I have great pleasure in welcoming Ali Bacon to Jera’s Jamboree today.
Ali Bacon was brought up in Scotland but now lives in the West Country where she spent many years working in libraries until the writing bug finally bit. Her first novel was shortlisted for the A&C Black First Novel Award 2007. Her debut novel A Kettle of Fish was published last year by Thornberry Publishing. A keen blogger and book reviewer, she is grappling with a new novel set in Victorian Edinburgh. You can catch up with her at Between the Lines (http://alibacon.com) or on Twitter @AliBacon
A Kettle of Fish – inspired by my childhood (but not modelled on it!)
A Kettle of Fish is a coming-of-age novel that was very much inspired by my childhood in Scotland. I wanted to capture the feel of Fife (just north of Edinburgh) and the voices of its people. But I did not set out to write a memoir or even a ‘retro’ seventies novel (however much these are coming into fashion). I wanted a contemporary heroine with a life-style and life-story to match. And although her sexual awakening is not the main thrust of the story, romantic and sexual adventures were always going to be part of it.
Luckily, as a writer, this has never been a problem for me. Not that I have ever written a sex-scene that’s gratuitous, but when these things crop up in stories (and lets face it they are very much a part of life) I quite enjoying putting it into words. In fact my sex scenes have won a few accolades and one creative writing teacher even uses them with his classes!
There has been just one small problem with all of this. Now that Kettle has been published, the writing I’ve submitted to writing classes and critique groups, publishers and editors has a new audience – not just the reading public at large, but a circle of family friends and acquaintances who know me just as me. Let’s say a few eyebrows have been raised. People say they will never see me in the same light again!
Do I mind? Well no, I don’t. The people who matter know where ‘I’ ends and the story begins. I remind people that fiction is after all, about making it up. As long as they enjoy the read, what they think about me is beside the point!
The cover of Kettle was designed by my designer daughter Ellie. Here she is well into the action.
Thanks for sharing that interesting point Ali.
I know how attached I become to characters when I’m reading, how do authors distance themselves – separate themselves from the I and the them?
Ailsa has just left school and should be living it up on a summer trip, but her plans are scuppered by her needy and secretive mother Lorraine. In desperation she takes up with local fishmonger Ian. He’s good for her soul and her sex-life, but their future is blighted by the shadow of Ailsa’s absent father Tom, an art-teacher who left home after hitting the headlines in the worst possible way. When Ian blots his copy book and Lorraine is implicated in his treachery, Ailsa takes off for Edinburgh where Shane, a picture rights dealer with more than a touch of the night, is happy to provide a job and a bed. With him Ailsa lets go of her inhibitions, but can she let go of her past?
A Kettle of Fish moves from the East coast of Fife to the art galleries of Edinburgh, where Ailsa finds herself fishing for clues about Tom.
Contact Ali http://alibacon.com
Ali has kindly offered a giveaway of an ecopy for one of Jera’s Jamboree readers.
Follow the link below: