About Author



Janet Bentley is a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse who is passionate about using her experience to bring the subject out of the shadows and into the public eye.

Janet is a member of RAINN’s (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) Speakers’ Bureau and a facilitator of Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training.

She also owns Courageous Survivors, a foundation dedicated to providing other survivors the tools and support they need to thrive despite the abuse they suffered.


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JANET BENTLEY's Awards and Achievements

    JANET BENTLEY has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • 2019 International Book Awards: Gold Medal - Non Fiction Social Issues

    Don't Expect Me to Cry: Refusing to let Childhood Sexual Abuse steal my life


JANET BENTLEY interview On 18, Apr 2020

"JANET BENTLEY was born in Encino, California. She always enjoyed English and Creative Writing in school. Janet tells her inspiring life story, from the horrors of sexual, physical and verbal abuse to a life filled with much love and joy in an honest and powerful voice. She exposes her pain, her past and proves that life is never hopeless."
Where did you grow up as a child? What was your favorite holiday as a child?

I was born in Encino, California and we moved all over Los Angeles during my childhood. My favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. We were very poor and went hungry a lot but on Thanksgiving, we always had plenty to eat!

What inspired you to start writing? Did you always want to be a writer?

I always enjoyed English and Creative Writing in school. However, what really inspired me to write my book was to tell my story of Childhood Sexual Abuse in hopes that others might not feel so alone. I remember the first time I realized that I wasn’t alone and it was the most validating, comforting feeling I had ever felt.

What is your writing kryptonite? Inversely, what is something that never fails to inspire you?

What never fails to inspire me is when someone is vulnerable. It confirms to me again and again that being authentic is the most healing and brave thing that we can do in our lives.

What inspired your book, "Don't Expect Me to Cry"? How much did you research to write this book?

What inspired me was my stay at The Meadows, a 45 day residential trauma treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona. In sharing my story of childhood trauma with others there, I realized that not only was I accepted for who I am, it helped others to share their own stories. It sparked the idea of one day writing my story and having it published. The only research I did in writing this book was based on my own life and therapy experience.

What is the sweetest fan-mail/compliment that you have received for your writing?

I have honestly received so many nice compliments. What continues to make this entire journey worthwhile is when I hear that my experience and story has helped someone to feel hope and a feeling of not being alone anymore.

What kind of audience do you hope to appeal to with your books?

I hope to appeal to not only survivors of abuse but to the general public about how abuse, in particular sexual abuse as a child, affects our entire lives. This abuse is an epidemic in our society and way too common. I hope to spread awareness and spark conversations so that the many lives that are hurt, and sadly lost, by sexual abuse can experience recovery and others saved.

In what ways have your foundations helped in providing other survivors the tools and support they need to thrive despite the abuse they suffered?

What Courageous Survivors provides is a place where people can go for resources on all aspects of many types of abuse. I do focus primarily on sexual abuse, but there are other resources provided for other types of abuse as well. So many people are using unhealthy and dangerous ways of medicating their emotional pain from sexual abuse. I did the same for so many years and what I hope to provide are resources that can be used to develop healing and healthy tools to recover. Many of these resources I have used myself and continue to use daily.

Do you think it is possible for someone to be a writer if they don't have imagination?

I personally think you need some kind of an imagination to be a writer. Without an imagination, I think it would be very difficult to find creative ways to appeal to your audience, no matter what the genre.

What is one of the biggest mistakes you made as a new author and how did you fix it?

I think the biggest mistake I made was when I first began putting all of my journals and thoughts into some sort of order, I tried to do it perfectly and orderly the first time. A good friend of mine, who is an amazing writer, told me to just write, write, write and organize later. That was difficult for me to do at first but once I did, my writing moved forward by leaps and bounds!

How does writing make you feel? When you're not writing, what does a normal day for you look like?

Writing makes me feel accomplished and it allows my emotions to be expressed in ways that I cannot always do vocally. I learn a lot about my thoughts and emotions when I write and that is always healing for me. When I am not writing, I am usually reading or walking in nature.

What is the most challenging part about being an author?

For me, the most challenging part about being an author is the vulnerability of putting myself out in the public eye. It is a scary thing to bear my heart and soul to the world, knowing that there are those that can break it in two if I allow them to. I spent most of my life guarding against that and hiding from people, wanting to be invisible, so it goes against all of that. Writing a memoir in particular has been one of the scariest things I have ever done. I do not regret it though, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Where do you see yourself as an author in 10 years time? Are there any goals you hope to accomplish by then?

In 10 years, I hope to have published a follow up book based on my recovery experiences which will hopefully inspire others to persevere. I also hope to have all of the poems I have written over the years published. I have many goals but I think the most important one will be to have continued my therapy and recovery and be in a place where I can experience being more present in life and being of help to others who struggle with the same.

What is the best writing tip you ever received and who gave it to you?

The best writing tip was when my friend Brad told me to just write, write, write and organize later. That kept me from becoming stuck.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

The plot idea rolling around in my head right now is how to write about my recovery so that it will inspire people who are healing from trauma to not give up. There are a lot of ways that happened for me so again, I am trying to get those creative juices flowing as to the most positive way to do that.

When did you join AllAuthor? What do you think of the experience so far? Do you have any feedback?

I think I joined AllAuthor about a year ago. I LOVE the entire experience. I love the ease in which I am able to create banners and post on my social media. I love the way that AllAuthor regularly posts for me. I am extremely happy with the entire experience. The only thing I wish was a little different is the book cover contest. I feel that to win, you have to “nag” your contacts a lot to vote and I guess I wish there was a different way this could be managed. In saying that though, like I said, the entire experience is a very positive one. Thank you!!

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