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Kelly Watt | The Inspiration Behind My Novel Mad Dog
Author Guest / October 3, 2019

In my late-twenties, I went through a terrible time where I suffered insomnia, depression, and anxiety and ended up in intensive psychotherapy. I began going through flashbacks of sexual abuse I’d suffered as a child while living in various foster care situations. I began keeping a journal to maintain my sanity. I felt that if I could write a few sentences a day, I would not go mad. The journal entries gradually morphed into short stories. One of those stories was about a traumatized girl who is being used without her knowledge and a transient boy who is abused and photographed by an older man. The story just kept getting longer and longer. I was terrified. Terrified of the subject matter, but also terrified because I didn’t know how to write a novel. So, my starting point was traumatic memory. The adult me was grappling with how and why the boy had ended up there. I posed myself some questions: why would a boy be lured by this older man? What would be the appeal? What would he be fleeing, what were his vulnerabilities and how would the perpetrator seduce him and convince him to stay? I wrote the book…