Like many authors and people of the arts, I'm a person who has been through a lot in my life—from adolescence all the way up to adulthood. It's an ongoing process that a lot of times, pours out into my stories. One of the main things I hear from my readers is that they can see and feel me in the story that I write, so it has in essence, been a lot of writing fact into fiction. For the longest time I feared transparency because there were areas of my life that I had not yet confronted, and I wasn’t comfortable with letting the world see me so candidly. Ironically, the writing provided me with an outlet allowing me to transfer . . . hide behind . . . live through . . . my characters.
In the Ring, my new book, was no different. I lost one of my brothers on my birthday in 2006. He died in a motorcycle accident on his way home—two exits from his home. It broke me. I felt like he was tagging me, saying, “You’re it!” and I was highly emotional. It got to a point where I didn't even want to celebrate my birthday for a few years. When I finally began my professional writing career in 2013, I knew that I needed to channel the energy that still surrounded me. I knew that I needed to honor Ricky somehow through words.
My thoughts were consumed with how excited I would be if a girl just happened to show up one day and announce to the family that they had a baby. That we had something . . . to hold in the flesh, that belonged to Ricky. When he left, we had the memories, and the memories are beautiful but I just always wanted to see a look in his baby’s face, eyes, cheeks, mannerisms . . . that would allow me to see Ricky.
In the Ring is a story about family, loss, and love. It’s an emotionally charged story that captures just what I wanted it to capture. I stopped writing the story a lot during its development. I’d put my all into a chapter and then have to sit out a day. It was that intense. Without giving the story away, I’ll just say that I wrote it in an ‘alternate ending’, kind of way. So when I was finally able to sit down and allow my thoughts to think back to that time, In the Ring began to flow without effort—but certainly not without tears.
My protagonist, Dario Caivano, is not the character I used to channel Ricky; it’s his cousin, Lucas. In the beginning of the book Lucas dies tragically—in his cousin’s arms. It’s through that situation that the story is told in the form of a few twists and many turns. At the end of it all, I wanted to be able to do what I habitually try to do, and that is to write something that readers can relate to. But this time, in addition to that, I wanted something for me as well—to possibly begin the process of healing—even eleven years later.
Author Perri Forrest is an outspoken, and passionate single parent to a 19 year old marine. She has published twenty-three novels (three of those urban fiction are under a pseudonym). Writing has saved Perri's life in so many ways. Stay tuned for all the things to come this year. Keep up with Author Perri Forrest below.