WEST HARTFORD — This year on Thursday, Oct. 17, Susan Omilian of West Hartford marks the 20th anniversary of the death of her 19-year-old niece Maggie, killed by her ex-boyfriend on a college campus in Michigan in 1999.
This year on that date, Susan will launch her new book, “Emerge: The Opening of the Human Heart to the Power of Love,” inspired by the true events of Maggie’s murder.
“I decided to write about what happened to Maggie in a fictional story-telling format so that I could educate readers about the impact of violence, abuse and trauma on its victims.” Omilian says of her intent in writing the novel. “This book is a sequel to ‘Awaken,’ my first novel and builds on that story of healing and recovery after abuse and trauma.”
Emerge also chronicles the journey beyond abuse that Omilian has been articulating for women through her workshops and books since Maggie’s death. “The characters and plot of Emerge show the journey from victim to survivor to thriver,” Omilian explains. “That Maggie didn’t have the chance to thrive, I’m telling this story to inspire other women who can.”
“This journey from victim to survivor to thriver is a critical one for woman to take who have been abused,” Omilian adds. “Those who reclaim their lives in this way are less likely to return to an abusive relationship or suffer the long-term physical and psychological consequences of the violence and trauma they have experienced.”
“Emerge” is the second book in Omilian’s “The Best Revenge Series,” named for the idea that “living well is the best revenge.” She has conducted her free My Avenging Angel Workshops in Connecticut for women since 2001 and published two non-fiction book, “Entering the Thriver Zone: A Seven-Step Guide to Thriving After Abuse” and “Staying in the Thriver Zone: A Road Map to Manifest a Life of Power and Purpose.”
An attorney and advocate for 40 years to end violence against women, Omilian hopes that she’ll find a new audience in fiction readers who will be inspired to reclaim their own lives after domestic violence, sexual assault and other abuse.
The “Emerge” book launch event is free and will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at YWCA Hartford Region, 135 Broad Street in Hartford. Both “Awaken” and “Emerge” will be available for purchase and signing as well as her other books.
Special guests at the book launch event will include: Kate Callahan, singer/songwriter and former Connecticut State Troubadour who will sing her original songs. (www.Kate-Callahan.com); Christina Sciongay and Dani Scott, actresses, screenwriters and directors who will do a dramatic reading of a scene from “Emerge.” They are the co-founders of the award-winning Connecticut Film Initiative. (www.CTFilmInitiative.com)
For more info about this event and Susan’s work, visit www.thriverzone.com.