On July 7th 2005, London is high on the success of winning the 2012 Olympics bid when it is hit by a number of terrorist attacks.
At the other side of the country, in remote, beautiful Cornwall, aspiring journalist Jamie Calder finds her own life affected by the bombings as her partner, Dave, vanishes in London at the time of the attacks.
The initial impact of that terrible day in July is followed by a slow but sure falling apart of the life Jamie believed was settled and secure.
The coming months demonstrate to Jamie that life does not always run to plan and that things are not always as they may first seem.
Only time will tell whether this is necessarily a bad thing.
Writing the Town Read will appeal primarily to young women, in the 20 – 40 age group but, whilst not a great literary masterpiece, neither is it your average chick lit novel.
The story focuses strongly on its characters and their relationships. Jamie finds she has much to learn about life, particularly when it comes to her strong principles and idealistic ways.
There is excitement, intrigue and humour in Writing the Town Read. Whilst Jamie is learning to deal with life without her partner, she also finds she has to face a betrayal by her best friend, and the prospect of losing her job.
Meanwhile, a gang of teenagers is wreaking havoc in the town which Jamie loves, culminating in a brutal attack on an elderly lady.
Writing the Town Read was inspired by a number of factors, including the infinite beauty of Cornwall, the effects of terrorism, local newspapers, and some of the social issues of the 21st century.
Targeted Age Group:
I think writing contemporary fiction requires less in the way of research than, for example, historical fiction, as the facts are here today, and easy to reference. I also think it is easier to write confidently as a character in modern times, however fiction is fiction and relies on the writer’s imagination so really that should be enough to write confidently of characters.
My writing to date is not chick lit but is probably more female-focused so again, it is relatively easy to write from a starting point I am comfortable with.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
I would say keep on writing and enjoying writing. Be realistic but aim high.
Author Katharine E. Smith lives in Shropshire with her family but has spent a great deal of time in Cornwall and much of the story was written there.
Katharine has a degree in Philosophy and has worked in the IT and charity sectors. She now runs a small publishing company and looks after her two young children.
Writing the Town Read is her first novel.
I was inspired to write by a number of factors.
Firstly I knew that I wanted to set a book in Cornwall as I love the county and have spent many happy times there. I think it has hidden depths. going way beyond being a simple tourist destination. I often wonder how it feels to live and work in Cornwall, which is a place it is notoriously hard to find well-paid work in, and see all the holiday-makers and second home owners come and go, splashing money about.
I had also been toying with the idea of a person using a huge incident, such as a train crash, for their own purposes, and when I set out writing this book, it focused far more on Dave and what he was up to. However, as I wrote and edited more, I realised I wanted the book’s main focus to be Jamie.
Writing the Town Read touches on a number of issues, including animal rights, terrorism, sexism, and the age-old gap between rich and poor (and the effects this can have on people growing up).
I was also inspired by local journalism, which is really important to communities but I think can sometimes leave something to be desired!
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