by Elizabeth Hendrick
Released: Sep 21, 2023
Why this book and why now?
EXODAI is a memoir and therefore true story. The main themes EXODAI addresses are as follows:
1. Ostracization: So many in the LGBTQ community realise they are not heterosexual from a very young age. Many of us grow up (or have grown up) in environments that do (did) not support the whole of our being. A lot of the ostracization comes from traditional values that are largely founded upon religious beliefs (and fear). The ostracization doesn’t stop at sexuality. As we all know, children are ostracized (& bullied) for all sorts of reasons. My book’s opening page says: “For those who have been ostracised” – in this regard, I hope people from all walks of life will find my book relatable.
2. A Cautionary tale: EXODAI reveals the story of what can happen to someone in adult life when they have grown up with internalized shame and guilt. For example, my lack of self-love (guilt and shame) as a lesbian woman eventually made sure I got properly punished by a dominatrix. I hope my book will open the eyes of some readers to realise why they seem to be self-sabotaging their life in certain areas. It’s often a lack of self-love on a deep subconscious level that attracts pain and hardship, but many people (including myself for at least twenty years) live on in denial that there’s an internal problem.
3. Abuse: Ultimately, I was in an abusive relationship, camouflaged within the boundaries of S&M. My book explores the delusions I was telling myself in order to keep myself enchained to the relationship, convincing myself it was my purpose to ‘save’ Tomo. I think many readers will be amazed how long I stayed in the relationship when it was so obviously dysfunctional, but for those readers who are in any situation of abuse, it may well reflect back to them what is so obvious to everyone but themselves. My biggest dream is that some readers will say, “It was thanks to reading EXODAI that I finally realised the relationship with my partner – who was beating me up – was properly dysfunctional, that I had to leave my partner forthwith and get help to work on what was broken inside me.”
4. BDSM life. For the uninitiated, there is stigma attached to BDSM – that it’s deviant, perverted, sordid, evil, purely about pushing sexual boundaries. I want to open the eyes of the reader showing them that BDSM is multi-faceted, magnificent, and even spiritual at times.
SUMMARY: This is a story about coming to terms with (and learning to love) who you are. I believe EXODAI will be of value not just to LGBTQ+ and BDSM communities, but to all individuals who have been ostracised / abused during their adolescence and/or whose lack of self-love is sabotaging their adult lives. It’s also an intriguing peek behind the curtain of Tokyo’s exotic and sometimes shocking BDSM underworld, as well as one girl’s discovery of a spiritual dynamic therein.
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
Originally it was just going to be the story of my relationship with a sadistic Japanese dominatrix, but after working with Jeremy Dronfield (an esteemed writer and editor) I was able to restructure the book so that it became my WHOLE story about coming to terms with sexuality, going right back to why I hated myself in the first place, travelling through the pain, and ultimately reaching resolution and self-love at the end.
Would you and your main character(s) get along?
I am my main character (It’s a memoir). And I am constantly at odds with myself, LOL!
Do your character names have special significance or meaning?
The book title: EXODAI came to me in a dream. What EXODAI means is revealed in the manuscript.
What TV show would your main character(s) most likely binge watch and why?
The Rachel Maddow Show or The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
I like keeping up to date on US politics (with a bit of satire along the way).
I’m also currently binge watching “The MeidasTouch” channel on YouTube.
Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment and it’s time to party! Choose a celebratory beverage for one of your main characters to toast the release of your new book.
Champagne of course! It’s the drink of celebration! I’ll have a Dom Perignon please!
What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony – such a classic and dramatic piece of music!