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I felt it was important to tell you a bit about the background and writing of this novel, for my own personal benefit if nobody else’s!
Angel Avenue started as just a short story about a woman running from the ghosts of the past and developed into something very different to what I usually write. I guess in my previous work I have made things difficult for myself, combining genres in the Ravage Trilogy and then adding some pretty complex psychology to the erotica that followed after that.
This is a contemporary romance and was easily the most enjoyable thing I have written so far. After the short story sparked some further exploration, I thought about trying to get to 50,000 words and then after I reached that milestone, I thought, I shall try a little bit more, and eventually I was just hitting above 100K. Some fancy editing has got it down to 99K now. I am actually really happy with that! It’s a feat for me to stick to such a short word count and one, singular novel!
When I was writing this book, I had very specific aims in mind. I wanted it to be a novel of hope and triumph. Of natural humour. It has also ended up being loosely set in my hometown of Hull, and contains some interesting flecks of history. I by no means went overboard there, however, I focused primarily on this schoolteacher I created and the man sent to “save” her. By the end, you might be asking who is saving who…
This is a novel more “me” than anything else I have written. It goes somewhat to explaining how I do this thing I do. It goes back to my roots. In a past life, I may have worked in educational environments. I may have been trained to spot kids suffering abuse… there are lots of strings to my bow.
One of the things people say to me a lot is that English at school was very uninspiring for them. For some, the classics never captivated their imaginations. It was later in life that American literature perhaps obsessed them and gave their creativeness wings. I know that through the work I did with kids, young minds respond to drama and visual representation. After all reading in itself is a difficult skill learnt. The ability to sit there and absorb words on a page was something I never found easy as a girl. I could sit and absorb patterns and times tables within seconds, but words were difficult for me (being a more natural mathematician) and I had to battle to overcome that. I guess that is my personality in that what I don’t understand, I try to overcome. At school kids used to crowd round me in maths lessons to find out the answers whereas in English, I was a late developer and yet, once I got there the results were surprising, especially when I was 14 and holding onto one of the top scores in the country for my English SATs.
I guess with this novel, I just try to say how important education is for some children, how valuable and fundamental it is to their wellbeing. Young minds are a beautiful thing.
This novel will be released within the week and it is the perfect seasonal read. I hope some of you read and enjoy it. I am hoping to release it in as many formats as possible so watch this space!!
Peace out. xxx