The Lily Cafe is thrilled to welcome author Idelle Kursman! The author of two novels, True Mercy and The Book of Revelations, her post really speaks to my heart in so many ways and her novels sound absolutely fascinating while also spreading awareness for causes close to her heart.
Also, please head over to Reedsy and upvote her new novel The Book of Revelations by Friday. Thank you!
Writing to Express Myself
Being an introvert, I have always found writing the best vehicle to express myself. Most people would describe me as a very quiet person, but that does not mean I do not have ideas or opinions that I would like to share. When I was younger, I was determined to become an extrovert because those individuals seemed to be the ones who could make an impact and they generally find it easier to relate important life experiences. Of course, I soon learned that people cannot change their basic personality type—you are born either an introvert or an extrovert. Most people are somewhere in between but I am definitely very much an introvert. Like most introverts, I have to push myself to be more extroverted when I go out to large social gatherings. However, if I put on my extroverted face for too long, I feel like I am holding my breath underwater and desperately need to come up to the surface for air. Don’t get me wrong: I love meeting and talking with people but can only engage in it for so long. I feel more comfortable opening up about my interests, causes I am passionate about, and pivotal life experiences in writing, so I mostly use the written word to express myself
After writing in various forms for many years, including local news articles, essays, and book reviews, I found writing novels the ideal method to express my thoughts and opinions. The characters in my stories communicate what I would like to convey to others.
For example, in my first novel, True Mercy, I wrote about two social issues that I wanted to bring awareness to: families coping with a child with autism and the international human trafficking crisis. I have a loved one with autism and am keenly aware of how difficult it is to take care of these individuals and the tremendous stress it puts on families while they endlessly search for services so they can manage. Those who are unfamiliar with this developmental disorder could not possibly understand what it is like living with an individual that exhibits the following behaviors: an unpredictable disposition, a short attention span, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors like hand flapping, an inability to socialize, and sleep difficulties. Needless to say, parents and siblings become embarrassed by their behavior in public, and insensitive people assume the parents are doing a poor job raising their unruly child. And if that isn’t enough, these families are often excluded from social gatherings because others find their behavior disturbing. The best avenue for me to explain the plight of these families and promote understanding, and even empathy, is through writing. The second cause is the international human trafficking crisis. Like most people, I thought slavery ended after the Civil War. That was until I saw the movie Taken about eight years ago. Watching innocent teenage girls get tricked into becoming sex slaves in human trafficking rings was truly shocking and traumatic. It led me to do research and I found out there are an estimated 4.8 million people worldwide who are being trafficked. While writing True Mercy, I attended local events sponsored by anti-trafficking organizations like Polaris and the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. And since I love thrillers with page-turning action, I strove to make this story engaging while spreading awareness for these issues. In this way, I can make an impact and reach others about these important causes.
In addition to causes, I also like to write stories that touch on life experiences. In my second book, The Book of Revelations, a woman named Christine Goldberg has many ambitions while in school: she wants to be the first member of her family to graduate college and also aspires for a modeling career. However, she becomes pregnant in college and all her dreams are derailed. While I did not have the same situation as Christine, I wanted to write a story that emphasizes that life often does not go as we had planned. However, despite our disappointments, we must go on and adopt so we can live our lives to the best of our abilities. Christine does manage to make a life for herself and her twin children, but then she is forced to confront an even bigger challenge: the man she marries is diagnosed with leukemia. The family is thrown into turmoil as he seeks treatment for his life and death struggle. Many years ago, I had an uncle who passed away from leukemia. I remember the family’s upheaval as he was getting treatment. Everyone was hopeful but scared. My uncle had the most aggressive form and despite his valiant struggle, he passed away. This has always stayed in my mind and after my first novel was finished, I wanted to write a story with him in mind.
Another similar life experience is that Christine is a mother of twins, a boy and a girl. She had early contractions during her pregnancy, being forced on bedrest for months, and the babies were born premature. She could not return to work because her newborns were so fragile. I have identical twin boys but also had the same difficult pregnancy and post-pregnancy experience.
The last experience is the novel’s setting. It takes place in Boston, Massachusetts. Christine’s twins are seniors in high school and have their sights set on getting into Boston College. I graduated from BC and this was my chance to recall those years of living in Boston and visiting places like the Boston Common, Fenway Park, and Boston Public Library.
Writing has become my forum for expressing my views and sharing life experiences. I always encourage other introverts to write. It does not have to be a novel –writing notes in a journal is a great method to express ideas and feelings. People are always surprised and delighted how fulfilling writing can be and introverts gain the added satisfaction of giving voice to their beliefs and experiences.
About Idelle Kursman
Idelle Kursman was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College and her master’s from William Paterson University. Idelle taught for many years and was a correspondent for a local newspaper. She has written articles for various publications and writes regularly on her website.
Books by Idelle Kursman
Please note this novel was released as an ebook on May 10, 2020, but, due to the pandemic, the print book will take a little longer to be released. But do be sure to pick up the ebook at $2.99.
Connect with Idelle Kursman
Thank you so much to Idelle Kursman for such a beautiful post. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I loved it!
The author, Idelle Kursman, retains all rights to the guest post published above, which may not be copied, reproduced, modified, sold, or distributed without the author’s express permission. To contact Idelle Kursman to request permission to utilize the above guest post, please send your inquiry to Kat via the Contact page.
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