Author Paige Dearth
Paige is a survivor of child abuse. She writes about real-life horror because awareness through fiction can create change. Crediting her ability to produce exciting and emotionally provocative stories to years of voraciously reading thrillers and horror novels, Paige aims to inspire her readers to think about the lifelong ramifications of traumatic childhood experiences.
Paige’s novels BELIEVE LIKE A CHILD, WHEN SMILES FADE and ONE AMONG US have been in Amazon’s top 50 books in Horror over the past year. BORN MOBSTER, her latest release, is due end of summer 2016.
From Paige’s Website-
Born and raised in Plymouth Meeting, a small town west of Philadelphia, Paige Dearth was a victim of child rape and spent her early years yearning for a better life. To escape the unwanted attentions of her molester, a pedophile uncle who lived with the family, she married at the age of nineteen and moved with her new husband to Chula Vista, California.
After two years of marriage during which she struggled to make ends meet, she became pregnant, only to discover that her husband was a heroin addict. Paige waited for the birth of her daughter and when the baby was just eight months old, moved back to Pennsylvania. With no formal education or money to fall back on, she courageously set out to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and make it whole once more.
Living through the fear and isolation of her youth, Paige developed the ability to create stories that would help her cope and finally put them to use by embarking on a series of novels. Believe Like A Child, the author’s debut offering, is the darkest version of who she could have become, had fate not intervened in the nick of time. It presents a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.
“When your mind is quiet and you listen closely, you will hear the children weeping silently. If you can’t quite hear their cries, then listen with your eyes. These are the children of the streets, who have learned pain and suffering before they ever had a chance to experience life. Do not ignore their cries for help, for all they wish is that you will rescue them. They do not have family that wants them, they don’t know how it feels to be loved and they’ve never lived anywhere that felt like home…the streets are where they find their voice and relief from all of the suffering. Just listen and you’ll see them.”
BOOKS BY Paige
BELIEVE LIKE A CHILD
Alessa is just seven years old when her uncle rapes her for the first time. As the years pass, his sexual appetite becomes more voracious and his perversion more twisted, until the abuse has become almost a daily ritual, with the unspoken involvement of the girl’s mother.
At the age of sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself at the mercy of her real-life monster, with no relief in sight. She flees her home to escape this hell, only to find herself descending into a more dangerous one. Alone and helpless in the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more human predators who want to take over her life and devour her. About to hit rock bottom, Alessa manages to break away from her new tormentors and finds refuge in a shelter for homeless and abused women.
Wherever she goes, however, trouble keeps seeking her out, until she meets three people who change the course of her life forever. Though Alessa’s bittersweet journey is perpetually fraught with challenges, she does, nevertheless, manage to find fleeting moments of joy along the way. But as she begins to settle down, a ghost from the past comes to haunt her again, threatening to destroy the very foundation of her small world and plunging her back into an abyss of despair, until she makes her final bid for escape.
WHEN SMILES FADE
Emma was unloved from the moment she was born. Her earliest memory is being severely beaten by her father, Pepper Murphy, when she was eight-years-old. Seething with resentment over the sacrifice of his dreams for a woman he cares little about and children he never wanted, Pepper chooses to blame his oldest daughter. Her mother, Valerie, makes matters worse with her verbal abuse, leaving Emma isolated with a man that had no boundaries in punishing his daughter, taking his abuse to unimaginable levels.
Emma’s father’s coldblooded beatings and the ultimate abuse to which he subjects her, lays the foundation of the person she becomes. As she matures into a resourceful teenager, she is unwilling and unable to stifle her desire for revenge. Reaching her breaking point she can no longer control the impulse to fight back and finally takes matters into her own hands.
The important thing in life is not where you came from, but where you are going. – Paige Dearth, When Smiles Fade
Having learned the art of hatred from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, young Emma now sets out to make a better life for herself, leaving the memory of the abused child she had once been behind her. Hardened by the heartless brutality she encounters and the dangerous situations she must overcome in the course of her journey, she faces every challenge that comes her way in her quest for a normal life for herself and for those she loves.
Finally a person emerges from within that guides her toward a better life until she learns of a secret that sets her on the path of ultimate redemption.
ONE AMONG US
Eleven-year-old Maggie Clarke lives with her caring family in a quiet community where the crime rate is low. Then one day, while she is at the mall with her mother, Maggie is ripped from her peaceful world forever. She awakens in the back of a van, tied up next to a four-year-old boy, who gives her the strength to live in the ruthless and horrific world of human sex trafficking. Robbed of her innocence and freedom and imprisoned with other children, Maggie does whatever it takes to survive, hoping that one day soon, her parents will find her.
The Clarkes’ lives are turned inside out as they search for their daughter and grapple with the deep regret of one bad decision. Detective Rae Harker vows to find Maggie—dead or alive. Haunted by his own demons, Detective Harker believes that by finding Maggie, he can forgive himself for making a poor decision several years earlier that led to his own private hell.
When a strange man approaches Maggie with a dangerous proposition almost a decade after she’s kidnapped, Maggie risks everything to break free of the human chains that bind her. But not even she can know how far she will go to get even with the people who ruined her life.
Tony Bruno was a seven-year-old boy isolated from the other second graders in his class. Bullied by his classmates and tormented by his father, Tony was alone and hopeless, an outcast among his peers.
After years of being bullied, Tony finally takes a stand against Vincent, the biggest bully in school. In one act of blind courage, he shifts the balance of power.
When Tony becomes a teenager, a new kid named Salvatore Morano transfers to his school and becomes the object of ridicule. Tony is compelled to help the new kid. He had no idea who Salvatore was and how well he’d come to know the Morano family.
The boys become inseparable and eventually Tony gets to know the Godfather of the Philadelphia Crime Family, Johnny Morano. Johnny sees something special in Tony and takes him under his wing, molding him into the man he was destined to become.
A haunting Mafia story where you’ll have to determine if mobsters are made or born. Travel with Tony through his right-of-passage and experience the brutalities, murders and honor that comes with being accepted into this secret society. In the Mafia, men are expected to be loyal to the family, even if it means turning their back on those they love.
Born Mobster is a journey of power, love, loss, tragedy and lifetime friendship, but above all else: the Code of Silence.
- We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist Maggie in One Among Us. Was there a real-life inspiration behind her?
One Among Us is about an eleven year old girl named, Maggie. She is abducted from a local mall and thrust into the underbelly of human sex trafficking.
My inspiration comes from wanting to make people aware that human sex trafficking happens all over the world. No city, state or country is immune to trafficking. To write this book, I often sat quietly and let my mind wander to all of the children who are taken every day. It’s heartbreaking to think about the children that go missing and the evil people in the world that abuse and exploit them. I wanted to create a heroin in Maggie that would be strong and loved. She needed to be recognized by readers to understand that Maggie could be any child, even the child that you love. I hope to inspire people to stand-up, speak-up and stop these horrible people from hurting our children.
- Why do you write about real life horror?
I feel the real horrors of life are far scarier than any paranormal type horror that I could contrive.
There are lessons of life that could be learned from reading my novel(s). If I just affect one person in a positive way and a child is saved then I have done my job. Story telling has always been my way of expressing life lessons.
- What do you say to people who think your writing is too dark?
I say this: As much as we hate it, life can be dark, much darker than anything I can create. I think that we all have a morbid curiosity for the subjects I cover in my novels. We want to know, but we don’t want to know. For a lot of children (and adults) my stories are their reality. My goal is to establish a setting in the reader’s mind to feel the horrible things that happen, through the eyes of the victim. Once you are in that place, only then can you take the journey with the characters. I love reading dark stories that can hit me at a visceral level.
- Are any of your novels based on true stories?
The beginning of my debut novel, Believe Like A Child, is based on truth, but the majority of the story is fiction. Here’s the thing, being abused as a child, I would always imagine that other kids were worse off than me. It was how I was able to cope with my circumstances. I like to base my novels on a child that has to overcome some type of adversity and how that experience shapes their life. I believe that young victims need a voice. My hope is that awareness through fiction will create prevention. In addition, I want to entertain my readers and bring out raw emotion.
- A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain to write One Among Us. Was there a real-life inspiration for John William?
John William came to me from real life. I was in Double Visions (the real life strip club in my novel doing research for my second novel) when along comes a large six foot six inch man with hands as large as Frisbees. He was a loner type sitting at the bar. The minute I set eyes on the man, I knew he was going to be the abductor in One Among Us; I started to take notes and make things up. Abracadabra… my villain John William was born.
- Maggie’s story in One Among Us is a tough emotional subject. Was it hard for you to write?
All the subjects I write about are hard, that’s what makes them worth writing about. One Among Us, just like my other two novels was emotionally difficult to write. As an author, in my mind, I literally become each of the characters as I am writing them. I have to feel their pain, horror, happiness, love, bravery, courage and every other emotion to do each of them justice. You may have heard authors use the term method writer, well, that’s what I consider myself to be. If I can’t physically be in the situation I give myself the time to transport my mind into the scenes where my stories take place. I do this to the point where my vision is blurred by my tears (good thing I know the keyboard well). Maggie was a regular kid who came from a loving family. Her mother made one bad decision. All parents make a bad decision at some point…could you imagine? I did, that’s why Maggie Clarke’s story exists.
- Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I love to go on vacation, exercise and cook. Cooking is one of my passions. I get satisfaction from creating new recipes through trial and error. My husband is the guinea pig for my new creations.
- What piece of advice would you give to first time authors?
Number one: Read your manuscript many times over before sending it off to your editor. Number two: The important thing is to focus on all the people who love your work. Remember that there will always be people who are critical of your work and unless it’s constructive so you can learn from it, forget about it. Number three: Write from your heart.
- What are your future project(s)?
Born Mobster, my fourth novel will be released in late summer 2016.
This was a different story for me both in genre and gender. It’s the first time I’ve written from a boy’s point of view. I was inspired to write Born Mobster from the encouragement of my readers. Many of them wanted to know the back story of Tony and Vincent; both characters were in When Smiles Fade and One Among Us. Of course, there couldn’t be Tony and Vincent without Salvatore. I chose Tony to be the main character in Born Mobster because I was more drawn to him. Tony is the gentle giant, the type of bad guy that you love and actually cheer for him to get revenge. I had intended for this book to be a novella, but once I started writing I felt like the story deserved more, so I made it a novel.
Once Born Mobster is off to my editor I am already brainstorming with myself about my next book, it is going to be about a young homeless girl on the streets of Philadelphia. As always when I start a novel I know the beginning and the end, then I need to let the idea bake in my head so that I can fill in the middle.
Connect with Paige