With my novel, The Refugee, only 4 weeks away from its official release, one of the most frequent questions I have been asked is:
Why did I choose the Refugee topic to base my novel on?
To answer this, I must first tell you about the day I first got the inspiration for the story.
Almost a year ago, on a sultry summer’s night, as I sat in front of my computer writing a science fiction fantasy story called the Seventh Echo, I suddenly found myself unable to type another word. Not another darn word!
Writer’s block? I hear you ask. Not at all! The truth is, I have never wrestled with writer’s block in my life. I have more stories in my head than I have time left on this earth, I have no doubt. And those who know me, can attest that I am never short of words. I couldn’t write anymore of the Seventh Echo, a story that required me to explore the enthralling realms of Quantum Mechanics, because of something that I heard about earlier that day. Something so disturbing and heart-wrenching, that I could think of nothing else.
By this point, the media had maximised their newspaper sales, at the expense of washed up, dead bodies of Refugee children. The Refugee crisis was common knowledge around the globe – successfully turned from a tragedy to a circus.
What really sparked my interest was a story of a family that came to the refugee camp, escaping from war, only to have their son kidnapped from the camp, in the dead of night. Thankfully, this 10-year-old, innocent boy was found alive, the next day. He had, however, been savagely raped and then dumped.
Aside from this making me feel physically sick, it made me question what was going on with the thousands of children that were seeking refuge? Who was responsible for them? And the more I dug the more questions arose, unearthing some distressing facts, like 10,000 unaccounted refugee children disappearing.
The fact that this was not of any huge concern made me realise that people had become desensitised to the catastrophic loss of life and “mysterious” vanishings of children. Refugees seemed almost less human than everyone else.
With this, I was unable to continue writing Seventh Echo. I stopped at 15000 words and began writing The Refugee. A story inspired by the atrocious circumstances that the refugees are facing. Although no words can justly describe the horror that they are facing and there simply isn’t enough ink in this world to produce published accounts of all their tribulations, I hope the
story’s message is clear.
You can find a preview of the book at: satameez.com/the-refugee