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Cheryl Rainfield has been said to write with “great empathy and compassion” (VOYA) and to write stories that “can, perhaps, save a life.” (CM Magazine) SLJ said of her work: “[Readers] will be on the edge of their seats.”
Listen to a radio interview with me on Matters Of The Mind where I talk about being an incest and torture survivor, why I write, and about my books SCARS, STAINED, and HUNTED.
I write the books I needed as a teen and couldn't find. I draw on my abuse and trauma experience for every book I write--it's important to me to encourage healing and hope, and to break silence--but I also write to entertain and to move people. And I write strong girl characters in all my books.
Books are powerful--that they can help us know we're not alone, help us gain greater compassion for ourselves and for others, help us understand things that we might not have before, all the while taking us on a thrilling ride in the safety of our own home.
I get reader letters every week telling me how SCARS helped them stop cutting, get help, talk to someone for the first time, or know that they're not alone about being a survivor, being queer, or using self-harm to cope. I also hear from readers who tell me that they don't have any of those experiences, but that my books helped them have greater compassion for others who have. And I've started hearing from some teen readers that STAINED helped them feel stronger or braver, like they could get through anything that comes at them. What a good feeling! I delight in all the letters and read every one, though I can't always write back.
SCARS was my first published book--one that took me more than 10 years to get published and more than 50 revisions before I finally got a contract. It's my own arm on the cover of SCARS, and bits of my story are woven into the fiction. STAINED, which comes out this Oct, also draws on a lot of my own experiences, including being held captive, being withheld food and drink for long periods of time, rape, and mind control. But that doesn't make Sarah or me a victim. The tagline for STAINED is: "Sometimes you have to be your own hero." Because we can save ourselves. I did, many times over. And that's what Sarah has to do. I talk more about why I write, my history, and more on my About page.
SCARS and STAINED are both now audiobooks! And they're both narrated by the same narrator--Emily Bauer--who does a beautiful job. There is also a free SCARS Teaching Guide (that can also be used as a Reading Guide). Download your free copy here. (Starts the download immediately.) It's in Word doc format.
Want free goodies that tie into my books? Go to the Books link and you'll find goodies for each book.
My post on banned books for Banned Book Week: "Books Save Lives. Don't Try To Take That Away." I care a lot about the issue because my own book SCARS has been challenged a few times, and because I know how much I desperately needed books as a teen that would reflect back my own experiences and let me know I'm not alone.
You might also want to read "The Sadness of Banned Books" a poem I wrote for Banned Book Week
My response to the WSJ article that slams Scars. YA saves!