Many thanks to Author’s Lounge for giving me the opportunity to share my writing journey with you and give some details of my award-winning debut novel, The Fractured Globe.
The Fractured Globe follows the lives of two, single, teenage mothers. Tia and Kay meet when their sons are born in the same hospital, on the same day. From the outside, this appears to be their only connection but, as the story develops, a number of other similarities are brought to light. Tia persuades Kay to let her baby stay with Kay for a few days as she tries to escape social services, and her past, which includes her abusive boyfriend, Jake. A few days turn into months. The girls have come from completely different backgrounds but manage to co-exist for a while, until cracks, brought on by Tia’s behavior and lies, force them apart. Over the next twenty-five years, the story follows the paths the young women take and explores how much their backgrounds and genetic make-up influence the choices they make. At the heart of the story is the mystery surrounding Tia’s son, Luke. The snow globe is something from Kay’s past that plays a key part in unraveling the mystery.
The book started life as a short story, in response to a prompt from one of my writers’ group. Several of the group then suggested that I write a second story from another character’s point-of-view – not of the same situation, but something to complement the first.
After that, I decided to compile a series of stories that would interlink but when I tried writing the third character, it just didn’t work, so I abandoned it as I had been offered publication for a children’s book. That book turned into a series of three, followed by a picture book so The Globe didn’t receive any attention for a long time. I had the idea to pull apart the short stories and try to reform them as a novel. I received some positive feedback so went ahead. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but once my characters were properly formed they wouldn’t let me give up and I knew I had to finish it. It’s a fairly dark tale that reflects my interest in nature/nurture and in a number of human psychology aspects.
I was delighted when Darkstroke Books accepted the novel in August 2020 and it was published in December of that year. It has recently won a Chill with a Book, Premiere Readers’ Award, and was placed as a finalist in the Pager Turner Book Award 2023.
The book is obviously not suitable for children! My intention was to appeal to readers who share my interest in human nature, and the part that upbringing plays, but who also enjoy a ‘good story’. Feedback from readers and reviewers has shown me that my aim, of developing layers of understanding of the human psyche within an accessible story, succeeded. I never saw it as a ‘woman’s’ book, and again, feedback suggests that it has been enjoyed by all genders.
I have no specific plans to develop other work based on this novel, but will certainly seek out dramatization/screenplay opportunities, despite the rarity of acceptances! I intend to continue to focus my writing on other psychological theories and I am currently working on another novel based on the ‘seeing is believing’ debate, and have just finished another children’s book, based on myths and legends from around the world. As a child, I was fascinated with magic and with mythical creatures and tales. Writing for children allows me to recreate that sensation of the wonder of the ‘unreal’ and place it in the real world. I can only hope that my own stories might engender in others the same sense of delight in the written word, and encourage children to explore and develop their own creative activities.
I find it impossible to have a set time for writing each day. I know this works for lots of writers, but I guess I’m just not disciplined enough! However, when I do create that space to write, I can often achieve anything up to seven thousand words in a day. I don’t want to feel that I have to write, but that I want to write. If it ever became a chore, then I’d stop and simply read.
I find inspiration all around me. I love to watch the changing of the seasons, and also watch (and listen to) people when I’m out and about! It’s amazing how a simple statement or a conversation can be developed into a storyline, plot, or poem.
I don’t make specific plans for my books, but I generally have the story outline, and sometimes quite a bit of detail, in my head before I put pen to paper. I like to talk to my characters and even role-play their parts. I do plan things like time sequences, for example, as I have to make sure I don’t make mistakes or create something that isn’t believable. I’ve also had to bear in mind that two of my main characters in the children’s books are seven years old so there are many places they wouldn’t be able to go or things they couldn’t do, at that age. Although there’s a magical element to the stories, they do have a basic everyday setting, so I have to ensure that it is realistic.
I totally embrace modern technology but I do worry that the ‘art’ of writing is slowly being eroded. When children ask me how I begin writing my books, I’m completely honest and I tell them ‘With a pencil and paper’. Those first few sentences are always magical for me, and I’m always excited as I see the page fill up. I try to convey this sense of wonder to anyone that I work with and I sincerely hope that, as technology advances, we don’t lose sight of the true meaning of the ‘written’ word.
Amazon Author page: https://tinyurl.com/y6zeyrk2