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I’m Still Here – Just Busy

30 Jan

I just wanted to send an update to everyone about upcoming books. The 6th episode of “After The Darkness” is almost done. I’m currently working on the final pages and will be sending it to beta readers soon. I appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and patience. The follow-up book for “New Hope City” is still in the works, I’m in the beginning stages with it. Please signup for the mailing list to find out when these books are available.

SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

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Happy Thanksgiving! (Yeah, I know it’s kinda late)

29 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

I feel like it’s been a long time since I updated my blog, but I wanted wish everyone a Happy (belated) Thanksgiving. It has been two years since I started publishing my fiction and I’ll say one thing, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

The Gift of Life

I’ve just had another birthday and I’m extremely thankful for the gift of life. In the past few years I’ve lost my mom, my grandfather, and few other friends of friends who definitely left this place well before their time.  Every loss reminds me of just how fleeting life is and that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. The funny thing about it is that as time passes and I mature, I’m finding myself less stressed, less anxious, and more content with life. I’m learning to enjoy the journey just as much as reaching my destination.

The Gift of Friends and Family

Love is a verb, and there’s nothing like feeling loved and loving towards others. I’m thankful for all those people surrounding me who care about me, pick  me up when I’m down, and remind me that I’m special to them. When it comes to loved ones, I consider myself amongst the lucky few who have people in their life willing to stick with them even in the most difficult times.

The Gift of Writing

You know the old cliché that we’re all given talents and it’s up to us to use them effectively? Well, that’s how I view writing. I consider myself blessed to have the passion and talent for writing and the good foresight to cultivate my skills.

The Gift of Readers

This indie publishing journey has been made amazing, not just by the act of independent publishing, but by all the readers who have bought my stories. I’m eternally grateful to you all. Thank you!

A Few Story Updates

For those of you waiting for After The Darkness: Episode 6 and the sequel to New Hope City, I’m still working on them.  I don’t have a publication date, but signup for my mailing list and I’ll let you know when they’re available.

SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

Poverty Myths Explored

23 Oct

One of the themes I explore in my books is poverty. Most of my main characters are poor or live in a society that has a huge disparity between those with financial resources and those without. While browsing twitter I discovered this interesting article about poverty myths.  Here is a summary of the myths below:

  • Poverty is the fault of the individual, people only have themselves to blame
  • Children from poverty have the same opportunities as children who do not live in poverty
  • Getting a job is the key to avoiding poverty
  • There is no real link between poverty and health
  • We can’t afford to end poverty
  • Job creation and a strong economy will help poor people
  • People who are living in poverty are uneducated

I think the article is worth a read. The article provides its own rebuttal to these myths, but there’s something I want to discuss that often isn’t brought up in these conversations about poverty.  I want to first point out that the cause of poverty is complex. But I believe that one of the root causes of poverty is a disconnection from power bases.  For example, in my novel New Hope City, the protagonist is a poor teen born into poverty. Her poverty makes her a social outcast because some people equate poverty with criminality, lack of moral character and a host of other bad qualities. She can’t make friends with the “rich” kids because she is considered unworthy of friendship by both adults and youth.  A matter of fact, the only friends she can make are the people who are like her and who may be looking to exploit her for their personal gain. And her poverty makes her vulnerable to exploitation. She can be exploited by adults in her small town because she is invisible and considered unworthy of the full protection of the law. Her exploitation is ignored because it is assumed that she is a bad, inferior and less than. And some may assume that she caused her own troubles. And the irony is that because of her lack of social connections and her lack of life experience she does make decisions that deepen her own troubles. But this is how poverty works.  Youth  born into poverty are often cut off from the part of society that could help alleviate their condition. Many impoverished youth are raised by single parents who work several jobs to improve their financial conditions, but they can’t get ahead because they lack skills, social connections or they live in areas with terrible job prospects. Or maybe parents become so depressed and disheartened that they give up and fail to provide for their children.  These kids may even have parents who are themselves troubled emotionally, psychologically or have become burdened with legal troubles. It’s all of these things that can cause impoverished youth to have a stigma placed against them causing them to become isolated from power bases (jobs, resources, social connections) that could help them overcome poverty.

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SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

How I Lost My Friend To Prostitution

9 Aug

ProstituteKaren was only 15 when she was seduced by a pimp, but she was one of my closest friends. I’ll never forget the scars on her face, and the black circles under her eyes, and the fear in her voice when she spoke of him. But I also remember how she needed him to need her and want her. She was lost without him. She was dead without him. And the irony was that he probably would have killed her if she dared leave him. When I wrote New Hope City, I often thought about my friend Karen. I wondered how she had fallen into the pimp’s snare.  And when I look back, I would say that she was much like Sunni, the main character in New Hope City, in that her descent into the hell of prostitution began in a place that’s supposed to be safe – home.

Parents Play Dumb

Some parents are just too busy to uhm…well, to parent. They’ve got their own lives. Or, maybe their life hasn’t turned out the way they wanted and they want their kid to make it a little easier. My friend Karen had a parent like that. She was an only child and her mom was a single parent, and of course they didn’t have much money. Her mom liked to keep boyfriends around, and if she was real nice to them they would leave a few dollars on the nightstand. That could pay the light bill or buy a bag of groceries, but it also made the boyfriends feel entitled to more than just Karen’s mom. They took liberties with Karen too, and her mom would just play dumb, like she didn’t see anything.

Pimps Seem Nice – By Comparison

I’m not too sure about when Karen first started having problems with her mom’s boyfriends, I just know that one Summer she just seemed different, quiet, somber, and maybe even a little angry. That’s when she met Juan, that’s what people called him, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t his real name. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that he was no good. No one ever used the word pimp to describe him, but we all knew that’s what he was. When Karen’s mood first started to improve I thought that maybe things had gotten better at home, that she had been able to get the men to stop “messing with her” as she always described it, but when she told me that Juan had given her a pair of new (and expensive) sneakers I knew she was headed for trouble.  Juan’s string of gifts made my friend happy but they also made her stupid, well stupid for him. She started hanging out late. And then she stopped hanging out with me and her other friends. And from there things went downhill. Rumors spread that she was “fooling around” with grown men and that she had moved in with Juan. That was the last time I saw Karen. She didn’t even show up for school that Fall.

There Are No Angels

In the movies, prostituted teens are portrayed as innocent victims worthy of a savior. They’re usually kidnapped or somehow forced into “the life.”  But the reality of teen prostitution is a lot more murky.  Prostituted girls like my friend aren’t perfect. They’re flawed and damaged which makes them do things that flawed and damaged people do. These girls may seem like troubled kids, stealing, lying, fighting and engaging in promiscuous sex. And it’s these things that make people less likely to see them as worthy of saving.  Just like my old friend, they get lost. And just like my old friend, they may face an early and tragic end.  But when I wrote New Hope City I wanted to talk about a girl like Karen, someone who may be damaged and flawed but who is in fact worthy of a savior.

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SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

Congratulations New Hope City Paperback Winners!

14 Jun

The New Hope City paperback winners are:

Laura & Scott

Congratulations! I plan to mail your books by next week.

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SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

Attention LibraryThing Winners

9 May

If you’re one of the lucky winners of my recent LibraryThing giveaway for the first two episodes of “After The Darkness,” please note that you will receive a free Smashwords coupon to download your copy of the books (in the format of your choice) by Monday, May 13, 2013. Thanks for your patience! If you’re a winner of the giveaway and you want to receive a complimentary copy of episode 3 and 4, please signup for the mailing list. Thanks!

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ETA: If you’ve won a free copy of New Hope City, you will receive the free Smashwords coupon by May 14, 2013

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Evil Thrives When We Choose To Ignore It

7 May
Photo by Tiffanie J.

Photo by Tiffanie J.

I’ve been following the news story about three young women in Cleveland, Ohio who were reunited with their families after ten years in captivity. It certainly is a horror story, albeit one with a happy ending. It’s so rare that kidnapping victims are found alive that the discovery of these three women is nothing short of a miracle.  Everyone, including myself, is happy to see these women rescued. But there are these nagging feelings and questions that have been bothering me all day. How is it possible that three women and a child can be held in captivity for ten years and no one notice?  Had not one person in that neighborhood stepped inside that house – IN TEN YEARS? Had not one person recognized signs that something was wrong? Or, did they see and turn a blind eye? Or maybe they did report it to authorities and the authorities didn’t care? According to CNN, one of the next door neighbors of this house of horrors was brave enough to call the police but wasn’t taken seriously.

“She was just walking around, and naked,” Samoylicz said. “We thought that was weird. We thought it was funny at first, and then we thought that was weird so we called the cops. They thought we was playing, joking, they didn’t believe us.”

And that’s not all, another neighbor, Israel Lugo, heard screaming coming from the house, but when he called the police they only did the minimal investigation which was to knock on the door and leave when no one answered.  Can you imagine being in that house and hearing the police outside, hoping that they will rescue you, only to have them walk away?  Now can you imagine hearing people partying in the backyard and barbequing while you’re inside suffering?  Just the idea of this makes me angry. I do not believe for one split second that everyone in that neighborhood was somehow kept in the dark about what was happening in that house.  I believe that SOMEONE knew. Someone knew and decided to shrug it off or tell themselves that it was none of their business. That’s what my instincts say. My instincts also say that in a city that is ranked as one of the most dangerous in the country, minding your own business is probably the unspoken rule.

My novel New Hope City is set in a place like that, a place where people turn a blind eye to the crime, abuse, corruption, and where the police simply ignore your suffering – and that’s if you’re lucky. These types of places exist; they’re here, right now in America and all over the world. And I think it’s critical for all of us to recognize that there is evil in this world. If we fail to recognize that evil exists, how can we stop it? How can we choose to be one of the good guys if we believe that these types of things don’t happen? This is one of the reasons that I write the type of stories I do. I want people to get a glimpse at how things sometimes go wrong and how bad things sometimes happen to good people for no apparent reason.

SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts.

NEW HOPE CITY

Available at Nook  Kobo  Smashwords  Apple Amazon Google Play

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