Writing - Big Issues
Updated: Feb 14
I can’t believe my last blog was posted 6 months ago. I hope you have successfully managed the terrible impacts of the pandemic and the corrosive politics and stayed well and safe during this time.
My plan was to write a monthly blog. I thought that would not overwhelm, but was often enough to keep in touch. Unfortunately, as you can see, my plans didn’t work out.
After the fires, a serious family illness early in the year and Covid-19 still requiring attention, I lost my focus. Then politics around the world generated endless conflicts and division and I’ve found myself sitting on the side-lines shaking my head and feeling reluctant to comment.
I admit, seeing people shout others down and aggressively voice their beliefs (placing an almost religious faith in their preferred side of politics) is hard to understand especially when facts, data, and evidence are ignored. There are others who say they ‘don’t pay attention to politics’ or ‘aren’t interested in politics’. It’s sometimes said with a sigh and in a voice that says they are overwhelmed or exhausted by the multitude of issues, but sometimes it’s said as though politics is ‘beneath’ them. I have difficulty understanding this too, because to me, politics is important. Paying attention is particularly important, how else can we hold those in office and power accountable.
Surprisingly, I also haven’t used books as an escape. I usually read fiction and occasionally read nonfiction to research a topic or stay informed. But one of my latest reads (I haven't quite finished it yet) has been difficult for a number of reasons.
Mayada by Jean Sasson is a true story about one woman’s survival in Saddam Hussein’s torture jail. It is all the more shocking and distressing because it’s real and that makes it an important story. It shows us how politics can impact on everyday lives in horrendous ways. Mayada’s experiences are frightening and can’t be dismissed as being unique to specific parts of the world. Books like this are hard to read, but I think they are a necessary addition to reading stacks. They create awareness of the factors driving people to flee their homes and seek safety in another country. In this time of mass exodus and high refugee movement, it shows why they need our help not our disdain. And, it shows us what can happen when power is left unchallenged.
As a political conspiracy thriller writer, it’s my job to ask ‘what if’ and that sometimes means imagining the worst. I’m not a conspiracy theorist in real life, I like to pay attention to facts and data, but I also admit that I don’t trust politicians and powerful corporates to do the right thing without oversight. We can believe that our politicians are basically honest (or not), but what if they aren’t? We might think they are generally community spirited, but what if they’re not? Mayada shows us that the only safe option is to pay attention and have systems and processes to protect us. We’ve seen it before. The lessons are there in history. Are we prepared to allow these horrifying events to happen again, just because we didn’t feel like paying attention? I prefer to have safe-guards (and remember safe-guards are often called red-tape when corporates and politicians don’t like them). And that means we have to care enough to ask questions and discover the truth.
Another book I read more recently is an Australian political thriller, Deceit, by Richard Evans. It is an interesting read about a corrupt Prime Minister and the everyday people who try to foil his plans. Given here in Australia our government has just paid $31m for a plot of land valued at $3m, the Robo-debt debacle has resulted in a massive $1.2b compensation payout and the sports rort gave marginal seats money earmarked for needy areas, we can see that vigilance is key.
My novel Deadly Secrets is also an Australian style political thriller. The main characters are not FBI or CIA agents, or professional law enforcement officers investigating the abuse of power. They are ordinary people who uncover a plot involving corporate greed and corrupt politicians. They must decide if they will turn a blind-eye or risk everything to expose the corruption. Is risking their lives to save the lives of strangers worth it? Read it and find out.
You can learn more from website www.hrkempauthor.com
Until next time.
Stay safe and well.
If you’ve read Deadly Secrets, I’d really appreciate you posting a review. It doesn’t have to be long, just something that will tell prospective readers if this is the book for them. For Independent authors like me, reviews help readers who’d enjoy my novel, to find it. These links can take you directly to where you can leave a review.
If you haven’t yet read Deadly Secrets and would like to, it’s available in either eBook or paperback. You can purchase Deadly Secrets from your favourite online book store here:
Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Tolino etc: https://books2read.com/u/bzoZVZ
Also available in paperback from:
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Deadly-Secrets-H-R-Kemp/9780648766308
Barnes and Noble: