First novel stands up to bullies

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May 26, 2016 12:00 AM

Desiree Bissonnette will be signing copies of her book, Bruise, at Cole's book store at Lloyd Mall Saturday afternoon.

For one Lloydminster author, writing isn’t a means to a career, but a way to breathe life into the characters in her head.
And if that happens to develop into a job, she said that’d be pretty cool too.
“I’d love to write the stories in my head, and of course I’d love to share them, but what I really want is to just flesh out those things that have already intruded in my mind,” said Desiree Bissonnette, author of Bruise.
“If I could focus on that and make a living, that would be super awesome, but really I just want to be able to express myself and these characters that have kind of popped up randomly once in a while.”
Bissonnette will be signing copies of Bruise at Coles Bookstore in the LloydMall on Saturday, a book the 20 year old wrote when she was just in high school and published two years ago.
Bruise takes on the concept of bullying in a creative way, with one of the main characters suddenly able to see the marks she’s left on those around her, be it from physical or emotional trauma.
This new ability forces the character to see the real impact she’s had on the emotions and bodies of others, especially those of another girl who committed suicide for reasons in part related to the main character’s treatment of her.
While Bissonnette has never allowed herself to be bullied much, describing herself as someone who always ignored or pushed back against those who tried to intimidate her, she said she’d seen enough of it in her life and has a strong connection with the anti-bullying movement.
“I’ve always been the kind of person who doesn’t stand for that kind of stuff,” she said.
“(But) I’ve definitely seen it growing up and I’ve always been very angry about it and I had very strong feelings about it for a long time.”
The inspiration for the book comes more directly from a time she was hanging out with a friend who was sporting a giant bruise on her arm she was trying to cover up.
Bissonnette said it was unsightly, looking like a potato, and the thought popped in her head of what it would be like of the bruise were permanent.
Then she wondered: What if everyone’s bruises were permanent?
“What if everything that happened to you was permanently on your body all the time?” she pondered.
“Then I thought, what if only I could see that?” she said, musing on the thought process for the book.
“What if I had caused something, whether it was from physically hurting somebody or emotionally hurting them enough, that it caused them to harm to themselves?
“How would that affect me as a person and how would that affect the way I treated the people around me?”
Those thoughts led to a six-month period of Bissonnette writing the first draft of the novel, followed by about another year of editing.
Though she said she is unsure exactly how many copies have been sold, she has run into strangers who had read the book and then were flabbergasted at getting a chance to meet the author.
“I kind of had a ‘whoa’ moment because they’d met this author and they’d read my book long before they met me,” she said.
“So it’s getting there.”
If you too would like to meet the author of Bruise, she’ll be at Coles Bookstore Saturday, where you too can have your very own “whoa” moment.

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