We all have family don’t we? It doesn’t matter if you live in an adopted family, or with a single parent, or with both parents and a whole host of siblings. We have family. And we are affected by them, we can’t help it.
I have a big sister who I’ve always wanted to be like, and a little brother who always won all the medals for football and continually bounced balls off the back of my head when we walked anywhere. They helped to make me who I am today. As did my parents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Family is what shapes us.
Sometimes, family is embarrassing. When someone begins a sentence, “Did you know your mother…..” I’m never sure what might be coming next. (Usually it’s something good, of course). And in turn, I as a mother feel deeply about everything my children do. Doesn’t every mother feel guilty when things aren’t perfect? When your child has a cold, don’t you wonder if you’re giving them enough vitamins? When your child fails a music exam, don’t you wonder if you should have insisted they practiced more often?
I remember as a teacher, when I needed to speak to a parent and I called for them at the school gate, “Mrs Brown, do you have a minute?” Their eyes would look worried. They always worried I might be going to tell them Billy had done something wrong, or was struggling to keep up with his peers.
These are the ideas that I wanted to consider when I wrote Joanna. Everyone has family, even those in our society who do terrible things. But they are rarely considered. Do you know who Hitler’s mother was? If he had siblings? How they felt about the things he did?
I wanted to write about the family of a psychopath, but first I had to fully understand what it meant to be a psychopath. I spent a few months researching this, reading papers and books by neuroscientists and watching certified psychopaths online. Then I needed to explain to my readers what it meant to be a psychopath – and when you write a book, you don’t tell, you show. So I showed the reader what the world looked like through Joanna’s eyes, how she felt, what she wanted. When I had done that, I could move towards her family; I could show how they felt, the struggles they experienced being part of her, loving her. I hope, when you read my book, you will understand…
Published by The Cobweb Press
ISBN : 978-0-9954632-2-6
Available from book shops (if it’s not in stock, they can order it for you).