So far I have been receiving great feedback after my debut novel, Dear Brannagh, was released. In fact, so many who I least expected to enjoy it have phoned me with glowing reviews. Men and women of all ages have become gripped into the life of Mary Carter. This is everything that a writer asks for.
One particular piece of feedback that is cropping up on loop is how I have written about so many different life experiences. Ones that I’m not meant to know about aged twenty-five.
“If you were fifty,” one man said, “then fair enough. You might have been through events that you describe or know of someone close to you who has. The fact that you are only twenty-five years old makes it so much more remarkable.”
I think I just absorb. I’m a huge listener. Much like my dad. If we’re sitting at a bar we would much prefer to be listening to those telling stories rather than the spotlight being on us telling them.
Until dad gets drunk and starts with the wide mouth frog joke!
It might sound odd because I write for a living (almost) but I really do listen to everyone in all walks of life. My day job involves conversing with so many different people every day. On my travels and during university I met all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds. My subconscious, as with everyone, is alive and I find it fascinating how much of this comes out when writing a novel.
Of course, I interviewed people and literally asked their experience but I think that a lot of it comes from the conversations I have had in the past unknowingly being stored within my subconscious brain.
So often I am reading back over my work and I can pinpoint where certain phrases or analagies come from. For example, I can remember giving my fingers a break once while writing about Mary struggling over the loss of her mum. She twiddles her ring on her finger as I did but for a very different reason.
It is very fascinating indeed.
All blog posts can be found at https://www.harrietmills.co.uk/ and to read my published work visit my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is out now.