My Sister's Kindle Ebook: English Shaun

Many people have asked about the impact of my imprisonment on my family. A detailed insider-account can now be found in my sister, Karen Attwood's, newly published ebook, English Shaun. Here's a guest post by my sister about the ebook:

When a prisoner is incarcerated, family and loved ones also serve the sentence.
English Shaun tells the story of what happened to my family after my brother was arrested and imprisoned on the other side of the world.
We don’t normally hear about the impact of imprisonment on the family members and loved ones left behind trying to pick up the pieces.
It is true that many prisoners come from difficult backgrounds without any kind of support network and this is often a large factor into why they ended up inside.
This isn’t the case with my family. Shaun is five years older than me and throughout our childhood, and even now long into adulthood, our parents couldn’t have been more supportive.
After Shaun’s arrest and imprisonment, our mother had a nervous breakdown and was tormented with feelings of guilt and shame. My father cashed in his life savings to pay the lawyer’s fees and their plans to begin a hiking business were cancelled.
I made the long trip across the Atlantic to visit Shaun on three separate occasions during his incarceration and I also spoke in mitigation at his sentencing hearing. This was probably the most difficult and uncomfortable experience of my life.
There was never any question that we would support Shaun and try to get him out of the hell he found himself in.
But our feelings were ambivalent. I was, of course, furious with my brother for causing such pain to our parents.
The whole ordeal was made worse because we didn’t really have a clear idea of what Shaun had been up to in Arizona. The following extract from English Shaun describes our feelings after we read an account of Shaun’s ‘crimes’ in the Phoenix New Times:

We had no idea anymore of just how guilty or innocent Shaun was. It seemed ludicrous to think he was the Mister Big character police had been convinced of at the start of their investigations but how big he was remained a mystery. One thing was certain. The Phoenix New Times made everything terrifyingly real. We had passed the previous weeks in a stupor, hoping we were going to wake up from a nightmare but the sight of Shaun and Wild Man’s mug shots in this paper brought everything home. We thought of the future with impending doom.

With Shaun, we endured two years of uncertainty - terrified he would end up beaten or raped, and believing he could be sentenced to 50 years in prison - while he was held on remand in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails.

This is our story.

Click here to see the ebook at Amazon US. Here for Amazon UK.

My next book signing is at Waterstone's Guildford this Saturday from 11am till 4pm. Mum will be there. Click here for further info.

1 comment:

Zen said...

Writing your own narrative upon difficult events can be very healing. In my case, I had to re-write it time and again, until the burden finally lifted. It is being able to write objectively, without one's own emotional attachments clouding the clarity of truth. A technique I use which makes drafting text a doddle, is to split sentences into "chunks", with one chunk on each line, so that in one left to right pass of the eyes, the brain absorbs a single chunk. It is amazing how it changes the way you write, because superfluous or wrong words stand out like a sore thumb.

Visitors to JJJ may go to my facebook/Zen Zen if you wish to see how it is done.

KISS - Keep It Superbly Simple.

Simplicity, brevity, clarity.

Best wishes, Zen