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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Have you seen a pattern emerge from your novel writing?

I have.

I seem to write about loneliness. It wasn't a conscious effort to include this core emotion (some might argue it's a state of mind not an emotion), but it just seemed to happen. I'm not a lonely person. I love being on my own, but in reality, as a mother of four and from a large family, those moments are rare.
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In Eden the main character is deserted on a planet after a space mission goes horribly wrong. It's a sort of a cross between Robinson and Crusoe and Blue Lagoon only not on Earth. It's a 'soft' sci-fi, or as I prefer to call it, a romance tied up with a science fiction ribbon. Imagine being the only person on a strange planet. Scary!

Hunted is the sequel to Eden. This book is less romance and more focused on survival. The main character, Jenny, has found happiness on Eden, but her world is pulled apart when she realises she's been living in self-denial at ever being happy. Life's a struggle when you've no one to turn to and your mind plays wonderful tricks.

I tried my hand at a comedy romance with A Proper Charlie, surely loneliness can't feature in a romcom? But it does. Here, the main character, Charlie realises she's hanging on to her 'no good' boyfriend because she doesn't want to be alone, then she goes after an exclusive (she's a wannabe reporter), regardless of the dangers just so she can belong at work. It's madcap, with dry British humour but loneliness features in the book all the same.



But The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch, therefore I am is the only book that I wrote consciously with the theme of loneliness. Valerie is a hardcore bitch, or rather, a tries-very-hard-to-be bitch. I wrote it as a dark chick lit, chatty and funny, but with the under-theme of darkness from the main character. She's depressed, but hides it from everyone she knows. Of course, the paint flakes and then the cracks appear in Valerie's emotional state. This was the book that made me research loneliness, and I never realised it could be a symptom rather than a cause of depression. Or how painful and life debilitating is can be.

I'm introverted, but being and feeling lonely is something else altogether. I wouldn't want to go there... unless it's in my books.




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