Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reader Questions: A Higher Calling

Many times over the last year or so I've been questioned about A Higher Calling.   These questions vary from: "It's so dark and vicious, why is it so different from your other books?"  To: "There's so much anger and violence, where did you get your story idea from?"

Generally, I try to answer as vaguely as possible without being a total jerk and giving no answer at all.  I'm very much the sort of person who prefers to keep my personal business personal.  I have talked here and there about why I wrote the story. (And why I'm still writing the sequels)  However, I never really get into the nitty gritty of it.

Due to more of the same sorts of questions and after much soul searching, I've decided to spill the beans.  A: Because it stems from an issue that is destroying families left and right.  And B: Because I feel that I am at a point in my life where I need to be a bit more vocal about issues I care strongly about.

A Higher Calling is more than just a story about an angry Nephilim hybrid, or a mother who lost it, it's my therapeutic way of dealing with situations I have no control over.  And just like the story itself, it all began with a busted lip, a black eye, and a torn bloody t-shirt.

In the fall of 2009, one of my grown daughters rushed into my house around 11:00 pm.  She had a dark bruise under her right eye.  Her bottom lip was busted open and still seeping blood.  The old white t-shirt she was wearing was torn at the neck and hung off her left shoulder.  She had my two year-old grandson with her and he was nearly as hysterical as she was.

Being a writer, at the very least, I should be able to express the rage I immediately felt.  I should be able to, but I can't.  There are no words to adequately describe the kaleidoscope of emotions that ran through me. Murderous, rage, name a few, but even those do not do the actual feelings any justice whatsoever.  For the first time in my entire life, I wanted to kill.  And I don't mean shove a gun in someone's face and pull the trigger.  Oh no, that would have been way too easy.  I wanted to beat the brakes off the person who'd done this to my baby girl.  Slowly, methodically, and painfully, kill him one swing of a baseball bat at a time.

I held her, tried to talk her into going to the police and making a report, and we did a lot of crying.  Around 2:00 am, we finally went to bed.  She had assured me she was done and it would never happen again.  We'd made plans to go get her things, I'd arranged to have her older brothers help, everything was set.

I tossed and turned for at least another hour or so after I'd went to bed.  You see, years before I'd been in a violent relationship.  She was very young, but she'd witnessed the abuse.  I laid there ravaged with guilt.  I'd mistakenly thought I'd gotten out in time.  I genuinely believed the abusive events they'd witnessed would keep them from ending up in the same sort of situation.  At that moment, I knew I'd been wrong all along, and I couldn't help feeling like I was partially to blame for her situation.

The next morning, I got up, made coffee, and went to check on her.  The bed was empty.  I wandered outside to see if she'd went out for a smoke, no one was there.  Before I found the note she'd left me, I already knew in my heart what had happened.  And I knew there was nothing I could do about it.  Nothing.

After a good cry, an unanswered phone call to her, and a few cups of coffee, I sat down at my computer and did the only thing I could do.  I poured my feelings into a word doc.  The more I wrote, the angrier I got.  But I felt empowered.  I wasn't running over there with a machete to take the destroyer out, but I was doing something.

Now years have passed.  Thankfully, she left the relationship within a few weeks of the beating.  She's a strong, independent young woman now.  The young man who treated her so brutally has also drastically changed.  I forgave him some time ago and even though they are not together, we still talk on occasion.  I've learned to love him for the person he is now, and put his past failings behind me.

But the story A Higher Calling remains.  It is not yet finished and I will be adding to it for quite some time.  There's still more to tell, because domestic violence comes in many forms.  Most people believe that making the decision to leave should be easy.  Unfortunately, it's not that black and white.  In some cases, it's nearly impossible.  Right now, in this very moment, there are women and children living in a situation that they know will most likely end with their deaths.  But where do you go when there is no where to go?

Domestic violence is a problem that will never go away.  We can't hide from it unless we close our eyes and choose not to see it.  Or we can choose to educate our young people (boys and girls alike) about what it is, how it starts, and most to get out of it.  So yeah, A Higher Calling is gritty, vicious, dark, and violent, but there's a message there if you're inclined to read between the lines.  We can overcome.  We can persevere.  We can make a difference if we choose to.  Not by being Sophie and beheading people (of course), but by stepping up, stepping in, and taking a stand.

Willow Cross


  1. I am soooooo glad you posted this!!!! I loved A Higher Calling and now I love it even more!!!!

  2. How can not love it . And now how can you not love it more. One thing I have always found in Willow's works are she is or how can I put it writes honest real life stories . Yes they might have fantasy there but if you just think a bit they are events that can happen in real life . People need to get along all are not the same she doesn't promote hate . I just Love Willow can't say it enough. Hope she never stops writing because I hope to never stop reading.

  3. This is amazing how you have finally let us know the background on this story! Yes dometic violence is out there & getting worse & it`s great that you are taking the time to talk to ppl about stuff like this! It can`t keep being put in the shadows bc there`s to many of us out there that has gone through this & without someone like you bringing it out in the daylightso ppl will see they are not alone & it does happen to others not just you!

  4. I haven't read A higher calling yet, but I can certainly relate to the topic. I was lucky enough not to be in a voilent relationship (he learnt that I hit back). I was however in a verbally abusive marriage and it is absolutely soul destroying. The marriage broke up and I am back to the strong capeable person I had been before that marriage. I am a stronger person for what my son and I went through. I too have written down my feelings about what happened and once in a while I still suffer from the emotions from back then and it was over almost 20 years ago. I now have the love and support from a wonderful man and it helps me through the day knowing I am safe with him. He has completed my life.
    I look forward to reading this book very soon. I love the energy you put into your books and have enjoyed reading them very much.

  5. The view that it is ok to be abusive by so many needs to change.