I have written short stories for years. Some in the magical realism genre such as Red Crane, Blood Pressure and Sole Charge. Others were more thought-provoking contemporary thrillers such as ’The Heart of Things’ and others were purely comic. Dave my ‘ed-in-chi’ has always felt comic writing was a particular strength and there’s nothing as pleasing as hearing him roar from another room when reading something new. My personal favourite is ‘Taking T’ set in Suffolk and Grenada. I love how the incredibly flawed central character outgrows her limitations to become almost admirable.
My first novel ’Fine Lines’ was definitely an ‘early work’ but it had some great comedy chapters which I will keep for the next novel…yes I do have the germ of a seed of something…
ASO came as a surprise to me. I had not attempted any Speculative Fiction before this but having written the short story ‘Olim’, I realised I had the makings of an interesting and potentially bigger idea.
I have learned since writing ASO that the concept of retirement communities is not unique. Firhall village near Inverness in Scotland and Whitely village in Sussex are both examples of such a way of living. Sit on the beaches in Florida and witness the satisfaction of older people electively living together. I wanted to ask whether this would be better than living in a society where one feels irrelevant and invisible. The word here is of course ’elective’.
However, ASO is primarily about the unwilling but necessary separation of a mother and her child; I wanted to ask how sustainable such separation could be when it so fundamentally challenges the natural order.
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Glory Hole was the winner of the ADFAM writing competition and was published in the Guardian in December 2002.
At a candlelit service at St Brides Church, Fleet Street, it was read by the BBC journalist, Martha Kearney.
It is a fictional child’s account of life caring for a drug dependent parent.
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