I’m a writer, I have a voice… Watch out––author on a soap box… :-)


ifoundyouAD13

 

Warning – I Found You – spoiler alert

 

I don’t want to write a book you’ll read and throw on a side and go ahhhh that was a nice book––a book that’ll go on a shelf, or be recycled in a charity shop, or sit on your E-reader and never be read again.

No, those aren’t the light stories I want to write… Not that those stories aren’t good. They can be… at times that’s all I feel like reading. But…

I want to write stories that will take people somewhere––stories you cannot forget. Something people will glance at on a shelf and think, oh yeah, I remember that story. Something when you can’t find anything you really want to read you’ll pick up or turn back to on your E-reader and read again. I have a voice, and want it take you somewhere you don’t normally go, or to show you something you don’t normally see.

In my historical stories, that’s to take you back in time, but to take you into realistic settings and situations I’ve discovered in letters and memoirs of the era; but in my contemporary stories, that is more about stepping into areas of life people don’t necessarily think about.

I have an invisible disability, and in my day job for several years, I’ve been working to help make sure people are healthy and happy in their working environment, which means I’ve had to develop an understanding of what it’s like to live with many different conditions which influence peoples’ lives. One of the things I am most passionate about; is joining in the voice to help people understand mental health issues better, and stop being so judgmental about it.

People are really quick to judge, it is instinctual. I’ve experienced it so many times with my disability. You’ll never be able to see that I’m ill, but you’ll sense it, you’ll hear it in my voice, and see it in my body language. But you’d never guess what was wrong, and people with closed minds just assume I am not really enthusiastic because I speak less energetically and move more slowly. But many people are afraid of those who have mental health conditions, or judge them ineffective and incapable. I am a writer, I have a voice, in my writing I can help to make people start to think about their instincts… That’s what I want to do in my contemporary books…

Of course to challenge my readers, I have to challenge myself too––to write characters people are much less likely to understand is not easy. I know when I developed Rachel’s character in my debut contemporary novel, it was a risk––because she has a mental health condition, most people are not going to think like her. So as I put you in her point of view in her head. You as the reader, are going to be confused, and not understand her. Why should you? You don’t have her mental health condition, you cannot imagine why she thinks, what she thinks…

But that is the thing about bipolar, many individuals who have it, don’t know why they think what they think… Their thoughts just rocket when they are up, and drop when they are down. It is a chemical imbalance that controls them. I don’t have bipolar, I am not writing from my own perspective, but I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs written by people who have it, and people who support them, and spoke to a fellow author whose husband has bipolar. Plus in work, I’ve met several people at conferences who have bipolar and have shared their perspective.

When I was talking to people though, I think they expected me to give my character, Rachel, an episode when she went really off the rails. But that wasn’t what I wanted to write, that would be playing to the stereotype. I wanted to show how someone lives day-to-day with a mental health condition, and what it is like for them to hold a job down, and start relationships…

You cannot imagine how thrilled I was then to see a five-star review appear on Amazon this week, by someone who had bought the book, just to read a love story, but then discovered as a sufferer of bipolar, a person they could absolutely relate to. I am very happy. Job done. Some people really cannot get on with the story because they cannot look beyond how they think, and that’s fine, I guess it’s a book you will either love or hate. But even if people hate it, they are still more likely to remember it. Happy regardless 😀

😉 Sorry given away the twist now… But I don’t think it matters, I think it will just help you understand Rachel from the off.

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One thought on “I’m a writer, I have a voice… Watch out––author on a soap box… :-)

  1. Gosh so many good books to read by Harper Impulse… I wish they’d slow down on how quick they release their books lol!

    Don’t we all want to write that one book that will stand the test of time like a Jane Austen 😉

    I was quite chuffed that a friend said she’d read my book again, because she couldn’t decide what to read. Reassured me that my book can’t be that bad if someone felt they could read it twice lol!

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