This article was originally published on Terry Lynn Thomas’ blog.
Tell us about The Second Cup. What inspired you to write it?
I was diagnosed with depression aged 9 and mental health has been a shadow cast over my life for decades. Writing about your depression is meant to be an excellent form of therapy, but I took it a step further than they typical journal and decided to write a book.
Who is the protagonist?
The Second Cup has an “ensemble cast” of four characters: Faye, Beth, Abbie, and Olivia. The book is written in first person and they each take it in turns to tell the story. How their actions affect each other is a big part of what I’m trying to share – that your actions can have unexpected consequences.
Where is your book set? What draws you to this setting?
Most of the book is set in Manchester, which is my hometown. I felt I knew the city well enough to write confidently about it, so it made sense as the starting point. My characters also visit London, Blackpool and Birkhamsted, which are all places I’ve either lived or where I have relatives.
Did you study in college with an eye towards your writing career?
Once I’d decided to write a novel, I enrolled on an MA Creative Writing at London South Bank University. The course was a “research through practice” approach where you research as and when your novel requires it. There’s academic work involved too – including a dissertation – but all creative aspects of the course were focused on my novel.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
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