How I Handled the Research for the Book by E.S. Ruete – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How I Handled the Research for the Book
One of the most frequent pieces of advice given to writers is, “Write what you know.” Some phrase it as, “Write about what you know.” But the two phrases for me are not equivalent. The second, with the word “about” added, to me says make your book be about something you know. I obviously did not do that: as a straight man I have no experience with healing journey of a gay woman who has been raped. But I can still write what I know. Many of the incidents, factoids, memories, and scenes of Off Season come from my own memory, not from research.

One of the memories that I believe prompted the story line is reading Judith Katz’s No Fairy Godmothers, No Magic Wands: The Healing Process After Rape. But other than a general sense that rape is a trauma and that there is a healing process required, the only detail I remembered was that choices are important. A rape victim has just had all choice taken from her. To restore a sense of having control over her life, it is important to give her choices, let her decide what she wants to do. That is why Dottie is almost overwhelmed with choices from the caring professionals she meets, starting with the 911 dispatcher.

However, as I got deeper into the story, I worried that just by listening to Dottie I wasn’t getting it “right,” so as research I went back and reread Katz. She had a lot of important things to say about dealing with other people and their messages about rape and rape victims, about how therapists who don’t know the difference between neurosis and trauma often do more harm than good, and about stages of grieving and healing. But when I went back and tried to add Katz’s experiences to Dottie’s story, Dottie pushed back. She said, “No, Judith’s story is not my story. Tell my story the way I told it to you.”

I was able to give some of Katz’s experiences to other people in the book. Sheri’s flashbacks at the hospital and Alice’s story of the end of her marriage are prime places. But mostly I just had to tell the story the way Dottie told it, and write an Author’s Note apologizing for inaccuracy in detail. Off Season is not a story about reality. It is about the Truth that precedes and shapes reality.

Dottie woke up wondering where she was and why she was so cold. The first thing she noticed was that she must be outside – she was lying on cold ground and snow was hitting her in unusual places. That’s when she noticed the second thing. Her skirt was pulled up past her waist and her panties were gone. Damn those bastards. It started to come back to her.

Dottie is now on an odyssey; a journey not of her choosing; a journey of healing, integration, and reconciliation that will involve her partner, her friends, her enemies, her church, her whole community. And her rapists. As she fights her way through social stereotypes about rape and rape victims, she also finds the strength to overcome society’s messages of who she should be and lays claim her true self. But the memories, the loss, the anger – and the fears – never go away. No woman chooses to be raped. I asked Dottie why she chose to tell me a story of rape. She said that millions of women, hundreds every day, have stories of rape that never get told. She told her story because she could. Because she had to. Because maybe people would hear in a work of fiction a Truth that they could not hear in any other way.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Mostly what Dottie remembered is that they kept giving her choices. Blood or vaginal exam first. Left or right arm for the blood draw. Keep her clothes or change into the comfortable, impersonal sweats the SACC counselor had brought. Should they call her church. She tried to appreciate what they were trying to do. But I’m so tired, she thought, and still a little cold and god my headache is getting worse. And all these decisions don’t help. Didn’t I hear something on NPR about decision fatigue? Or something like that.

She remembered a book from her youth. The Captain. The new skipper of an ocean-going tugboat couldn’t handle all the arbitrary decisions, so he just alternated “yes” and “no” answers. It seemed to work for him. She tried it.

“Do you want soup?”


“Do you want coffee?”


“Do you want us to call someone at your church?”

“Yes.” Damn!! Did I just say that? I love those judgmental bitches, but they’re the last people I need to see right now.

She wasn’t doing much better when Mandy showed up and said all the wrong things. How could this happen? Why weren’t you more careful? Are you sure you weren’t at some level asking for it?

“NO! Why the hell would I ask for this? I don’t even like men!” SHIT! shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. She just outed herself to her church. She had a feeling the rape was going to start all over again.

About the Author:E.S “Ned” Ruete is an author, speaker, group facilitator, women’s rights activist, LGBTQIPA+ ally, lay preacher, guitar picker, and business analyst. He is the author of Seeking God: Finding God’s both/and in an either/or world and Lead Your Group to Success: A Meeting Leader’s Primer.

Now retired, Ned lives in Niantic, Connecticut with his second wife. He continues to offer pro bono group facilitation and facilitation training to schools, churches, community groups and not-for-profit organizations. He has led strategic planning retreats for United Action Connecticut (UACT), Fiddleheads Food Co-op, and ReNew London. He is actively involved in LGBTQIPA+ advocacy and annually attends and presents sessions at the True Colors Conference. He is a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) formerly served on the Association Coordinating Team (ACT, the IAF Board of Directors). He was associate editor of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal and has contributed articles to Group Facilitation, The Facilitator, and other publications on group facilitation and management consulting.

Off Season is Mr. Ruete’s first fiction work

Consulting Products | Books | Twitter | Facebook
Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveawayUsing this tactic, email marketers can grow their list exponentially. tadalafil generic 20mg Because of order levitra online this, the medication should not be taken after high fat meals. They include physical and psychological factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cialis 5 mg hormonal imbalance. Avoid taking medications levitra consultation of any problem without the prescription of doctor.


  1. Lisa Brown says

    I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Thank you for hosting my guest blog! I’m glad you used the excerpt about choices, because I address choices in the blog. The second-best choice might have been the blog where Sheri flashes back to the well-intentioned-but-totally-clueless-and-damaging counselor in her past.

  4. kim hansen says

    Sounds like a good read.

  5. Bridgett Wilbur says

    I just love your cover and I would love to read your book.

  6. The effect of counselors (bad or good) is something a lot of people don’t address, and that I hadn’t really thought about enough…

  7. Rita Wray says

    I liked the excerpt.

  8. Victoria says

    Great post – I enjoyed reading it!

  9. James Robert says

    Congrats on the tour and I appreciate the excerpt and the great giveaway as well. Love the tours, I get to find books and share with my sisters and now my twin daughters who all love to read. We have found some amazing books for everyone. So, thank you!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.