Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Best Thing I Ever Wrote

The paperback of my book Far From My Father's House comes out on January 29th from Quercus. It is now available from Amazon as an ebook for 99p.

My agent still says this is the best book I ever wrote which is very frustrating because it means I'm not getting any better.  It was my second Saga and my new lovely publishers Quercus think it will sell in paperback. I do hope so. I chose the cover myself from a number of options because I think it looks like my mother and this book is partly about her.

She didn't like the book, she thought it misrepresented her and of course it did, it was my view of her early life and nobody can know what another's life is really like. She died fourteen years ago and by God, I miss her. She was beautiful, vital, dynamic and part of her is always there in the women in my books. The one I'm writing at the moment there my mother is, riding her horse down a beach into the water and being the outdoor person that I always wanted to be. I don't look like her, I don't think like her, on a good day I tell stories about her because it comforts me.

Annie is the main woman in the story, the man is David Blake. This was the first time I had made a man so important in my books, his voice is as complete as hers and the publishers have acknowledged it in that the audio will be read by a man in a northern voice. Oh joy!

I can't read some of the book because every time I look at it I want to cry. I used a great deal of my own experience. The funeral scene is my husband's funeral and what Blake goes through after it is the same hell that I went through when my husband died.  The nights where I never slept, the days when I didn't eat, the way that men would ask me casually if I wanted to go to bed with them, as though it was sex I missed and worst of all the awful loneliness which has never receded, raw and personal.

'Afterwards there was not a day in the rest of his life in which Blake could think about what happened without pain.'

That's me and that's why it's the best thing I ever wrote.

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