Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Accused: A Retalation Novel #2 (Retalation #2) by Yasmin Shiraz

Published: January 4th, 2014


An easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University. But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.

Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?

Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic. Ahmed and Tashera’s journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.

From Serious Issues To Great Stories 

Many readers wonder how an author takes serious issues and turns them into great fictional stories. I can't speak for other authors, but for me, I tackle serious issues because I want to write books that can impact reader's lives. I use real life as my motivation as an author. I like my books to reflect the current pulse of society. While writing the story, I'm always thinking to make the story as interesting as possible even though the subject is serious. 

With my latest book Accused, I wrote about a college freshman who terrorized women on campus by using the date rape drug and then implicated an innocent college classmate in his crimes. The idea for this story first came to me when I heard voices while sitting in my office. I heard, "I didn't do it," in one male voice. Then, I heard, "They won't catch me," in another male voice. I immediately thought, "Oh no, Ahmed's been accused of something." "Somebody is raping girls on campus," was the theme in my head. 

After hearing bits and pieces of the story, I then conducted research on date rape, date rape drugs, being falsely accused, and the criminal justice system as it relates to those topics. Every time I gathered more "serious" information, I thought about how to make it relatable and entertaining through the characters. I wish I could say that writing serious yet entertaining stories was easy, but it isn't. I'm constantly debating how to share pertinent information on a crime or a victim without alienating the reader. I'm often questioning if I've sugarcoated a topic so that it is too easy to swallow for the reader. I often wonder if sugarcoating will allow the reader to fully understand the gravity of the "serious" issues. 

So, how does an author take serious issues and turn them into great fictional stories? With great care and patience. It is my hope with my books that readers will see that I've cared enough about the subject and about the characters that I've created a story that is powerful, unforgettable and enjoyable.

About the author:
Yasmin Shiraz is the author of The Blueprint for My Girls as well as The Blueprint for My Girls in Love. She is an empowerment speaker and program developer who has delivered programs and keynotes based on her books.

She is the author of the ALA's Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, Retaliation. She has spoken at over 100 colleges nationwide on topics such as empowerment, black history and hip hop culture.

She is an award winning film director as her film, Can She Be Saved? won 4 film awards including Best New film.

When not writing books, she produces documentaries for her company, Still Eye Rise Films.

Author's Giveaway
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is a great giveaway. I want to read this book :)