It’s a lovely autumn day and as I drive home through Liverpool, the trees are starting to turn and the yellows and golds sparkle in the afternoon sunshine. This year I’m more aware than ever of the change of season and the reason for that is the book I’ve spent the last twelve months writing and rewriting.Another Way to Fall has been a labour of love and I’ve invested so much in the story emotionally, even more so than with Yesterday’s Sun. It’s the story of a young woman called Emma who discovers that the cancer she thought she had beaten has returned and the seasons are a very strong theme running through the book. In many ways Emma sees autumn through my eyes, not as a time to marvel in the glory of nature but to mourn this last flash of colour before winter descends and life is snuffed out. The inspiration for the story came from a poem I had written about my son Nathan which was called Autumn Child and for a while it was the book’s working title too.
For the last six years I’ve dreaded the approach of autumn because it marks the run up to the anniversary of my son’s death. This year is no different but I do think that writing Another Way to Fall has allowed me to shift my mindset. I can now catch a glimpse of the beauty in the turning leaves that shine their brightest just before they fall, leaving a burning impression as well as bare branches.
Nathan’s memory still burns brightly in my mind but I wish he was still here and I hope that other parents can be saved the pain of losing a child…and that is why I’m supporting the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.