“What’s mine, I keep.”
Lily’s dreams of a better life for her family are shattered when her teenage daughter refuses to give up her illegitimate child. It doesn’t help that Lily’s husband, Jack, takes their daughter’s side.
Taking refuge in her work at a law firm in the City, Lily’s growing feelings for her married boss soon provides a dangerous distraction.
Will Lily be able to resist temptation? Or will the decisions made by these ordinary people lead them down an extraordinary path that could destroy them all?
Mine – a powerful story of class, ambition and sexual politics.
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!
- When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I think I’ve always wanted to tell stories, but my defining moment was finding a book called The Green Bronze Mirror by Lynne Ellison in my school library. It was a super time-travel adventure, written by the author when she was just fourteen years old. I was the same age when I read it, and I remember thinking, ‘Well, if she can do it, so can I.” It took me an awfully long time to become a published author, but I got there in the end! Mine is my fourth novel and is very close to my heart. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to write for about fifty years.
- What inspired you to write this book?
This book is important to me because it’s based on real events that happened in my family in the late 1960s. I’m the only one left who can tell this story, so I wanted to do it for my children and the generations to come so that they have a chance to get to know the people involved and to understand what happened to our very ordinary family. I actually appear as a character in Mine – I’m the youngest daughter of the Wickham family (not our real name – I’ve changed all of them because although this is based on real events, it’s a fictionalised version of it. There were too many gaps in the story where I couldn’t find out what happened because the people involved are no longer here to tell us).
It also proved to be very therapeutic for me. My memories and understanding of those times were sort of locked into the brain of my ten-year-old self. Writing about it, bringing the characters to life and having to put myself into their minds and shoes in order to tell the story has given me opportunity to finally understand what happened from an adult’s perspective and gave me a sense of closure I’ve never had before.
- If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
It’s about how ordinary people make decisions relating to class, ambition and sexual politics that lead them into extraordinary situations.
- What are you up to next?
I’m working on an idea for another novel set in London in the 1960s about two people who receive unexpected inheritances – one better than expected and one much, much worse. I want to follow these heirs as they fight over their legacies to see what they can learn about themselves.
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
My family. Not just for the story in Mine, but family members and the stories I’ve heard from our history are a great inspiration. I have a huge extended family, far bigger than the one shown in Mine, and there is always something new to find as we talk and share information about relatives from the past and present. If I’m not writing things inspired by the family, I’m writing things I think they might enjoy.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you.
With best wishes, Alison x
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alison has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.
In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.
Mine is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.
Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops(www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk) as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.
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