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Within a matter of days her professional and personal life is
shattered by a series of strange events in her house. What starts
with the sound of papers fluttering to the floor quickly escalates to
her discovering that someone has been in the house whilst she is
forced to discover whether she is being haunted, stalked by a pupil,
or the terrifying possibility that she is losing her mind.
Guest Post by the Author
CHARACTERS INSPIRED FROM LIFE IN “RUNNING FROM DUST”
I love books and films which have strong female lead characters. Characters like Lisbeth Salender in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series who can seriously “kick some ass” and take no nonsense. My main character, Jude, isn’t violent but she is a strong, hard-working and independent woman.
Jude’s character is a mixture of myself and a good friend of mine who works in a local secondary school. Being an ex-youth worker and now a therapist, the more empathic part of Jude comes from me. The part that wants to get alongside pupils and help them if she can. My friend, whilst caring about pupils, does not take any nonsense! She won’t shirk away from upsetting people if it means standing up for what she believes in. Like Jude, both my friend and I are people who keep getting up when we get knocked down by life’s circumstances. Having said all that, I think Jude is braver than both of us combined would be in her situation.
I drew together most of the other characters from people who I’ve met over the years. There is one member of staff in the school Jude teaches at who stands out. Through all the drafts of Running From Dust, I thought I had invented her. That was until recently, I was driving down the road and I had an epiphany. I realised that I’d unconsciously based the character on an old boss of mine! I didn’t get on at all with that boss and I think that shows through the book!
The final real-life inspiration that I have to mention is Jude’s loyal and faithful friend, Oscar the dog. I named Oscar in memory of two friend’s dogs who passed away (both called Oscar) during the writing of Running From Dust. I am a dog lover and have a Bichon Frise who acts like my shadow. Oscar is similar to my dog. He’s loving and loyal but often a little dim! However, he is a true friend and will defend me at all costs when necessary.
at University and then went on to train and work as a Youth Worker.
She now works as a Therapist in Yorkshire. When she isn’t working she
is busy either writing her next novel or eating her favourite food :
chips and gravy!
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