Some time ago I wrote a book called Sex, Lies and Family Ties, which was a fictional account of a teenage girl coming to terms with her dysfunctional roots and resultant abuse, and her rising above it all as a stronger woman. International Women’s Day seems as good a day as any to give Sex, Lies and Family Ties – with its fabulous cover designed by the inimitable Steve Upham – one final airing before it goes out of print, so this is your final chance to buy before its O/P date at the end of this month.
Available from Amazon in paper and kindle format. Here
I wrote this one under my maiden name mostly because it was so very different from my usual style and genre. The subject matter is dark – and very much in keeping with the theme of IWD in how the abuse of woman and girls was somehow accepted by society by an unspoken pact of silence; that it was okay for this to go on just so long as nobody spoke about it. It would be good to think that this is a part of our past, but we all know from news headlines just this week how the abuse of woman is far from over. Yet most abuse is not the result of girls (and boys) running wild in the streets falling foul of perverts that the red-top papers insist lurk on every street corner – though there is no denying there are dangerous people out there. Most abuse is a silent and hidden betrayal, which takes place behind the closed doors of the family home.
So – Sex, Lies and Family Ties. How did it come about?
It began as a writing exercise at the then Southampton University Writers’ Conference – later to become the Winchester Writers’ Conference. That writing exercise morphed into a short story, ‘The Abused and ‘Him’ – which was published in Visionary Tongue #6, edited by the lovely Storm Constantine and Eloise Coquio.
From that came Sex, Lies and Family Ties as a full blown novel.
What is Sex, Lies and Family Ties all about?
In 1970, nineteen-year-old Carol has begun to finally make sense of her life. She rides a motorbike, drinks cider and has smoked her first joint, and experienced danger – and on the day that Jim dies, Carol Hopcraft dances a jig in Mrs. Hamilton’s hallway. When Carol learns of Jim’s death, all the pain of the past floods back to haunt her. Her friend Jacqueline, whom she has relied on for so long, now has life-changing issues as she comes to terms with her own sexuality. Mad Frankie offers her the use of his van for the great rescue, his friendship and more. Meanwhile, Carol has to face up to the emotions bubbling back home, the constant jabbing and feinting between the teenager and her mother that has far more sinister roots than her friends imagine. And another Jim’s death – that of Jimi Hendrix – hangs over her like a dark cloud. Running along with this is a series of cameos from Carol’s past, from the days of innocence through to the time she lost her childhood and learned to grow up fast. Despite its dark subject matter this is also a story tinged with the wry humour of a young woman taking control of her own destiny.
Only available for a few more weeks!