I was invited to take part in the blog tour for Lyn G Farrells debut novel The Wacky Man a couple of weeks ago.
I love helping carefully selected emerging female authors launch their writing careers by reading and reviewing their books and was intrigued by the sound of this one.
Heres the gorgeous cover and the synopsis which whet my appetite:
My new shrink asks me, ‘What things do you remember about being very young?’ It’s like looking into a murky river, I say. Memories flash near the surface like fish coming up for flies. The past peeps out, startles me, and then is gone…
Amanda secludes herself in her bedroom, no longer willing to face the outside world. Gradually, she pieces together the story of her life: her brothers have had to abandon her, her mother scarcely talks to her, and the Wacky Man could return any day to burn the house down. Just like he promised.
As her family disintegrates, Amanda hopes for a better future, a way out from the violence and fear that has consumed her childhood. But can she cling to her sanity, before insanity itself is her only means of escape?
Winner of the 2015 Luke Bitmead Bursary Prize, the UK's biggest prize for unpublished authors
'Harrowing, unsettling, but brilliant from first page to last. My Book of the Year.' Clio Gray, Man Booker International and Baileys Prize-nominated author of The Anatomist's Dream
'The Wacky Man makes for a visceral piece of realism.' Rob Ward, Brown University
'An ambitious, dark, searing debut novel... didn't let me go from page to raw, agonising, heart-wrenching page.' Mark O'Brien, MADE in Leeds
As I haven't quite had time yet to finish reading this harrowing, yet powerful and moving book (but my review will follow in the next few days) Lyn has written a short and revealing article which she called a Brutal Write about how she came to write this novel and why.
UPDATE: here is my review - Phew!
If you've read or are interested in reading The Wacky Man I highly recommend reading Lyns article which follows ....
A Brutal Write:
I thought this novel would be very difficult to sell because it was very difficult to write. I had to work through deep sadness, sometimes anger, to get it written. Sometimes I had to take time out from it, sit somewhere quiet to find peace. I still can’t read one chapter because it makes me cry. Despite that I’ve achieved exactly what I hoped to with the story.
When I approached a few agencies they said words to the effect of “…really like your writing but the subject matter is too brutal.” It seemed at that point, that there was nowhere to go with my book because a rewrite, to dilute aspects of the story, was impossible. A novel with a battered child at its core, to be authentic and real, was always going to be raw.
I’ve been asked why on earth I wanted to write such a novel. In many novels victims of violence, often children, are voiceless, spoken about post-death by detectives, psychologists and other authority figures. I wanted to write a book where the battered child has a voice, a huge, angry voice, where she speaks up, screams out, makes us sit up and take notice.
The Luke Bitmead Foundation and Legend Press took a risk in selecting me as the 2015 Bursary winner. Without them, the child in need would still be silenced. It’s a brutal write and a tough read because it’s inspired by my own experiences which were brutal, tough, terrifying at times. It really couldn’t be written any other way and I think that readers will really get that.
Want to read more from Lyn? Her novel the Wacky man is out NOW - published by Legend Press
in ebook and paperback.