Accused: Behind the Novel
I hear parts of a story in my head, through dreams or fleeting thoughts. After I initially hear parts of a story in my head, I conduct research on the topic itself. All of my young adult books have a serious issue that pulls the reader through the story. In the case of my latest book Accused, I dealt with both sexual assault and an innocent person being falsely accused. In researching sexual assaults and the use of date rape drugs, I scoured newspapers, magazines, and internet articles dealing with the subject. I was absolutely devastated when I discovered victims who do not go to the hospital immediately after being given a date rape drug will likely have no evidence in their system 8 hours later. Most victims, however, aren't going to the hospital within 8 hours because they don't know they have been drugged. In addition, most women won't know who gave them the drug and will not know who attacked them and therefore, won't be able to identify their attacker. This information really motivated me to write Accused. Young women attending college who accept drinks from people are putting themselves at risk and it's important for them to know that.
It was pretty easy to research incidents where people were falsely accused. The key for me was to present accusations in a present day electronic / social media time frame. Before Ahmed could get to the police station, people on campus already knew that he had been arrested and many assumed that he was guilty. The time that it takes to send a text message is how fast a rumor spreads through a school or university. It was important for me to show how electronic images, social media photos, and text messages can be cut and pasted together to make a person appear guilty when they were completely innocent of the crime.
To further make the book realistic, I read extensive case histories on sociopaths in creating Brandon Royal's character. I wanted Brandon to accurately portray a sociopath. In gathering the data on sociopaths, I was most surprised by the level of charm that sociopaths exude without much effort. It's almost as if a sociopath can reel you in without really trying. Because of my research on sexual assault, I wanted to write a book where young women could see that an attractive, charming guy could be the same guy who is using the date rape drug.
It's not easy to take on topics like sexual assault, the use of date rape drugs, and sociopaths. However, I believe if I do my homework and set the tone, the characters and the circumstances just right, the book will not only entertain someone, it might just save someone's life.
Accused by Yasmin Shiraz
Book 2 of the Retaliation series
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.Source: Info in the About Accused was from the press kit from the publicity team.
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.
Retaliation by Yasmin Shiraz
Book 1 of the Retaliation series
Violence runs rampant on the streets of Washington, DC, and on one seemingly quiet day, the Odom family finds its world destroyed when seventeen-year-old Tashera is brutally attacked by a group of high school girls.Source: Info in the About Retaliation was from the press kit from the publicity team.
Retaliation exposes the corrupting existence of violence in our communities and the retaliatory measures families go through to protect themselves and their children.
Meet 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.
- Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Accused by Yasmin Shiraz (INT)
- One (1) winner will receive a paperback copy of Retaliation by Yasmin Shiraz and an ebook copy of Accused by Yasmin Shiraz (US/Canada)
- Ends: 20 April 2014