I write YA fiction, probably because I work with teenagers. When you spend all day in the company of 16 -18 year olds, they kind of permeate your brain, and then sift into your writing. I love them dearly – funny, heartbreakingly honest, they never fail to surprise.
Jigsaw Pieces, my first ebook, is so chockfull of personal stuff that I had to put the line “Not all the characters and events in this story are fictitious” at the beginning. The inner story tells of the suicide of a 16 year old boy, and the determination of two fellow students to unravel the events that lead up to his death.
I was on my first teaching practice when a similar event took place. I remember clearly what it was like as the news spread round the school. When you read the first few chapters of Jigsaw Pieces, you are experiencing exactly what I felt and saw. Maybe you think this is not a subject for a novel, but I have had a lot of feedback indicating that sadly, it happens far more than people realise.
The story is narrated by 18 year old Annie, a feisty, trenchant observer of life. She is a mash-up of numerous teenage girls I taught over the years. I decided to give her a Norwegian background as it resonates with the current interest in ‘Scandi- crime’, and accentuates her outsider status amongst her contemporaries – something I experienced myself, growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s as the daughter of German Jewish parents.
Finally, one of my favourite teaching topics is the First World War poets. I never fail to be moved by the tragic waste of young lives. The opportunity to turn myself into a First World War poet was therefore irresistible – and so I became (spoiler alert) Noel Clarke, the haunted young poet who dies, age 19. I wrote all the poems too.
I uploaded Jigsaw Pieces at the beginning of August. It has some 5 star reviews, and I am thoroughly enjoying meeting loads of lovely people, like you, as I go round blogging about it.
http://www.Facebook Carol Hedges
www. Shewrites.com (American).
Bio: I have a BA (Hons) in English and Archaeology. I’ve worked as a librarian, a children’s clothes designer, a dinner lady, a classroom assistant at a special needs school, and a teacher. I have published 11 novels and 1 ebook. I have a grown up daughter, a husband, a pink 2CV, 2 cats and a lot of fish.