Thanks so much to Leigh Hershkovich for stopping by today! Look out for her upcoming debut novel Shattered Illusions.
As a child, I looked at the world with rose colored glasses. I recall myself at the age of five or six, seeing the world with a much brighter and perhaps unrealistic tone of the world. It was only after I experienced the first act of being bullied that the shade of the world suddenly turned from pink to gray. My eyes were opened to the harsh realities of the world, and though as times the warm hue returns, it never stays for long.
The harsh matter of the world is that reality is incredibly difficult. There are times where the hustle and bustle of daily living may make the world seem all the more exciting, thus distracting a person from the harsh consequences of life. At times when things are calm and even boring, it becomes difficult to recall that life is meant to be lived, not merely struggled through. In every scenario, both when life seems nice and easy, as well as when the struggles are prominent, the facts remain: Living is not simple or easy. Life is grueling, though the aches and pains are all the more worthwhile in the long run.
In the case several of the characters in Shattered Illusions, the harsh realities of the world are often either lost on them or over exaggerated due to their perspective of the world. Though they all struggle through separate pains and distresses throughout the course of the novel, it is the shared difficulty of witnessing a murder that truly exemplifies their take on life.
Though the characters eventually come to a small sense of inner peace as the novel progresses, life only gets worse before it gets better. Four strangers with equally difficult pasts, strung together by witnessing the murder of a local business owner. The four of them, though worlds apart, must put their distances aside for the sake of the case as well as for the sake of their sanity. It forces them to quickly grow up, and face the world as it truly as. Each character is no stranger to pain, having endured life altering, devastating experiences throughout their lives. The two younger characters, Ella Sansburg and Danny Michaels, have barely come out of their high school shells, but have experienced more grief than what most people experience over the course of a lifetime. The same can be said of Sarah Grigg and Marco Santorini, the seasoned, well adjusted adults. Their harsh realities are made all the more grueling by the fact that not one of them know how to face life with even an ounce of positivity or joy. Though their bleakness is exposed and expressed in different manners, to a certain effect, they are all feeding off the emotions of one another.
The lives of my characters began to make much more sense to me after I completed writing the novel. Though I was well versed in manners of the world when I first began writing Shattered Illusions at the age of eighteen, when I had completed it, I was struggling to live on my own and find a decent job for the first time in my life. I became well aware very quickly of just how much the lives of my characters would very well be my own, had the circumstance deepened. Thankfully, it did not. Reaching for the stars and striving for a goal is not as easy as my teachers told me it would be throughout my schooling career. Life is about hard work and perseverance. It is not always rosy, and tragedy strikes when least expected. My reality all but changed once I was on my own. The world can be a very cruel place, but within the cruel crevices lies hope.
It was through the journey of the characters I created that I learned the true meaning of grief, but at the same time, I learned about self healing and overcoming harsh difficulties. I hope that my readers will find that they learn the same lesson, or even a greater one, through reading Shattered Illusions as well.
Leigh Hershkovich’s writing career began almost at infancy. Born and raised in The City by the Bay, Leigh was never seen without a pen and paper by her side, and was never without a story to share. With her vivid imagination and sharp writing tactics, she has taken the world by storm twice over. Now, with her debut novel Shattered Illusions, readers will get a first time glimpse into her first full fiction attempt.
An avid reader, accomplished pianist, passionate scholar of the language and the arts, Leigh currently resides in New York with her imagination.
You can learn more about Leigh and the world of Shattered Illusions by visiting her website (http://www.leighhershkovich.com), her blog (http://www.leighhershkovich.blogspot.com) or by following her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LeighHershkovich). Shattered Illusions can also be found on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16104490-shattered-illusions).