Kacey is an author and activist. I had the opportunity to interview her and ask for her wisdom and writing tips!
1. Tell me about yourself. Who are you? What’s your background?
I’m a student in economics and political science and a fashion addict. I’m not exactly a bookworm but I love reading… and dreaming. We (my mom and I) moved to London in September 2012 (we’re Canadian citizen) and stayed there until recently. Last September I moved to Paris to live with my fiancée who’s a British expat.
I was born in Victoria, BC, Canada, and raised in Oak Bay, nearby Victoria. We were a very happy family… until my elder sister died in a car crash when she was 18. I was 13. After this day, my world was torn away: my parents were quarreling almost every day. I wanted to run away… and I fell for a boy.
One night, when I was seventeen, soon after I graduated from secondary school, I’ve been raped by my bf’s best mates. I wanted to die! I was completely lost but refused to tell anyone what had happened to me. I felt as if I was trapped in a bubble. In the meantime, my parents divorced and Mon planned to leave Canada to settle in the UK. Originally, I didn’t want to go with her, but after what had happened… I couldn’t stay in BC… and I needed her presence, her help; hence, we moved to London.
Mom soon understood what had happened, and that I wasn’t feeling well; so, soon after arriving in England, she forced me to see a MD, a psychologist, and it was decided I go to the rape crisis centre. It was ultimately helpful, but in the beginning I felt lost and trapped: I was in a foreign country and all I was asking was to stay alone in my bubble; I didn’t want to talk, especially to people who were total stranger…
It took a certain time before I could get out of my bubble. The path to recovery wasn’t easy; it was a winding path… but with time, and thanks to the love and help of wonderful and supportive people things improved. It’s the rape crisis counsellor who said that, since I couldn’t speak, the best way to get out of my bubble was to try to write, something about what had happened, how I was feeling… I of course strongly opposed the idea, but she proposed I write for me. She explained it could work like a therapy, because I urgently needed to express my feelings, even if it was exclusively for me. Mom too supported the idea… and on evening, I started writing…. for me. it was like a personal diary.
I really got into it! It was a need; I couldn’t stop writing. I had to tell, to explain, even if it was just for me.
When I finished writing, I told my Counselor, and she asked me if she could read what I had written. Since she already knew about… I agreed.
After reading my “book”, she insisted that it should be published, arguing that such a book could help people better understand what it is to be a victim and the aftermath of a sexual aggression… With the support of my mom she finally convinced me to let people have access to my “Kellcey”.
2. What do you write about?
Actually, apart from this memoir (and my Master thesis) I have little experience in writing. But I want to go on and maybe write other books. I don’t know yet what kind of genre yet: fiction, fantasy, social analysis… in any case however, my future book (s) will deal with gender issues, women’s rights and humanrights, and how empowering women helps modern societies to grow and stay resilient.
3. What challenges have you run into while writing?
Regarding this, I would like to refer to a paper I already wrote about that. You can find it on my website at this address.
4. What responses have you gotten from your writing?
“Kellcey is not just a book. It’s the women’s rights bible”
“This story not only bears witness to what countless other women have gone through, but also offers a message of hope. Kellcey is a story everyone should read. It is especially timely in today’s ‘MeToo’ era; this narrative about the effects of a brutal sexual attack on a teenage girl is timeless”.
“Thanks to Kellcey, Kacey Kells has helped advance women’s rights from a movement to an institution”
+ hundreds of such comments that I can send you if you wish
5. What advice do you have for other writers?
Writing is a fantastic experience which helps healing. No one should be afraid of writing because it’s a unique opportunity to express one’s ideas… it is especially convenient for people who, like me, can hardly talk about their experiences. And there’s no rule here because ideas are more important than words!
As Human Beings, we are social / cultural animals and as such we need to communicate!
6. What else do you want to tell readers?
If you write, do it with passion! Feel this inner certitude that for some reason you need to, you have to share your ideas…