I have read a lot of books in my life and some of them hold no memory. Yet some of them, years later, I can still recall some of the details, fragments or sometimes the whole premise. If you are an author, this is what you are aiming for, the hope your book will be read more than once or that the first impression your book makes lives on in the mind of the reader. That they will recommend it to anyone that asks and even those that don’t. Some authors will be forever associated with one book, some for the vast range of their work. Some authors will be torn to shreds, some hailed as heroes and some will be forgotten their books assigned to dusty shelves or heaped in boxes sold in bulk. As writers we reach for the stars, many have said they wish they had written Harry Potter. I devoured the whole series in succession one summer waiting for the last book to come out and then devoured that. However, I do not share the wish that I had wrote them.
These are the books I remember
Split skirt – Agnes Rossi
Dice man – Luke Rhinehart
Rachels holiday – Marian Keyes
Running the risk – Christina Jones
Tell Mrs Poole I’m sorry – Kathleen Rowntree
Lucky Bones – Alice Sebold
Freaky Friday – Mary Rodgers
P.S. I love you – Cecelia Ahern
I’ll take Manhattan – Judith Krantz
Some other rainbow – John McCarthy and Jill Morrell
The time traveller’s wife – Audrey Neffinger
Life’s little instruction book – H Jackson Brown Jnr
Airs and Graces- Erica James
The luxury of time – Jane Tomlinson
Mum’s list – St John (Singe) Greene
The to do list – Mike Gayle
these are the ones from the past year or so
Haven Wakes – Fi Phillips
Beyond – Georgia Springate
Across the line – Sophie A Monroe
If you check through the list you will see they are all carry a uniqueness, at least I think so. I like unique, in people, in music, in books, in life.
The bravery in writing, the reason we do it is to share a little of who we are, to speak to those who would never hear us otherwise, to make a difference. I may write under a pen name, but it wasn’t a wish to hide and not own my voice. It was a wish to free it. The reality of our history is it cannot be erased. I reinvented myself to close the door on who I used to be, within my writing, in the hope of being taken seriously. I felt my history would hold me back from that, if only in my own mind.
Lily Lawson is no character, she is me, a real person, probably more so than I ever was. I use my real name as a student, a carer, with my family and interchangeably with my friends. I am often amused by the backwards and forwards shift in my identity. I can only put me on the page if me has another name that allows the full expression of who I am. I have been judged and found wanting, like so many of us are. As Lily Lawson I can say that happened to someone else, that person exists and continues to live in me, but she is silenced in my writing because that way I can believe in myself, in what I have to say.