Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Sleep by M K Boers and I’ll be sharing a guest post from the author.
About the author:
M K Boers spent her early childhood in Surrey, in the south of England, and her teens moving round the UK, but currently resides in the Netherlands.
Under her pen name Miranda Kate, she has been featured in several Flash Fiction anthologies, and has published two collections, one of dark flash-fiction tales called Mostly Dark, and another of science-fiction stories called Slipping Through, the latter containing a short novella for which a sequel will be forthcoming this year.
You can find out more at her website: https://purplequeennl.blogspot.com/
Facebook @MirandaKateAuthor and Twitter @PurpleQueenNL
About the book:
A marriage made in heaven, a murder made in hell.
Why kill the man you love?
Lizzy was struggling, everyone knew that.
He shouldn’t have done those things.
He shouldn’t have pushed her so hard.
And now, her children, her marriage, her hope – gone.
It was all her fault, she knew that, but was there a chance of redemption?
Lizzy Dyson’s on trial for her life. She knows she must pay for what she did, even if it wasn’t planned, but will the jury believe her?
CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY!
What inspired Sleep
I wrote the prologue for Sleep back in 1991, while at work. It was for an entry to win a copy of James Herbert’s book ‘Portent’. I sent it away but got no response, which wasn’t a surprise. It needed a lot of work, being the first piece I had ever written!
From that, I had an idea for the full novel I wanted to write, but at that time I knew I didn’t have either the life experience or the writing experience to pull it off. I wanted to write about what would drive a woman to kill her husband, starting from when she met him and fell in love. I wanted the reader to watch the downfall of the marriage and have empathy for her and understand her motives, but I needed a few years to gestate on it – turns out it took 28!
My influences came from various places. I’m a huge Stephen King fan. Really his writing has always shaped how I think as a writer: the depth of characters he portrays; the inner struggles of some of them; and how nothing is ever black and white. I was also influenced by my playwriting teacher at college, where I studied Theatre. He worked in a prison, helping inmates who were doing the last third of their life sentence with their writing. He talked to us a lot about what it was like to be in prison and the difficulties the inmates experienced, emotionally and mentally. This shaped how I wanted Lizzy to come across.
As someone who has struggled with mental health, writing about the breakdown came naturally; it was easy to imagine what would have played a part. In some ways the emotions Lizzy experiences are reflective of my own over the years in various relationships – exaggerated of course, even though I did own a freezer knife!
I hadn’t envisaged writing a court drama, and the initial draft was heavily influenced by American crime shows I’d watched, like The Good Wife and Boston Legal. I had the set up completely wrong and had to research the legal systems in the UK. I found out how Crown Court was conducted, and fortunately have a friend who is a barrister, and who was able to connect me with a criminal barrister who answered all my questions about the case and the plea.
Lizzy’s story is important to me, because I think as a society we tend to judge others quickly, and see things in simple terms. I believe things can get very complicated, especially emotionally and in the way people respond to what they have experienced. People suffer abuse and trauma in a multitude of ways, and what might be traumatic to one person isn’t to another. Our feelings and emotions are squashed to maintain a facade for the external world, and we suppress ourselves, as well as the things that upset us, often to breaking point. But Lizzy’s story shows that it is possible to recover, to take responsibility for your actions and emotions and still be a valuable, worthy human being.