I’m delighted to be welcoming Fiona Curlew to the blog. To Retribution is a political thriller with a difference … and quite fitting for the times we find ourselves in now! Find out more about the story as Fiona answers my questions today.
Fiona Curlew dropped out of school aged 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it! After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education, graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony!
As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat, and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher. After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe, she returned to the UK to focus on her writing.
She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with a black lab and a Portuguese cat who doesn’t like the weather!
‘To Retribution’ is her first novel.
Connect with Fiona Curlew
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree
Thank you so much for hosting me on your fabulous blog. Much Appreciated!
Please summarise To Retribution in 20 words or less.
A love story set in times of turmoil where fear rules, corruption dictates, but some will stand up and fight.
Does your novel tackle a social barrier Fiona?
The underlying theme of the story is racism and abuse of power: how some corrupt politicians made use of fear and distrust to create a scenario which would benefit them…hmmm…sound familiar? I can’t believe what’s unfolding before us right now! To Retribution was meant to be futuristic fiction.
If you could choose to be one of your characters, who would you be?
Ranulf. He is a man with a past who has turned his back on everything. He lives self sufficiently, with his pack of dogs, in the middle of nowhere, to his own moral code. That would suit me just fine!
What scene did you enjoy writing the most?
Oh, the retribution bit! I felt it and it felt good 🙂
How do your characters come into existence? Do they have a bio Fiona?
I do write a bio for them to begin with, to give me a feel for them. However, that is all likely to change as they develop further. I find out about them by putting them in a situation that would suit the story I’m developing. I then have them write a monologue about what’s going on. I find that works well for getting me under their skin: inside their heads.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be …
‘Suze! Don’t go home!’
Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
I am fortunate enough to live on the doorstep of stunning scenery. My morning dog walk is when I do my best thinking. We begin with the beach, then the coastal trail, then the lagoons, meadows, woods and a slag heap. All dramatic, contrasting and inspirational. I do have a habit of working out dialogues aloud, which is all well and good when I’m sitting at my computer, or if no-one is around but, I have been rudely interrupted mid conversation by other dog walkers quite a few times! Oops!
What are you reading now? Opinion?
I have just finished The Story Of Edgar Sawtell. I loved it. A great piece of storytelling and a fascinating host of characters, particularly the dogs. Being a doggie person I appreciated how much depth the author had gone into about the ways a dog thinks and can be trained. Great descriptions, great everything until the end…oh…the end…
Have you done any writing courses that you would recommend to others?
Yes! I completed both of the Open University’s creative writing courses and thoroughly enjoyed them. The support from the tutor and my fellow students was superb, as was the course material. I would definitely do them both again – no regrets!
Finally Fiona, what are you currently working on?
I am just doing the final edits to a piece of non-fiction. It’s the story of my travels, trials and tribulations but through the eyes and the voice of my dog, Dani. I lost him last September and was absolutely distraught: couldn’t focus on anything, function at all. So, I started writing about him, through him, and it kept him with me for that little bit longer. I’ve had dogs all of my life so the experience of losing one wasn’t new to me but he was just that little bit more special. He was a Ukrainian street dog that we rescued on our travels. He lived in five countries with me, helped me through abuse and cancer, always there. Utterly faithful. Can you tell I’m welling up again? (awww, that is a wonderful memorial for Dani)
Thank you for sharing with us today Fiona.
Wishing you success with all your projects.
A LOVE STORY SET IN TIMES OF TURMOIL
The military is in control. Tight control. Media is censored, movement restricted. There are re-education camps for trouble makers, repatriation camps for non-nationals. Jake, Brian and Suze, three idealistic young journalists, are used to hiding as they try to keep their online news channel open. They publish the truth about the repatriations, the corruption and the deceit.
New Dawn, the feared security force, is closing in yet again. The trio run, yet again. This time, however, they are pursued with a relentlessness, a brutality which seems far too extreme for their ‘crimes.’
A trail of death is left in their wake as they try to escape New Dawn and find out what is really behind this hunt. They are drawn into a web of human trafficking, child abuse and murder. Only it’s closer than they think. Much closer.
Who would you trust?