Today I am joined by fellow Crooked Cat author Jane Bwye. Welcome back Jane! It’s been a few months since your last visit. Tell us what you have been up to since then.
Dear Tim – there’s nothing like a friend who makes you sit up and think once in a while. I can’t remember when I last visited, nor can I remember what I’ve been up to apart from my usual weekly activities. That’s scary. Is dementia creeping in – or is it just old age? I’ve been lucky with my health up to now.
You ask about my second book, I LIFT UP MY EYES. This little novella was written on the rebound after BREATH OF AFRICA. The story had been simmering in the back of my mind for about twenty-five years. After a tragic accident which left her husband physically and mentally shattered, a friend of mine just couldn’t cope, and she left him. Since then, both have recovered and found happy partnerships. But I’ve often bemoaned the fact that sickness should be the cause of break-up in families. Why does this happen, and how can it be avoided?
I set about exploring the question and during the course of writing, other dimensions appeared. I incorporated personal emotions experienced when trying to come to terms with another type of change – moving from one home to another in a different land. And then there is God. I’ve never thought of myself as an overtly religious type, but I’ve never abandoned my faith. That also comes into the equation, along with the temptations which befall a person when a relationship falters.
It is an intense book, but not without its lighter moments. However, it comes with a serious health warning: it will make you think, and if there has been serious sickness in your family, you may find parts of it bring back uncomfortable memories. (you might like to read this REVIEW)
To answer your next question, at the moment I am in limbo, taking a rest while awaiting our publisher CROOKED CAT’s reaction to the sequel to BREATH OF AFRICA. The weeks are ticking by with exceeding slowness…
Even blogging has taken a back seat for me. Its original purpose – to keep me writing creatively – works, while it happens. Benefits have been up and down. You never know what is going to be popular until you check the stats, and you’re often surprised. My visiting author blogspots on a Tuesday vary in popularity according to the status and marketing input of the author, but sales of BREATH OF AFRICA trickle along fairly steadily, so the regular exposure does work.
And what else is new? My life seems to have taken a turn towards matters medical. On the premise that two heads are better than one, I have been accompanying my husband to appointments and in a couple of cases, admissions to different hospitals in our NHS. I have had to get my head round medical terms and have grappled to make sense of various ailments. It doesn’t help when neither of us can remember what has been said, or when we both forget our hearing aids.
Our son in frustration said, “Don’t forget to take a notebook, mum, and write everything down!”
That helped on the one occasion I remembered to follow his advice, and even made the doctor look away from his computer and pay attention. We have achieved a real sense of how fraught and fragile is the health service.
Any other questions? You have made me think enough for one day, Tim!
Thank you for having me again.
And thanks for those interesting thoughts, Jane! Good luck with the sequel to Breath of Africa! I enjoyed B of A and look forward to reading the follow-up.