Thursday 7 July 2016

Inside The Author: Writing Waiting On You


I started writing WAITING ON YOU in the spring of 2007, I had finished my last book and the idea for a new one was fresh in my mind. I was in a long distance relationship and with the success of the internet, it was becoming commonplace for people to meet online, date and even end up married. I wanted to write a book about two teenagers who came from different walks of life and met online. I wanted it to be my first foray into the world of romance fiction and although I had always stuck with crime plots, it was something I wanted to at least try.

Angelina lived in Keswick in Cumbria, her family were not as loving as they could have been, she had a difficult time with both her sisters and her mother. She also struggled with friends at school and they never had the money for her to do much of anything. She finds her solace and rescue in the form of a computer and internet connection from her Aunt who lives miles away. It's intended to just be a tool to help her with her school work, but it opens up a new world for her - a world of friends and the possibility of escaping her life.

In contrast, Zack is one of six children, living in London, with parents who are at work more than they're home. He has a mountain of responsibility on his shoulders, but has always been afforded the luxury of never worrying whether he will eat. He is surrounded by a loving family and has friends at school as well. He's sixteen, compared to Angelina's fourteen, and is well known in the chat room that they both use and ultimately end up meeting in. Zack takes a shine to Angelina, and eventually they get close and start to date. It's a whirlwind romance and all Zack wants to do is rescue Angelina from her horrific life. Only it's not as easy as it seems and despite his want and need to do the right thing, it doesn't all work out the way he planned.

It was while writing this book that I started to write a second book alongside, a practice I have since adopted as a way that works for me. I found that while I had a lot of ideas about how things could go with the book, getting them down on paper was harder than I had first realised. It did all come together (with a few breaks from writing here and there) and I finally finished the book in the Autumn of 2009. Looking back at the way my own long distance relationship worked out, I'm glad to say that although that relationship ended badly, the one between Angelina and Zack was not affected by that and has a somewhat happier ending... though maybe not the one they both hoped for.

Overall, I did enjoy getting to know both Angelina and Zack and seeing the world through their eyes. It was my first time writing from the point of view of a sixteen year old boy and while I may not have first-hand experience in that, I feel like I did a good job moulding Zack and giving him a voice. The same applies to Angelina. I may not have had the experience of a home life like hers, but I have been fourteen and feeling like the world is caving in around me and that no one would care if I wasn't there. I have also had the joy and relief that comes when you realise that someone does actually care and does want good things for you. For me, it was a friend, for Angelina is was Zack. I hope that in writing their story, I'm able to show that sometimes what you wish for can come true, but it doesn't always happen the way you thought it would. In other words, life gets better and it goes on getting better, you just have to hang on through the tough parts and hold on to people around you who care about you. There is always someone who cares, you may just not have met them yet.

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