Screen Grab

A novella from the collection No Way Home

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Screen Grab eBook by L. A. Davenport available now on Amazon, Kindle, Apple Books, Google Play, and Kobo
Novella

The more you want something, the less you can tell if it’s real

A teenage girl desperate for reconciliation with her absent father; a homeless man building a home in an abandoned cottage; a brutal sexual predator grooming victims in online chat rooms.

Three worlds on a collision course, with potentially devastating consequences. But will the truth about Lauren’s father come out before it’s too late?

Screen Grab is a disturbing and thought-provoking novella from the collection No Way Home by L. A. Davenport, author of the novel Escape and the short story collection Dear Lucifer and Other Stories.

Background

I don’t remember how this story began to develop in my mind. What I do know is that it started as a script for a short film while writing with my friend, and it stuck with me, even though the first versions were poorly structured and the characters lacked development. But I persisted, and took a lot of advice, as well as the title, from many friends who were very generous with their time. It was slow and painful to write, but I wanted so much to do the idea justice.

I have always struggled with how people lacking in confidence and love are preyed upon by weak people seeking to crush others to make up for their own inadequacies. Here the intended victim is a teenage girl unhappy at home and being groomed online by a sex offender, and the collision course is with a vagrant who moves into an abandoned cottage. But there are many different ways that this story could have been told – there are so many ways in which people are victimised and marginalised, and they often end up online, lost, afraid, and ready to believe anyone.

To help me with my research, I read Online Predation: A Linguistic Analysis of Online Predator Grooming, which is a Research Honors Thesis by Melissa A. Wollis, published in 2011.

Screen Grab is from the collection No Way Home, by L. A. Davenport.
© L. A. Davenport 2020.