Today it is my very great pleasure to welcome Anoushka Beazley, author of The Good Enough Mother, to Linda’s Book Bag. Anoushka has kindly written a very personal piece all about how the lines between fiction and life become blurred – and how that experience might be just what we need.
The Good Enough Mother was published in e-book and paperback by Larchwood Press on 9th July 2016 and is available for purchase here.
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.
How the Lines Between Fiction and Life Become Blurred
A Guest Post by Anoushka Beazley
Writing comes easily to me. There is much in life that does not. Like a sense of contentment. I often feel burdened by the necessity of life. The relentless way it seems to continue in the face of all that could deter it.
It’s no secret my experience of high school – formative years – were hideous. Bullying is a bloodsport and the scars are indelible. I started writing as a young child and such escapism allowed me to leave my world and enter new ones where people behaved very differently. The characters I wrote about were witty, complex, vulnerable bleeding hearts and viewing them from an authorial perspective, honesty seemed their greatest virtue. People in the real world rarely said what they were actually feeling but creating a character and fleshing them out so they live and breathe from every angle meant that my characters were always saying what they were feeling.
Then there is the subject of pain. Wounds that don’t heal but that we learn to carry which are exorcised through embodying a character with your pain, your journey. Being in control of your fictional worlds can birth a disillusionment with the real world, the world we are expected to actually live in. A divine discontentment; G.K Chesterton writes, “That’s the feeling that there is more to this life than just living. It’s the nagging that this world is not our home. It’s the romance of the heart from the Almighty.”
My debut novel The Good Enough Mother, was born from such discontentment. When my father passed away nearly five years ago, through the tears I would drive my children to school every day, passing his house and the places he would walk. Needless to say, I started to hate the school run more than I did already. To distract from the unbearable and overwhelming pain, hoping for a moment’s reprieve from my own bleakness, I began to write, and, in a moment of ‘divine’ discontentment and as the lines between fiction and life blurred, my character Drea came into her own.
As a person, and I should point out at this juncture that I was an actress prior to becoming a writer but the artistic neurosis is the same, I have always oscillated between great highs and great lows and the parts at rest in the middle seem to create a sense of unease rather than comfort. In my experience my extremes are where I work best, where I am most frightened, where I am most happy, where I learn the most, where the lines are the most blurred and if I cannot tell which world I’m living in, fiction or reality, where I’ve got the best chance of feeling like I’m doing a bit more than just living.
About Anoushka Beazley
Anoushka Beazley, born Anoushka Kanagasabay and served for a while as Anushka Dahssi while treading the boards. A BA in Film Theory from the University Of Kent, a Postgraduate in Acting and a MA in Creative Writing makes for a life lived in fiction as much as written. She is currently based in London, England with her husband, three children and a posh cat.