The idea for this novel was quite simple – a bereaved mother writes to the person who killed her daughter in an attempt to move beyond rage, and the desire for vengeance, and to find some sort of acceptance. There is a long tradition of novels written in letter form, Shelley’s Frankenstein is one, as is Dracula by Bram Stoker and more recently Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. There were challenges in choosing to use this narrative style, in getting the tone right and working out what information was revealed when and what would be divulged to the murderer through the letters, but I found it refreshing to try something so different. These days many of us use emails in place of letters but for the most personal most significant events, around love and death and birth, we still may choose to write a physical letter. Something that can be held and kept safe and re-read. When I was younger I wrote regularly to lots of people, family and friends, as a way of keeping in touch. Now decades later that has shrunk to continuing correspondence with just two. Prison must be one of the few places where personal letters still predominate, as prisoners are unable to send email or use Skype or mobile phones. And there is no limit on the number of letters a prisoner can receive. So the epistolary form did seem to be the best narrative device for the story I wanted to tell. Hope you like it.
You’re not going out like that, Dad exploded. Yesss! Exactly the response she was looking for. Her heart soared.
**Originally commissioned by Cartwheel Arts