Like many women, Shawna was no stranger to abuse. After suffering through many toxic relationships – including everything from verbal assaults to grueling physical torture – she was emotionally spent and psychologically shattered. What she didn’t realize, though, was that the reason she kept allowing herself to fall victim to the same destructive relationship pattern time and again was spiritual in nature, and only after she embraced the full implications of her actions was she finally able to free herself from the horrific cycle of abuse.
Throughout the pages of Psycho Girl, author Shawna Savage recounts for the reader the dark, disturbing details of her abusive past. More than just an eye-opening memoir, Psycho Girl doubles as a thoroughly enlightening guide to avoiding the very situations in which Savage found herself trapped for so many years. With a strong emphasis on the spiritual nature of abusive behavior, Savage invites the reader to explore the full depths of why we allow ourselves to be treated in certain ways, highlighting the importance of learning to trust God in order to overcome the tempting – but deadly – trappings of the flesh. After turning the last page of this informative volume, readers will no doubt feel more empowered and encouraged, understanding that we are never truly alone in the challenges with which we all struggle from day to day. A highly recommended read. – Dominique Sessons, Apex Reviews
Tell us something about yourself.
I am a single mother of three, living in Islamorada Florida and working as a writer and Event Planner. I am a survivor of domestic violence, rape, emotional and mental abuse.
I am also a full time student at Union Institute and University.
What inspired you to write this book?
After suffering through years of abuse, I started using writing as a form of healing this writing later developed into a mission of exposing abusers. I like many victims wanted to know why me? Why Anyone? How do I free myself from abuse? I also wanted to enlighten and inform potential readers of the types of abusers there are and why we get involved with them. It was important to me to provide hope to victims let them know they were not the only ones, that there are many of us who found our way out of these toxic relationships and lead happy healthy lives.
How did you choose the title?
The title was born from the chapter Women and Rage=Psycho Girl. Many times victims find the courage to fight back and when they alter their behavior, many times they are called Psycho, crazy or some other derogatory name. It is taboo for women in Western societies to display their anger or voice their disappointments. When abusers start name calling in such a way a sort of switch goes off, and years of conditioning and go into overdrive. We back down and self loath.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
I was determined to get this message out so when I was querying agents and major publishers I received many rejection letters, but those rejection letters were personally written and held much praise for the courage and content of the writing. I never gave up, it was too important to allow people who did not know me to determine whether this was a worthwhile project. Publishing is a business and as a first time author without celebrity status the risk to publishers is immense. My drive comes from an ancestor Louis Stephens who wrote “Letters From an Oregon Ranch” 1903 After reading many family letters and correspondence I saw her frustration when her book did not sell well, she died not knowing that 100 years later it would be deemed “Classic American Literature.” My mothers Aunts book has recently been re-released and is used in classrooms around this country. Aunt Louise and I write history in American pop-culture whether it is marketable at the time it is written is not the reason we write, but to document events.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Writing and literature is something that the women in my family have done for centuries, they were all teachers and writers. Our family documented history and events in early pioneer America and I have extensive records of their migrations, education, writing and poetry. Writing is something that is expected from the women in my family.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes, When I write I write in complete solitude, since I am from the Detroit area I turn on Motown music and visualize all the success stories of the many talented writers, musicians and artists this area has produced. Ordinary people with extra ordinary dreams, with drive and determination they are my muse.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Starting this project inspired me to go back to school and study English, writing and literature. The program I am enrolled in polished my writing and a liberal arts education broadens your critical thinking and methodology and research skills. I learned that writing is part content, research and style.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have forced myself to relive the darker stories and included them in the book. This book could have easily been 300 pages.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy non-fiction, memoir and women’s issues. I especially enjoy success stories and Dr. Mary Condren’s “The Serpent and The Goddess” motivated and educated me. She has been a kind supporter of my efforts and has encouraged me to push forward with writing and education.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes I am currently starting the research and interview for my next book. I will be documenting and sharing the stories of the Detroit La Cosa Nostra or Detroit Outfit. This families is one of the oldest and most successful organization in the country. Their story has never been told or published, they promise to elude to one of the biggest mysteries of the 20th century and would like to present their side story and not the stories the media and governments spin to the public.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Keep writing, keep trying and never give up.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Women or other victims of abuse who feel alone and isolated.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Amazon, Apex reviews and Authors journal.