If you think the normal school run on a Monday is entertaining you should try doing it from a tent in your back garden surrounded by the jumbled up contents of your entire home. It is vastly more diverting. Our heroine has survived the sudden collapse of her home – or has she? Certain events two and a half years ago led her to deliberately destroy an important piece of herself, hiding away all remaining evidence that it ever existed. What happens when she decides to go looking for it? Does she really deserve to be whole again? Inspired by a true story, this is an account of one woman’s secret guilt and her journey in search of forgiveness!
My Q&A with Alice May
At 45 years old, Alice is a multi-tasking mother with four not-so-small children and is fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet. They live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country.
Alice had always wanted to write a book but felt that it was an unobtainable dream, until one day she just sat down and started to write. Alice wrote non- stop for three weeks and her husband and children thought she had gone mad. Eventually, she ground to a halt to find she had over 60,000 and the initial draft of my very first novel.
Inspired by true-life events ‘Accidental Damage – Tales from the house that sat down!’ wouldn’t leave Alice alone until it was written. After numerous re-writes, some very careful editing and a lengthy cover design process, Accidental Damage was published on 1st August 2016.
Describe yourself using three words
I like to think that I am inquisitive (my Beloved Husband would say nosey), organised (he’d say bossy) and unpredictable (of course BH tells me that I am so unpredictable that I am actually very predictable!). ☺
What inspired you to write your first novel?
My first novel ‘Accidental Damage – Tales from the house that sat down!’ was inspired by a real life event. My husband, four children and I spent a year living in our garden after part of our house fell down leaving it uninhabitable.
I felt it was such an unusual experience to go through that it was important to write about it. In spite of the horrible circumstances, it was a time of massive positivity and growth for the whole family. Once we accepted that we couldn’t live in our house and couldn’t really go anywhere else we just had to knuckle down and get on with life. So many funny and ridiculous things happened to us on our journey to rebuild our home it made a cracking story on which to base my first fictional novel.
The sequel ‘Consequences – More tales from the house that sat down’ will be published later this year.
What time of day do you like to write?
I find that ideas for my novels come to me at all times of the day and night, but I can only really set time aside to write once I have done the school drop off in the morning. I write from about 9am to 12.30/1pm. After that I work on promotion and marketing as well as housework and other family related issues before doing the school pick up.
I keep a notebook with me at all times, even next to the bed at night, so that I can scribble down any great ideas and plotlines to use later when I have time to write.
How did you pick the title of your book?
The first part of my title ‘Accidental Damage’ was in my head right from the very first paragraph as it is one that carries several meanings within the story. It is a type of home insurance cover in the first instance but it also refers to the emotional damage that is inflicted on the characters as they journey through the story as a result of the situation they find themselves in.
The second part of the title, ‘Tales from the house that sat down!’ was inspired by how our house looked after part of it had collapsed. It gave every appearance of having got very tired and so just had a little sit-down.
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
The characters of the family in ‘Accidental Damage’ are based (loosely) on my own family. Nobody else would do I am afraid. The book is written retrospectively from the mother’s point of view and I wanted to convey to the reader the complex interactions of a large family under such uniquely stressful circumstances. (Don’t worry my husband and kids have all read the book and approve.)
No other characters in the book are actually based on real people.
What is your favourite word?
My favourite word is ‘onomatopoeia’ mainly because it has so many vowels which is an unusual feature in the English language, but also because of its definition. I love words that are formed from the sound of what they are, like ‘sizzle’. It’s fun!
If you were a colour, what would you be?
I would be a fresh spring green colour, the exact shade of new grass.
Do you plan your story beforehand or do you go with the flow?
I know roughly where my plot is going from the start. I use my first draft to get the main information down on paper, then I spend a fair amount of time moving bits of it around and shaping it into the most effective story telling format for the material and weaving extra threads throughout for greater depth.
Who is your favourite author?
This is a very interesting question as there are so many great authors in numerous different genres to choose from.
I love Anne McCaffrey, Katie Fford, Lisa Gardner, Kate Fenton, Trisha Ashley, Jane Austin, JRR Tolkien.
I genuinely don’t think I can pick just one. Sorry!
Are you working on a new project at the moment?
I am currently working on final drafts of the sequel to ‘Accidental Damage’ at the moment which will hopefully be ready for publication this summer. I am also in the early plotting stages of a third novel, this time for a new series. It is very exciting I am thoroughly enjoying the whole process.
You can purchase your copy here:
Giveaway ~ Signed Copy Of Accidental Damage By Alice May