When I was four years old I would vividly illustrate a sequence of events and ask my parents to caption the pictures. I distinctly remember my first ever story – it was about the seasons. I drew flowers. When I leant how to write, I wrote my brothers a story about sharks on bright orange cardboard. They could not tell if it was a shark or a broken helicopter as my abilities to draw are non- existent.
I only started actual stories in grade six. My first was about aliens and I was convinced it would be a hit TV show. It got deleted when my computer crashed.
In school I’d sit in class and daydream. It was a rarity to find me attentive in a lesson. During our high school assemblies, especially when there were guest speakers on stage, I’d imagine I was behind the podium. Call it in vain if you will – we all have an inner child with an ego that does not fit into our skull. I would be explaining my first published work, as I always wanted to be a writer and I would be staring at the faces of people who saw proof that high school is not as good as it gets.
I loved The Catcher in the Rye because I felt like-minded to JD Salinger – I knew that if there was a least one person in the world that would understand me, I’d be okay. I want my work to do that for one person, too.
Escapist Techniques began as a method of coping during a year of trauma. Needless to say, some modes of escape are more productive than others.
The ability to mute one’s sadness is a dexterous skill, honed through years of fantasising reality away. Experimentation with intoxicating substances which lead to blissful nothingness and worry-free detachment often assists in this process.
Mastering the art of escapism, however, can be lethal. In trying to hide from selected feelings, we may also find ourselves hiding from those we want to experience and from our very selves.
Escapist Techniques follows the journey of a young woman who, in trying to escape the responsibility life brings, eventually finds and accepts herself through tragic circumstances.
Danya Raquel will be doing a talk in the Conference Room at the Independent Author Book Fair at 12.30pm.