My creative study, in the form of a literary thriller, will depict how a trauma survivor’s ordeal is often rewritten by the media and social media to fit the archetypal victim narrative. But in telling this story, am I also guilty of hijack? Recent high-profile bestsellers have been challenged for lacking authenticity and exploiting third-party trauma. My accompanying critical study will examine ‘trauma appropriation’. Should writers draw only on their personal histories, or is it acceptable to derive inspiration from the harrowing experiences of others?