The Building of a Book From a Simple Story
- Thursday, 07 April 2016 09:15
Love Lose Live: the Divorce Rollercoaster, was launched at the Law Society on 4 February 2016. The response to the story has been overwhelming. The book seems to have struck a real chord with many people who have been divorced and interestingly whose parents were divorced when they were growing up. The scenes in which I give the children's perspective of what is happening to their family and how they cope (or don't) and their thoughts and feelings are very powerful and change the view-point from which family break-down is normally understood.
I have learned a lot about the process of publishing, which is a foreign world for me. The editing taught me to avoid the 'Omniscient Narrator' and so she had to be given her own section of the book, the Afterword, where the subtext of the story is explained. This prevented my thoughts about what was going on for the characters in the story getting in the way of the story itself, so the pace and integrity of their world is maintained. I had to avoid swapping points of view too often, whilst still giving the very different perspectives of people and children involved in events from opposing positions, and keep my commentary on this for the Afterword. Some reviews have noted the complete absence of any view-point other than the characters, attributing this to my profession as a mediator, non judgmental but understanding. It does also make it easy for the reader to have their own thoughts about what is happening and who is at fault, if anyone is, as this is very much a matter of opinion and opinions do vary depending on the reader's experience and the personal biases they bring to their interpretation of the book.
From the moment I put fingers to keyboard the characters in the story took over. They had very clear personalities and voices and I was led by them. I didn't even have to wonder what they'd do, they just lived and seemed to tell me what to write in so in many ways. When I'd finished I realised that I'd written about so many of the typical stories I'd heard over the years from the people I have met in my professional life, both legal and mediation clients. For them it is their first harrowing experience of separation, but it has to be said that sadly many people make the same mistakes for the same understandable reasons, but with predictable and usually undesirable outcomes both for themselves and their children.
Some of those events are described in the book. An observer can understand from the differing views of the actors in the story why these things go wrong. It may have happened to someone they know, it may be close to home. I just hope it helps some readers and mostly I hope you find it entertaining and that you enjoy the story.