Many people have asked me about my inspiration for writing Why Ruin Another Life. Those who have read the book might have noticed that the first chapter takes place in current day, then from the second chapter on flashes back into the mid-1970s. My biography on the back cover of the book mentions I was told this story some years ago and upon hearing it I felt compelled to write this story based on true events. What a lot of people don’t know is that I too am depicted by a character in the book.
In the first chapter I introduce the characters Shawn and Paul D. My role in the book is represented in the character of Shawn. The first chapter pretty much happened the way it is written in the book. We later learned that the character Paul D had some type traumatic event that caused him to behave strangely. The character Shawn is so shock by Paul D’s bizarre behavior that he drills him until Paul D confesses.
I thought the story was intriguing and amazing, and I felt such sympathy for my friend. In fact, I was surprised that he held up as well as he did. I honestly don’t think I would fair as well under the same circumstance. This story spoke to me in so many ways, not of this magnitude but I have had similar happenings in my life. I related so much to the story that it prompted me to write this book.
After researching the subject, I learned that this wasn’t uncommon; many people have had some type of traumatic events happen to them in their early years, but if they push these occurrences aside and refuse to deal with them, it affects them throughout their lives.
It was my hope in writing this book that people would identify with these characters and see that they are not so alone, and perhaps seek the help that they need in order to deal with these monsters in their closets.