One thing that spurred Victoria’s Michael Wuitchik to write his debut novel was meeting a young and beautiful amputee.

Wuitchik, a psychologist-turned-writer, first visited Sierra Leone 13 years ago. He met the amputee at a refugee camp in Freetown, the West African country’s capital. A pretty woman, about 19 years old, she was missing an arm and a leg. This victim of rebel forces had also been raped multiple times.