A Letter from Prescott Lane to her Readers at the end of her Layers of Her Novella
A Letter to my Readers
Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And that’s part of the problem. Because it’s so uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom of the newsfeed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.
Last March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault. A few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long hospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair next to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them. Some shared their reasons, and others didn’t.
I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? I’d just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didn’t see one post about it on any of my social media accounts.
Early this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate all of April’s profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much will the profits be? Will readers assume I’m a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice? Why am I doing this? It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent. But that’s the whole problem, isn’t it?
I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault is one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes and heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That’s all we want for them. We need to do the same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single day. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors but for those who love them.
People always say it’s what’s on the inside that matters. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. On the outside, everything looks put together — blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean. By society’s standards, I’d be considered attractive. But f*ck society, I know what I am. I know what I’m made of. The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside don’t make me who I am. What about all the evil lurking inside? What about all the other parts of me that aren’t so easy to see? Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest. Take the polar bear, for example. Cute and cuddly on the outside, but it’s really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off. That’s a dangerous combination.
And that’s exactly like me, exactly who I am. Bad — and once you go bad, you can never go back.
WARNING: This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.