Today, Liza has been brave enough to talk to us a little about her horrible ordeal. Liza and her dad are on the run, and have risked discovery in order to tell us their story. If you would like to help, please read this interview with Liza. Tunnel Vision is her story.
On her way home one evening, Liza has to force her way through a group of men in a train underpass. She doesn’t think anything of it, but when her mom is shot dead moments later, Liza’s world turns upside down. Even worse, Liza was really the target. Only hours after her mother’s death, Liza is nearly killed again and she and her dad are placed in the witness protection program. Leaving everything she's ever known behind, Liza and her dad pick up and move, never staying in one place for long. It's too big of a risk--and Liza's worst fear is realized when she gets recognized. The would-be killer is still on their trail, so all Liza ad her dad can do is keep running. Unsure whom to trust and where to go, they're just trying to stay alive.
Since you were shot at and entered the witness protection program, you pretty much disappeared from your life. What do you think your friends think happened to you?At first, I thought they would just know the truth since Aunt Peggy was going to tell people at the funeral. We were in hiding because of what happened to Mom. It was as simple as that. But then with all the publicity, maybe everybody didn’t believe what Aunt Peggy’d said, and she wasn’t there for them to talk to anymore, not after the funeral and she’d gone home. So I don’t know. But I hope my friends remember what Aunt Peggy said and believe her no matter what they read in the papers. I hope they believe Dad and I are okay so they won’t worry.
What has been the hardest thing about being on the run?Well, missing Mom has been terrible. You only get one mother. It’s like a sore that won’t close. And even now, I can’t believe what happened to her.
Before you left, you were starting to build a relationship with a guy you call Jellyfish. If you could tell Jellyfish one thing, what would it be?That I won’t forget him coming over all covered in blue paint when I screamed. That I won’t forget him helping me drink that water when I was so shaky from the attack, I could hardly hold the glass. And I won’t forget that, along with his parents and the other neighbors, he was there for Dad and me right then when it mattered so much. That memory means a lot.
If you could go back to your house and pick up one thing, what would you grab?My mother’s stained, handwritten recipe for rhubarb pie. Somehow, that didn’t make it when all our stuff came from Pennsylvania. If I got that, I’d kiss it and frame it. Then I’d make a rhubarb pie just so I could close my eyes and bask in that great aroma as it baked.
Even though it's got to be horrible, leaving everything behind, and living in fear, the one good thing seems to be the bond you're forming with your dad. What do you love most about him?Oh, Dad’s just been great. He believes everything I say, even when I don’t. And he lets me be sad when I need to be—for a little while.
What do you hope you will be doing in ten years?I hope to be walking down Lancaster Avenue right out in the open, laughing with my friends and eating a cone of butter pecan ice cream. Just to be alive in ten years . . .
Is there anything you'd like us to say to your friends and family?I love you.
Good luck, and stay safe!Thank you! We’re doing our best.
If you would like to help Liza, you can do so by buying Tunnel Vision, and reading her story.
P.S. This is totally fictional. Thanks, Susan for playing along!
Susan Shaw, a life-long Pennsylvanian, graduated from Radnor High School and earned her B. S. in music education from Temple University. She and her husband live in Wayne, where they raised three children. Susan Shaw is the author of Black-eyed Suzie (Boyds Mills Press, 2002), The Boy From The Basement (Dutton Books, 2004), Safe (Dutton Books, 2007), and One Of The Survivors (Simon and Schuster, 2009). Tunnel Vision will be released from Simon and Schuster this August. Shaw’s books have been chosen for many awards and appear on many reading lists. They include The Texas Lone Star Reading List, The Texas Tayshas Reading List, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, The New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers. Safe is a Carolyn W. Field Honor Book. Contact Susan Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on library or school presentations.