As I was designing a bunch of questions based on my fourth book for use by reading clubs I realised that all my novels have a similar theme. They are all about triumph over adversity.There is also a sub theme about identity. The main thrust of the ‘Lane’ trilogy is that, with the right help, people with learning difficulties can contribute usefully to society and live happy and fulfilled lives.
The ‘Never’ books are more about more mature people feeling they need to change their lives to succeed,but in all cases most characters have to overcome a sense of purposelessness and inadequacy.
Anyone who knows the system used to aid people with dyslexia will recognise passages in “Never Pretend.” I hope I haven’t made it seem too simple. There is so much about that training that has to be adapted for each individual. Everyone I helped had a slightly different problem and needed a different emphasis.
Bernard, in ‘Lane’s End’is not dyslexic. In ‘Unstable Lane’we discover what contributes to his learning difficulties. Then, in ‘The Third Lane’his daughter’s problems are physical, rather than mental.
In ‘Never Run Away’both adults have to change in order to save their marriage. In ‘Never Pretend’ I tried to introduce a more unsympathetic character but still found myself writing a happy ending!
I have used Worthing (and Wales)as a setting for all five books, but the romance will take place nearer London.
Now to get back to the questions. It’s really odd trying to analyse one’s own work!