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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

What is Fate? Is it predetermined and can we change It?

Or more importantly, should we change it?

According to Wikipedia the word 'fate' isn't interchangeable with 'destiny' and means 'a predetermined course of events'. And 'fate', traced back to Latin, also means 'death'. Nice.

Many modern people believe the former, so, if that were the case, we would have no control over our fate. By that definition it could almost be described as a supernatural power that was assigned to us because of our inability to control our life-path.

So, going along those lines, what would happen if this thing called fate gets it wrong? Would it just throw up its hands (if it had hands) saying, 'Oops, got that one wrong, never mind, next!'

Or would is put things back on its correct path no matter what?

That's the question I pondered over in my latest book WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP.

I played with the idea of a woman who had a trying childhood, and didn't have a good relationship with her mother, but she grew up and was now happy in her middle years—or thought she was. So what would happen if she was, somehow, sent back in time to sort out her strained relationship with her mother? Would she make the same mistakes that she made before?
I threw a spanner in the works though… my character, Julie Compton, could only go back in time in someone else’s body. 
WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP
No one knew she was driving on that stretch of road. No one saw her car leave the highway and crash into a watery ditch. No one heard the car’s windscreen smash or saw the tree branch impale her to her seat. No one heard her screams. 
Paperback (American readers) Paperback (British readers)
eBook (American readers)eBook (British readers)
  Julie Compton’s life should have ended after being involved in a deadly car accident but instead she woke, unharmed, back in 1972 and primed to relive her life all over again.
   One problem. She’s in the body of a stranger.
   Journey back to the 70s and 80s England where Julie’s forced to jump through the eras, occupying and controlling the bodies of people she knew as a child. She must work out which destiny path was the wrong one, wondering all the while if her body, back in 2016, was dying in her car. With each momentous change, her memories transform and she realises she’s not only changing her future but the futures of those around her.
   A paranormal, time-slip adventure set in the real town of Northampton in England.

Excerpt taken from chapter four of WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP

I woke with a bump, like I’d been submerged beneath water. Gasping. Breathless. The shimmering man slipped from my consciousness as I fought to hold on to him—I felt he was important but the dream disintegrated as panic overcame me.
I scrabbled around, getting my things together, knowing I had to get out of the car before it became my grave. It was still daylight. I’d missed the meeting, though. Sod the meeting. I reached to grab my bag and briefcase from the footwell. My hand stopped in mid-air. A beaded yellow and red bag was in place of my Ted Baker handbag.
I took the bag anyway. I needed money to make phone calls for a recovery service and a taxi. Whoever’s bag it was, I’d pay them back. I grabbed my briefcase and opened the car door. The car was at an angle, pointing downward, and I slipped. I had to grab the door one-handed as my feet disappeared beneath the car. But I felt strangely light, as if I could jump and easily reach the swaying trees making a canopy over the road. I threw the bag and briefcase to the top of the embankment and climbed up.
On my knees, I opened the bag, hoping to find a phone inside. There was a packet of cigarettes. Players No. 6, to be exact. I turned it over in my hands. Even as a non-smoker I knew this brand had long been replaced by something else. I dropped them in the bag. Maybe whoever they belonged to was a retro smoker.
I searched further, but other than a discoloured makeup bag, an opened packet of strawberry Spangles, a pen, a diary, and a hideous brown purse there was nothing that I could use to help me out of my predicament.
My iPad!
I reached for my briefcase, but as I did, I realised it wasn’t mine either. In fact, it was nothing like mine. This wasn’t genuine leather, it had no long handles, and it was scuffed and well-used.
An old Cortina whooshed past, but I was too slow to react. I tried anyway, standing quickly, yelling and waving my hands, but it had disappeared around the bend in the road. I ran after it a few paces but stopped, knowing it was futile.
There was nothing for it—I’d have to walk. I couldn’t be far from civilisation. This was England, for goodness’ sake! I picked up the handbag and briefcase. I didn’t want whoever owned them to say I’d stolen them. I’d have to look after them until I could return them. The garish-coloured bag went over my shoulder.
Something made me turn to look down at my poor, smashed-up car. Ghost-like figures surrounded it. I couldn’t make out features, colours, or anything much, just strange transparent floating shapes hovering around my car.
Fear caused me to step back. I wasn’t religious; I disbelieved in anything hocus-pocus and was suspicious of anyone who claimed they believed in an afterlife, but I couldn’t explain those ghostly figures as anything other than Death trying to find me. Trying to find out how I’d cheated it, maybe.
I closed my eyes, rocking on my feet as dizziness brushed over me, then opened them again carefully, almost afraid of what I’d see. But it was low-laying mist that surrounded the car now. It was almost invisible.
Just mist.
‘Silly woman,’ I said, and turned to look around at my surroundings. I was on a typical narrow country road, and I was afraid I’d have a boy-racer come up behind me and finish me off. I wondered what time it was. I never wore a watch, and as my mobile was broken I didn’t know the time. I stopped and squinted up at the sun. It was high in the blue sky, but how could that be? It was January; the sun never rose much during the winter months. I looked around at the gently swaying trees—fully leaved. The field to my left was full of tall rapeseed. The yellow flowers gave off a familiar smell that reminded me of my childhood in the village before I left with my father as a teenager.
This was crazy. It’s January! I’ve not only slept through the night, but the entire winter? Noticing I’d crashed near a T-junction with a signpost, I walked over to read the sign:
Potterspury 1/4 mile.
Good God, that’s the very village where I lived as a girl! I lived in a small house on a street called Blackwell End in Potterspury. But how? I was in Harrow! Dropping the case and letting the handbag slip down to my elbow, I stared at the sign.
A few metres along the road was a bus stop, and I hurried over to find the timetable. There wasn’t one. Great. A low noise behind me caused me to turn, and I watched as a tractor drew closer, its noise growing as did its size. It pulled up beside me, vibrating so quickly it was almost a blur.
‘Aye up, me duck, you okay?’ the driver asked through an open window.
It was Gerald, Mum’s biggest regret.



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