Writer and photographer, Marie Balustrade is a native of the Philippines who grew up and lived in various countries, resulting in photography and writing becoming integral pillars of her soul. The urge to write about what she photographs or match a photograph to her writings are processes that are never far from one another.
After 12 years of living in India and working as a development worker in Asia, Marie Balustrade witnessed the darker side of poverty that drove people to do unimaginable things. Without knowing it at the time, these years became the foundation of the book and my experiences were the fountain of knowledge channelled through the characters. The setting and the social framework surrounding the fictional characters is true and the purpose of Wings At Dawn is to draw attention to the plight of the children who have fallen victims to the evil clutches of greed and perversion. Being aware of the situation is the first step towards protecting them, even though we cannot rescue each and every one.
Translating the ugly reality of the research into a palatable work of fiction was a monumental task that takes several months. Knowing the country and the culture where the book is set is the greatest advantage as an author. Substance is as important as quality, otherwise a great injustice is done to the cause.
Balustrade's novels deal with controversial social issues that span the globe. The stories are not meant for the reader to swoon over and fall in love momentarily for a shallow romance. The books aim to involve the audience with tears, anger, disgust, and after turning the last page, become more vigilant.
Personal life experiences are the foundation for all Marie Balustrade's novels, written from the soul, not an empty page.