I’m joined today by Anoushka Beazley, author of The Good Enough Mother, who is sharing a guest post about her writing influences. Don’t miss your chance to win one of ten signed copies of the book too by entering the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post.
Every author has childhood inspirations where the first flames of Hephaestus’ fire of creativity was first forged (yes I took a Greek classics module my first year at university and remember very little). My first was the first book in which I truly lost myself and can take credit for raising and shaping me. Shirley Conrans’ Lace. Three girls form the best of friendships at a Swiss finishing school. One of the is raped and falls pregnant. They make a pact; to give the baby up for adoption with an agreed proviso that as soon as one of them is on their feet they will come back to reclaim her. But years go by, life gets in the way, and they hear the little girl has died in the war. The friendship cannot withstand the weight of the guilt. But the girl is far from dead and grows up a porn star, hell bent on wreaking her revenge on the women who abandoned her. The tagline ‘Which one of you bitches is my mother.’ Conran takes the most powerful ingredients in all the world into her cauldron; friendship, birth, a secret and revenge. While many may view the book as trashy women’s fiction (not me!) there is such mastery in her story structure and her character and plot development I was and am still in awe. These girls became my friends. I knew them so intimately, tuned in with them so empathically they are part of me still today. This woman created something that I will remember for forever, healed me and strengthened me in equal measure and now that I am a writer I would like to say thank you to the wonderful Shirley Conran.
While Conran stirred my creative writing juices my next Hephaestus reveal showed me a tone; an addictive palette of ideas and machinations which opened up a brand new world. David Lynchs’ Twin Peaks. Laura Palmer burst into my life, as I know she did for many others, like a tornado. A small town, riddled with secrets, oddities and cherry pie. It was like nothing we’d ever seen before, at least not my generation. We discover Laura Palmer’s dead body in the first episode and the cinematography here and throughout is like watching a series of paintings. Where had Lynch found his inspiration? I wondered if it was the rebellious fiction about the secrets of a small American town in the fifties Peyton Place by Grace Metalious which sits on my bookshelf, only to discover while writing this blog post that Lynch, Mark Frost (executive producer) and Tony Krantz (Lynch’s agent) had rented a screening room and screened Peyton Place, inspired to first develop the town of Twin Peaks and only then its inhabitants. Lynch opened a portal to surburban noir. He placed fantasy in reality and made us stare at our own darkness. The show and its theme tune by Angelo Badalamenti are conjoined twins and it feels like the score of our unconscious; haunting and purposeful at the same time. Lynch taught me how to look at the world a different way, which has become my only way – from the inside, out. Thank you, the genius David Lynch.
THE GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER
Gatlin – a leafy, affluent town: Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch. However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman. Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan…unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin. Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical and hilarious black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.
Anoushka Beazley has a film degree, an acting diploma and a masters in creative writing. She is a full time novelist, lives in North London with three little witches, a lawyer and a Maine Coon.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AnoushkaBeazley
Instagram – anoushkabeazley