Monday, February 12, 2007

Domestic Violence; Is there ever an excuse?

In my book "The Breaking Point" I touch on the subject of domestic violence in a scenario where the wife murders her husband. In this particular story, the husband was not abusive which is normally the case. After writing the fiction story "The Breaking Point", I did a little research on women in prison and found that an alarming amount of them are there due to crimes of passion, and more alarmingly the majority of the inmates are African-American. I found that to be very sad. Women as a people tend to be very emotional beings, we are also very strong in the way that we love hard and will go to any lengths to protect (or in some instances keep) the ones that we love. We will often stay in unhealthy relationships because we believe if we hang in there and love just a little harder then things will change or get better. Unfortunately, that better day rarely ever comes and then that's when bad things start to happen. At one of my booksignings, I met a young woman who told me about her friend that was incarcerated for murdering her husband. Intrigued, I asked her why her friend murdered her husband. The story was that the husband had been abusing her for many years and she would not leave for fear that he would kill her and her children. Then one day, the woman's pregnant sister was over visiting when he began asaulting her. The sister tried to break it up and the man then turned on her. In effort to protect her pregnant sister, the young woman stabbed her husband and killed him. She was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Was that a justifiable sentence for the crime? Should one penalty fit every crime or should the circumstances evaluated case by case? What do you think?

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Mind of a Killer...what lies beneath?

My name is Janaya Black and I have started a series called the "Prison Chronicles" that takes a deep look into the life stories of 3 different women in the same prison, to see what drove them to the various extremes that landed them in prison.

In my first book, The Breaking Point, I wrote about Marion Hayes who was imprisoned for murdering her loving husband and childhood sweetheart. This story is not the typical illustration of a battered woman who woke up one morning and decided that she wasn't going to take it anymore. It is more of a tale that illustrates how someone who is continuously beaten down by life and all of its unforeseen circumstances can endure, and then in the heat of a moment one thing can drive them over the edge past the point of return. It is a sad and relentless story of a woman who has the best of intentions but just can never seem to get ahead.

My second book, As Told By the Other Woman, tells the story of a young girl name Timberlynn Crawford, a young woman who unknowingly gets involved with a married man and ends up murdering his wife. This story is another example of how people can get caught up in emotional situations that drive them to violent extremes.

Why did I choose to go this route with my debut series? I often find myself wondering why and how people can commit the horrific atrocities that we see on the news everyday, so in order to derive some sort of understanding of what I saw I began to write stories of fictional people to bring myself some sort of insight as to what might drive an individual to murder.

So...with that said, I invite you to journey with me into the depths of my mind to find out what I will come up with next! For those who know my work...there is a lot more to look forward to. And for those who don't know my work, please check me out...I promise you won't be disappointed.