What goes on behind closed doors?
as seen in Fiction Books Blog
In When I Wake Up, I wanted to explore the choices people make when the going gets tough - what happens behind closed doors? Most marriages are already subjected to the normal pressures of life: mortgage and car payments, having a career, being a good parent while also maintaining a loving relationship with your spouse.
What if one person’s career is viewed as more important – is this case, the woman’s? What if the power balance is tipped? What if life throws you something unexpected and you have to make a choice: will you be the good girl or not? Will you follow your heart or throw yourself off a cliff and learn to fly?
These were all questions that popped up as I was writing the novel. What if? Everyone’s relationship is different and no one really knows what goes on in another marriage, no matter how close you are. That was the driving force behind When I Wake Up.
Anna and Erik have been married for six years and have five-year old twins. Their communication has broken down and they’re less intimate these days; he’s resentful of her job and she feels underappreciated.
A difficult student upends Anna’s life and her caring nature means she sees it as a cry for help instead of what it actually is: obsession. Her husband is not supportive and so she turns to a former passion, literature. Visiting the library in the neighbouring town becomes her refuge and oasis. She befriends the librarian, Iris, who opens up a whole new world to Anna.
I’m fascinated by people’s choices in life and the events that they set in motion, especially when they follow their gut instead of doing what they’re programmed by society to do. I admire people who are brave enough to be who they are, without making excuses. Anna is not one of these people but Iris is. She teaches Anna to follow her heart instead of always doing what’s considered ‘right’, no matter the consequences.
Although the characters in my novel aren’t based on real people, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled and met many interesting men and women along the way.
I have also met many families and when you drill down, you realise that every family has its complications, even if you try and do everything ‘right’. I’m confident that there will be many more of these complex relationships in books to come!