Typically most entrepreneurs focus on making a profit but there are other kinds of entrepreneurs that concentrate on creating social capital, they’re called social entrepreneurs. Trisha Smith is one of them. After a life changing experience, she became the author of a book called Holiday in Hell written about her tragic story which was created in the hopes of bringing justice and awareness to amend the Canadian Criminal Code 6(2). Passionate and determined to see justice, here is what she had to say…
Question: What is your book about?
Answer: In a nut-sell the story chronicles about three years of my life. The book begins with a scene on an airplane, I’m returning back home to Canada from a week vacation in Cuba. Most of the passengers are those with whom I have made some acquaintance with at the resort over the week. Among them, the Canadian perpetrator who had just brutally assaulted me almost to death while I was asleep that same day on the last night of the holiday. I’m traumatized and anxious to charge the assault committed against me by the Canadian in Cuba, just as I was promised by the Cuban authorities while they were taking a declaration of the crime. However, to my surprise an additional trauma occurs…an ensuring legal clash when I can’t charge the Canadian perpetrator here in Canada! The Cuban authorities are reluctant to charge the assailant in Cuba as he is not Cuban. At the Pearson Airport, the Canadian police also refuse to arrest him! But why?
So, to whom does a Canadian run to for protection if a crime is committed against them by another Canadian outside the borders of Canada? In my book Holiday in Hell , you will find out that no one and no law could grant me justice to charge this criminal, even though the perpetrator had already previously committed the same crime in Canada!
When there’s no judge in Canada or the Human Rights or a place one can submit such a crime to be examined and charged by the law, there’s no one and no law that will protect you! My story describes how I experienced the victimization of the Canadian justice system in Canada. In a true sense the hard-hitting legal aftermath in my story becomes the real crime!
Question: Can you describe who will/should read your book?
Answer: With my book Holiday in Hell , I intend to reach every Canadian citizen, the young student of the law and the old, the poor and the rich, the religious and non-religious, as Holiday in Hell serves a wake-up call to all Canadians!
Question: What was your main motivation to write your book and what are you hoping to accomplish.
Answer: After I returned from the holiday, one of the injuries I had was internal bleeding from the assault which caused me to write dates and what was occurring. Thinking that if I would die there would be a document and perhaps the perpetrator would be charged. After a few years, my students and friends - writers - artists - those in the public would nudge me, “look Trisha another complicated case” as mine was branded by CITY-TV on 6pm news, “you must write a book”. My life was not getting any better as I had lost much in the way of finances, creative force that I previously had and my family was suffering. One day, while away on an artist journey at the Kawarthas Century Arts, a screen writer encouraged me to write instead of oil paint, for which I had booked myself for to do in that week. At that time I went through a major healing, as only an artist knows that when they are not free within their soul their creative is limited. And limited I was! So I prayed and saw that even though my face has naturally come back to be as before but my inner being could not be free unless…I cry my story. Few years went by and in my associations, editing for publishers and the like, I was asked to have my story printed. I agreed, knowing that it was just the beginning; however God has promised that He’ll make it into completion - whatever that means I still don’t know, except I walk on a path determined.
Question: What is the most important thing you have learnt and what has been your biggest challenge as an author?
Answer: Promoting and networking takes time and is an ongoing process! I am linked on every possible social network such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Digital Journal, Twitter, etc. In time, I won’t be able to continue such a promotion as it is too time consuming! I am a human being with a family, an aging mother, and two great grandsons, whom I wish in the last month to have spent more time with.
Question: How do you use technology and the internet to promote yourself and your writing?
Answer: First of all, on the onset of having the book published, I set up a website. Then, I continued to market the book by publishing it on to as many websites as possible and made sure to optimize it for search engines. Since in many instances it is mostly up to the author’s responsibility to publicize their books, I will embrace every possibility of the Internet to expose my book to as many Canadians, American, and the world as possible. Also, because of Facebook, I have been able to listen to the views of many about law issues in Canada, and talked to people who have been unjustly treated and hopefully I have supported people around the world to heal and to be strong. I also created aFacebook Cause to bring greater awareness to this very important issue.
Question: Do you have any advice to give to someone who is looking to become an author?
Answer: Yes, the writing process is wonderful when one is passionately telling or creating their stories. It is a worthy business as writers explain the world around them, stories make history! The discipline is the hardest, as I like to be on the run, but once I sit down and write, I feel I am in my home. So write, write, and write, then ask friends to read your prose. As you hear someone else read your words, you’ll know. I continue to write, writing is one of my expressions - vocal - and this time not visual - as an artist, with the hope that in the future I will have printed words, embraced by my art.
Question: How do you define Success?
Answer: Of whom I am and whose life I touch, in a positive way. ‘To be or not to be’ true to myself! As an artist, I cannot be otherwise but true to myself! For truth sets me free to live a life full of passion, and dignity for humanity!
Question: Fast-forward five years…what do you see?
Answer: I see myself busy in the artistic world - painting oils..., teaching, spending wonderful time with my family, having a life in the arts, fundraising, equipping young ones for a life ahead. And at the end of the day, no more work toward amending the Canadian Criminal Code 6(2). I see myself watching my story on the large screen and raise my hand to God and say, ‘Thank you God for giving me your power to do that which you commanded me to do - to write the truth about the need to amend the law and to say, ‘A Canadian can charge another Canadian of a crime committed against them, abroad! In my private life, I desire to have peace, to walk hand in hand with my sweetheart and keep on loving!
Whatever action by the Minister of Canada, The Minister of Justice, and the Canadian Justice System will take place in regards to the amending The Canadian Criminal Code 6(2), I am already freed of that - why the assault occurred that night in 1999, and why I had to be the one to cry out so loudly for justice! I do pray now that other Canadians can have a law protecting them while they travel, set up global businesses, and live for seasons, abroad!
My book, Holiday in Hell , is a continuation of my legacy for Canada as I began working for the United Nations in Ottawa for the Conference on Habitat in my early twenties. At that time, I was responsible for the EXHIBITION of our Canadian Youth’s voice through the Arts, ‘HOW DO YOU SEE CANADA IN THE FUTURE.’ Since then, my life has made a full circle, and I am back at the door of Mackenzie Street in Ottawa, but this time pleading with the Canadian government to make this world a better place for their citizens now and generations to come!
Note: Please encourage Trisha and show your support by joining her Facebook Cause Amend the Canadian Criminal Code 6(2)
Canadian Criminal Code 6(2) Reference Department of Justice Canada:
Offences outside Canada
(2) Subject to this Act or any other Act of Parliament, no person shall be convicted or discharged under section 730 of an offence committed outside Canada.
Website Holiday in Hell
Trisha Smith on Facebook
Trisha Smith Facebook Page
Trisha Smith on Twitter
Photograph taken by Keyhan