A Visit with Gillian Colbert
Welcome, Gillian! Can you tell our readers about “Reborn?” From where did you draw the inspiration for this story? Was it difficult for you to write?
Reborn is a story about Grace Devlin, a childhood sexual abuse survivor and her personal quest for healing. This story was inspired by real-life events. A friend of mine confessed to me once about the abuse her sister had facilitated being perpetrated upon her after a personal tragedy in their lives left them orphaned. The story was not difficult to write in the sense that I actually sat down and wrote it from beginning to end in one day over a span of about eight hours. It was extremely difficult to write in that there were times I was writing through tears and times I wanted to puke. It was emotionally draining to write but so rewarding too.
That’s incredible you were so affected in the writing process–it speaks volumes of the power of your work. What do you most admire about your character(s)?
The thing I admire most about Grace is her resilience. She understands that she has been damaged and despite her fears, despite her doubts, she is willing each time to risk herself. That takes true courage.
With Kyle it’s his self-sacrificing spirit. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help Grace heal and men like that are so rare. He is one of my favorite characters.
What would you most like readers to take from “Reborn?”
I would love it if readers came away from Reborn uplifted. My hope in writing it was to show that abuse can be relegated to a stepping stone in life. That is doesn’t have to define you even if the experience shades your hue and color. Most importantly that the abused can do more than survive, they can win.
REBORN | excerpt
The pounding on my door was getting louder.
“Open the door, Grace,” Kyle’s voice was muffled through the thick wood.
I didn’t answer. It had been three weeks since I’d run out on him. Three weeks in which I didn’t answer his calls, ducked him outside of class and ran the other way if I saw him coming. Three weeks in which I’d been haunted by those few glorious moments of sensuality before I freaked out.
“Grace, you can open this door voluntarily or I will come in without your permission. But, either way you are going to talk to me.”
I smirked. Kyle was well built, but he was no body builder. His shape was the kind you got from hard work that included lifting heavy animals. I doubted he could break down my door. It was solid wood. I’d personally replaced out the hollow door the place had come with after I’d moved in. Safety was important to me.
I heard what sounded like keys jangling and then watched with my mouth hanging open as the knob turned and my door slowly opened.
Kyle stood framed in my doorway. He looked haggard and drawn. There were lines around his eyes that hadn’t been there before and I had the sickening feeling I’d put them there. I’d never seen Kyle look so ruined.
“What happened? What’s wrong?” I grabbed his hand without thinking and pulled him into my living room and pushed him down on the leather sofa that I’d inherited from Phil when he refurnished his place. I pushed aside a stack of Vanity Fair magazines and sat facing him on my coffee table.
“What’s wrong?” He gaped at me like I was crazy. “What the hell do you think is wrong? You ran out on me and have been avoiding me.”
His voice was rising as he spoke. “Do you have any idea what it has done to me to think I hurt you? I haven’t slept through the night in three weeks.” He ran a hand through his already ravaged hair. “Grace, why won’t you talk to me? Please tell me I didn’t hurt you.” His hand trembled slightly as he reached for me, but I flinched and he let his hand drop into his lap.
I noticed the keys then. “Where did you get keys to my apartment?” My voice shook as I tried to control my breathing. The pain in his voice burned into my heart, but I didn’t know what to say.
I’d forgotten about her set of keys. After we broke up, I just never bothered to get them back. We were still friendly and it was good to have an emergency set with a friend. I never dreamed she’d loan them out.
“Grace. Please we need to talk.”
“No, we don’t.”
“Yes, we do. We’re friends, Grace, or, at least, I thought we were. You can tell me anything. Please. I need you to tell me why you ran out of my place.”
“Look, Kyle. You didn’t do anything, okay? I don’t date men. You know this.”
“I know you dated Katie. It’s not the same thing as you don’t date men. You liked my kiss, Grace. You liked it.” His green eyes were bloodshot, but nonetheless urgent as he spoke.
“Kyle,” I sighed trying to breathe through the tears and sadness crushing my chest. “It doesn’t matter if I liked it. I can’t be with you.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Just because I don’t.”
“Is it because you think I’ll feel differently about you if I know?”
I didn’t answer.
“Grace, nothing in your past will change the way I feel about you. Nothing.” The urgency in his voice had me snapping my gaze to his. His eyes burned with an intensity I’d never seen in him before. Goosebumps erupted on my skin and I trembled.