, the government ParaTroopers and the renegade Paras are like forms of cult and oppression–and I hope even if readers  don’t see that, that they will understand the oppression and root for Caitlyn to get free.

For me, HUNTED is a story of overcoming oppression (and cults), of breaking free, of finding your own inner strength and learning to trust others, and of creating a life for yourself where you like where you are and you feel good about it. It is a story of hope.

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You can find Cheryl Rainfield at her Website / Her Blog / Twitter / Facebook

“I love to read. Books nurture me, helped me survive the abuse I endured as a child and teen. I also love to write. I write fantasy books and edgy, realistic fiction for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while my realistic fiction is gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through…things that I think shouldn’t be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength.
In SCARS (WestSide, 2010), Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself before it’s too late. It’s my arm on the cover. There’s a lot of me in SCARS; like my main character, Kendra, I am an incest survivor, I used self-harm to cope, and I’m queer. In my teen paranormal fantasy, HUNTED (WestSide, Oct 2011), Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where that is illegal, and she must choose between saving herself or saving the world. Like Caitlyn, I know what it’s like to have my life threatened, to face oppression, to experience torture, and to break free from cult or from a group of oppressors. And I know what it’s like to have to decide between hiding my true self or being who I am, even if that means danger to myself. I drew on my experience with cults and ritual abuse in creating the world that Caitlyn lives in.
Books were my survival during my childhood, and my journey into myself. Books give me hope. I hope mine will give you hope, too, or something that you need.”
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