Author of historical fiction
During my professional years as a therapist, I worked to facilitate an interaction between myself and my patients. These interactions took place in an enclosed, private space and it was often the case that the patient and I were both affected in such a way that we considered our lives differently than we had before. An essential aspect of our work together was an exploration of the past and its possible effect on ‘now’.
In writing, I hope to achieve this same phenomenon. It is important for an author to work alongside her characters, to develop relationships with them and be empathetic to their struggles.
Hilary Mantel, in her Reith Lecture of 13th June 2017 – ‘The Day is for Living’ – quoted St. Augustine as saying ‘The dead are invisible, they are not absent’. These words struck a chord in me; I clicked with Mantel’s philosophy that we would do well to open our minds and listen to what voices from the past might have to say. This is, of course, an act of the imagination. In our effort to imagine ourselves into their truth, we step into a world of permeable boundaries.
I believe that, in this way, the reader may open a dialogue with characters from the past as they speak from their own time and experience. This may lead to a dialogue within oneself which allows the reader to consider their own life differently. In this way, the past can interact with the present, and as we live in the present, so we participate in the future.