Today's Unbound-published writer is Lulu Allison, who's here to tell us all about her novel Twice the Speed of Dark. Straight over to Lulu:
1. Who are you and what’s your book about?
I’m Lulu Allison and my book, Twice the Speed of Dark, is about a mother coming to terms with the death of her own daughter at the hands of a violent boyfriend. Furious that people pay so little attention to such domestic murders, she expands this observation of indifference and begins writing portraits of the ignored dead, strangers who die in terror attacks in far-away lands. It is an experiment in caring about the deaths of strangers, an experiment in empathy and love.
2. Why should folk read your book?
If folk are interested in books driven by the internal, by people’s psyche, by their struggle and survival, if they are interested to think about how a strong young woman comes to fall into a relationship that robs her of her ability to protect herself from harm, they should read my book
3. What’s the appeal of your book?
I am particularly happy with the portrayal of death, from where the daughter reclaims her story and shares it with the reader. It is a cosmos with which I have taken liberties, made the darkness a material, made speed and arc its structure. I hope people will enjoy the language and the exploration that both central women are forced to make in order to move forward from the bleak place they find themselves.
4. Sounds great! Where/when can I get hold of a copy?
5. Describe a typical writing day, or at least a typical day with some writing in it:
I start early, sometimes in bed. Then coffee and some kind of action - mad tidying up or I put on a 70s funk and soul playlist and have a dance. Then I write a bit more. Some days I only write a few hundred words, others a couple of thousand. I don’t have much of a pattern to it. I write in our living room so am at the mercy of the rest of the household, so I tend to be opportunistic and try to maintain rigorous flexibility - if you know what I mean! No point in letting patterns creep in.
6. Pick one book about writing. What it is and why have you chosen it?
I haven’t read any books about writing. I didn’t know I wanted to write until I started so didn’t do much prep. Turns out I learnt quite a lot about writing from having been an artist - try, fail, be rejected, experiment, explore, don’t be precious, edit like hell, value the work and do the work, - it’s all there in an art practice too.
7. Pick three books that have influenced or inspired you as a writer:
The Emperor’s Babe - Bernadine Evaristo
Paradise Lost - Milton
In Our Mad and Furious City - Guy Gunaratne
8. Pick three desert island books - works you couldn’t live without:
King Lear - William Shakespeare
Life and Fate - Vassily Grossman
Night Train: The Sonny Liston Story - Nick Tosches
9. Any words of writing wisdom?
See above: try, fail, be rejected, experiment, explore, don’t be precious, edit like hell, value the work and do the work.
10. Let’s make a movie of your book. Give me the high-concept pitch:
In a perplexing cosmos, a purgatorial darkness black as pitch, a young woman reels in her story from the burning arcs of space to tell herself back together, to heal the undoing of the coercive violence that killed her.
Meanwhile, safe but imprisoned under the softening sky of earth, her mother learns finally to carry her grief by writing portraits of strangers who die in distant wars.
Piece by piece, after the eviscerations of violent death have flung them apart, mother and daughter finally pull themselves back towards each other.
Social media links:
Unbound URL: https://unbound.com/books/twice-the-speed-of-dark/
As ever, huge thanks to Lulu for submitting to the rigours of the questionnaire. Twice the Speed of Dark is out now, so pick yourself up a copy!