Aged 89, my father-in-law died unexpectedly early Monday morning (nothing to do with the stupid virus insofar as we know) at his home here in London.
"Everyone writes books now": In an innocent and not nasty way, an elderly aunt said that to me a few years back. In a way, she was right.
Pondering time may be unnerving and even scary. Naturally, though, it goes by - as a famous song declares. It is inescapable. But in all of that is also at least GREAT potential material for a writer. LOL!
I admit I have never so had the s-it scared out of me as I have felt at times since March. I did not even feel the same about my father's 2014 heart failure (from which he recovered), or even my mother's and my uncle's deaths in 2015. These have been the most unsettling weeks in my life.
My cousin in New Jersey, prompted I gather from all of our exchanges about her daughter's writings, emailed me that she had the other day bought ALL of my novels.
Simply having a story to tell is not enough.
So much for "privacy," and "controlling" and "protecting" your personal data, eh?
The holiday happiness all around me was not making me happier; it was getting on my nerves. I'm unhappy with certain other extended "family" so-called relationships as well. Other life issues are also frustrating me. It all became an angry jumble, bubbling under my surface as the day wore on. I was "overheating."
Over the previous three years, I had also fictionalized her in three novels, the last being that one above. In them I included reconstructions of various real-life interactions and even disagreements between us from back when I was in my 20s and young 30s. She never knew I had sneakily done that.
I've been deliberately reserved especially towards younger members of the family. The reason for that is simple: aside from the first book of that trilogy, Passports, which is probably the closest I’ve come to writing what might be termed borderline “young adult,” my novels are not really meant for "under-18s."
My grandmother is long gone. My mother is now too. My dad remains - and I know I shall miss him terribly whenever he too is gone.
I had thought I was writing with them still to be around for years to come. Abruptly we had the rug pulled out from under all of us. Suddenly those novels had become, in a way, in my mind, literary tributes.
Whatever else I do or write, those first three novels will always mean so much to me. They are where I began. You would not be here if it weren't for them.
When I see authors on social media moaning over how their family doesn't want read their books, I find I can only smile.
Within the guise of a lighthearted, self-interview, I explained what initially caused me in 2012 to decide to write my first novel.