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Found 3 results

  1. Beryl Bainbridge, at her best, always had a dark view of life. It wasn’t just the unhappiness of life she wrote about so well but the pain and regret under that unhappiness. This novel is a fine example of the darkness she found in ordinary people’s lives. It is set in Liverpool in 1945. The war is finally turning and the city is awash with American GIs, but this is still the world of ration books, shortages and make do and mend. In this cold and austere world, naïve and immature Rita lives with her two aunts, Nellie and Margo. Her mother has died and her father is incapable of raising a daughter. Rita dreams of being a GI bride, her head was turned by the fantasy of the Hollywood films she escaped to in the local Picture House. At a party organised by a neighbour she meets her own GI. She rapidly falls in love with him, though she is far more in love with the idea of having her own GI than with the man himself. Her aunts, though, are certain that this young man is not suitable for their niece. This is not romantic fiction, it is a drama of downtrodden lives; Rita’s relationship with her GI has no breath of romance about it. The aunts’ lives are as dull and washed out as the wartime city around them. Nellie is the matronly character forced to be the head of the family. Margo is what was once called “blousy”, an unmarried middled-aged woman who behaves as if she was still young, though here she is no caricature; she is a woman who is desperate not to let life pass her by, even though it is rapidly doing so. The male characters are very much secondary characters here, but this is a novel about the women at the heart of it and it is no less a novel for that. This was the first Bainbridge novel I read. As a teenager, I was wary of literary fiction, finding it highbrow and inaccessible. With this novel, I was gripped by its dark opening and carried along by its dark plot. I was surprised that a novel with the plaudits this one had would also have such an interesting and readable plot. The characters were also all too recognisable. Rereading it recently, I found it had lost none of its dark appeal. This is Beryl Bainbridge at her height. Though a short novel, none of its pages are wasted and it still lingers in the memory long after I finished reading it. Find it on Amazon
  2. I just published my first book The Reflection of Innocence Being a first time author, I found it to be trick to write, because of the sexuality of the character. I patterned many aspects of the main character against myself, and I am a gay man that never came to terms with my sexuality till my late 30's. So his sexuality was hidden away (except for a few passing references in the book), but here is my question. Since my book if I had to classify it is a Fiction-Thriller-Military genre (with some paranormal elements) it's appeal is mostly going to be straight men/women I imagined. My feeling was to try endear the readers to the character and essentially gloss over his sexuality (since his sexuality really isn't a major factor of the story anyway), and hope they can connect with the person, rather than just this facet of who he his. Later on when the character comes to terms with who he is as a person, and he finally accepts his sexuality (and being an alcolholic), I had hoped that the readers would feel close enough to the character so it really doesn't sway them. Again I base this on my own life where I was scared to death to do the 'big reveal' to family/friends, and when I did most just shrugged their shoulders,and said we like you for who you are, and your sexuality doesn't change that. . So I am hoping by trying to create that closeness with the characters with words, the readers feel the same way. Was just curious how others have dealt with writing books for markets geared for meat & potatoes middle America crowd, and showing that G&L go through the same struggles as they do? Thanks John
  3. Historical Fiction Authors like to write in a genre that they are comfortable with. Some genres require more work than others. Your challenge is to write a scene or story that is set in a particular time period. Think Victorian, Elizabethan, World War I, Colonial America, or another time period. You’ll need to research the clothes, tools, items, attitudes, and language so everything is appropriate. Good Luck.
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