Although I’m not enamoured by the prospect of Christmas in real life, I do appreciate it makes fine fictional fodder. With a fixed date recognised across the world, it’s better for marking time than Easter. With raised expectations and family get-togethers, the season also provides the perfect backdrop for the conflict that fires a story. My second novel, Underneath, dedicates around twenty pages to Christmas and its buildup: from a new couple’s negotiations over where to spend it through a flashback to boy being painfully disabused of the myth of Santa to a retreat from the outside world with a love nest in the cellar that subsequently becomes a prison. You can read an extract later in this post, but let’s unwrap some other fictional Christmases.
As illustrated in my posts, The Child in the Clothes of the Criminal and The mother and sisters in Underneath, the character of Steve, the narrator of my second novel, has been shaped by his experiences as a child with a depressed mother. This post highlights how the issue is addressed in my own and in other novels I’ve recently reviewed.
Happy publication day to me! I must admit it doesn’t feel the huge leap it did the first time round, but I’m still excited, albeit not breathlessly so. There’s a quieter satisfaction in having more than one of my own novels on the shelf, making the transition from writer to author to novelist. This post is to thank those who’ve helped me on my way. While writing is a solitary activity, no writer is an island. Our achievements arise through hard work, good luck and not a little help from our friends.
Annecdotal is where real life brushes up against the fictional.
Annecdotist is the blogging persona of Anne Goodwin:
slug-slayer, tramper of moors,
author of two novels.
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I don't post to a schedule, but average around ten reviews a month (see here for an alphabetical list),
some linked to a weekly flash fiction, plus posts on writing and my journey to publication and beyond.
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Read The Arrangement my latest short story hot off the press.
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