What inspired you to write this book?
The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is my latest book, as yet unpublished. I wrote it because after hearing many tales of woe over the years I came to the unhappy conclusion that sometimes the life of a daughter-in-law just sucks, and of course this led me on to thinking how this fact could be good fodder for another Stevie novel!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been married for about 450 years, and have two grown children and four grandchildren. If I’m not writing or at work you’ll find me walking around my pretty chocolate-box village in the country, thinking about what to write next but also trying to keep fit. I also love going to rock festivals and soaking up the atmosphere!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories all my life it seems. I remember winning an inter-schools essay competition in junior school, and it just seems natural to me to write things down. Writing has also been very therapeutic for me in the past.
What sort of conditions are most conducive to productivity?
Before I can write there has to be total silence. I cannot concentrate with music or the TV on in the background. As long as I’m alone in a room and there is no sound I can create away to my heart’s content! I can also think up some good plots if I’m out walking around my village too, as long as nobody else is walking with me! I am wonderfully anti-social, but at my time of life I revel in it.
What’s your favourite aspect of being a writer?
It satisfies my creative urge. If I’m not in the middle of writing a novel, then I’m a bit on the sad side. Also I get to sit on my own in a quiet room and think my own thoughts, which to me is absolutely wonderful! Also it’s that email you get when you’re not expecting it that tells you you’ve won an award (A House Without Windows has been chosen for a medal in the New Apple Book Awards 2014 Suspense/Thriller category).
What do you do for a living?
I’d love to say I was a full-time writer, but at the moment I work as a medical secretary in a busy hospital. I’ve learned a lot through my work though, and am glad of the chance to have worked in the good old NHS.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer?
Ha ha; marketing - the writer’s bugbear. I now find I have to spend just half a day writing and the other half day marketing the previous books.
Who’s your favourite character from one of your books? Why?
I think it has to be Lyn Fuller from ‘No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal!’ She had the guts to do what thousands of middle-aged women only dream about doing; leaving an unfaithful husband and making a new life for herself.
What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in-between?
Somewhere in-between, I think. I have the outline in my head to start with, but once I start writing I let the plot take me where it will. Sometimes the book ends up entirely different to how I had envisioned it to start with!
What part of the world do you live in?
I live in a lovely village in the East of England, UK. Sometimes it feels as though time has stood still, and it’s a far cry from the younger life I led in London. However, now I’m middle-aged I prefer it; if I’m out walking, people smile and say hello to me (you won’t get that in London!).
If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?
After I had read a few of Mark Edwards’ psychological thrillers, which is my all-time favourite genre, I would love to work on a book with him. He writes the words and has the plots which I like to read.
How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft?
About three months. I edit and re-write as I go. I’m not one for re-writing the whole novel when I’ve finished; I would find that too depressing. I’ll read it through a few times, check spellings, change some words and add chapters here and there, but that’s as far as it goes. Once I’ve finished there’s no way I’m writing the whole darned thing again!
What are your favourite books?
I have my all-time favourites from my youth that are my comfort blankets; L.P Hartley’s ‘The Go-Between’, A.J Cronin’s ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’, and Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’. I know the last one doesn’t really gel with the other two, but it’s the family life I like reading about, not the violence….
What writing tools do you use, if any?
Just my PC and keyboard. I will happily tap away until the day comes when I cannot tap any more.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to turn back time, and return to being 20 years of age and know what I know now. Ha ha (say no more)!
The Daughter-in-law Syndrome has just been accepted for publication with Second Wind Publishing. It delves into the complicated relationship that is causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla. In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric.
Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare. Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.
This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla slowly comes to realise her own failings, and eventually discovers the long-hidden reason why Ric will never utter a cross word to his mother.
Also, adding to Arla’s stress is the fact that her son Stuart will soon be marrying Ria, a girl whom Arla feels is just looking for a free ride. Arla is convinced that Ria will be no asset to Stuart at all; her new daughter-in-law just wants to be a mother and has no intention of ever working again once the babies start to arrive. After visiting Stuart and Ria for Sunday lunch, Arla is convinced that her son is making the biggest mistake of his life…..
REVIEW FROM DANI J. CAILE, ARC READER:
5 stars. "The best yet"
A wonderful journey across one woman's understanding between herself and her in-laws. The way she finds out the intricacies of her relationship with her mother-in-law is cleverly done, with clear insights into the past and observing her own behaviour with her family around her. Well-written, the best I've read yet from Stevie Turner.
To pre-order a copy, please leave a message on Stevie's website or contact Second Wind Publishing (details below):
http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/ (Stevie's website)
https://steviet3.wordpress.com/ (WordPress blog)