My Marmite Book

Allison Agius joins us for the second part of a two part interview to discuss her latest book USED launched on 13th November

USED

USED

We heard last time that you started writing very young.  Why has it taken you so long to take it up professionally?

It’s a scary thing to do, giving up everything to write.  You worry that your book won’t be any good, or that people won’t pay to read your stories, or that they simply won’t like them, and of course, you can’t please everyone – so that does happen.  But of course, irrationally, you want everyone to like them.  It’s a similar feeling to those you might have about your children.

Do you make a living?

(laughs) I get by.  I have learnt that you can always spend money.  I feel as well off now as I did when I was earning four times as much.  Difference is, I’m happier.  You can’t buy that or at least, only fleetingly.

You mentioned last time that you get ill if you don’t write.  Can you tell us a little more about that?

I believe that if we are not our authentic self we have to distort ourselves.  That’s okay for a short while, like carrying something heavy.  But if we continue to do it, day in day out, we’re going to strain something.  It’s obvious when you think about it.  That’s what happens to me if I don’t write, if I try to be something other than a writer.  I strain something, at least, if I do it all the time.  I have other business interests, it fills the well, but I can’t see myself doing anything else full-time.

This idea of being authentic.  That’s the other side of your writing isn’t it?

Yes, I write inspirational non-fiction, when I’m not writing about the darker side of human nature (laughs).  Hidden Secrets Buried Treasure is my best selling non-fiction book and it’s full of tips and techniques to help someone lead an authentic life. I’ve also written Five Steps to Success and a guide to meditation.

Allison Agius

Allison Agius

Your next book USED is out on Friday 13th November.  It’s a rather ominous date isn’t it?

Yes, I chose the date deliberately.

Why?

It’s a Friday and my friends know how to party. (She winks)

Nothing to do with the subject matter then?

No, really, it’s so we can party.  Bringing out a book is a big event and I like to celebrate.  When I launched The Lost Voice it was mid-week, a school night, and of course everyone had to get home early.  I felt like a flat balloon after a party.  I don’t want that to happen again.

Remind the reader about what USED is about.

Essentially it’s about the grooming of a young girl but of course, it’s much more than that.  It’s also the examination of a mother and child’s relationship.  I think there’s a lot of myths about the natural love a woman is supposed to feel for her children and I wanted to use this story to explore that.  Whilst the grooming of a young girl is an awful subject matter, the real horror in this story, at least for me, is around how the mother treats her daughter.

You hinted last time that parts are based on your life.  Can you tell us more?

Most of what I write about in the book is fiction but, like any writer I take my own experiences and use them in another way.  So yes, parts of the book are based on my life, for example, some of the scenes at school are from my school days, but the rest is my imagination. It’s a fictional story used to explore themes of betrayal, revenge and the dark side of motherhood.

Grooming is very topical right now.  How did that happen?

(laughs) Synchronicity.  I started writing the book many years ago, before all the news headlines, but things often happen like that, don’t you think?  There’s a kind of central consciousness that we all tap into and inevitably, things of a similar nature come to the fore from different sources at the same time.  It’s weird and I don’t pretend to understand it.  Just one of the many magics of life.

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Are you excited about the launch?

Yes.  I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and the fans of my work.  It’s a party after all, what’s not to get excited about?  But there’s also some trepidation.

This is my most controversial book.  My marmite book – you’ll either love it or hate it…and I won’t know which way it will go until it’s out there and people have started reading it.

It’s not a book for the faint hearted.  I’ve really gone out on a limb here…now I just have to breathe deeply and ride the result.

What is your top piece of advice to new writers?

Same as it always is: don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

You can preorder your copy of USED on kindle here or if you want to order in paperback drop the author an email at allisonagius@me.com

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About me

Allison Agius lives in the North East of England with her husband.  They have five children between them. 

When she’s not working or writing she spends her time riding her Honda Hornet (in the summer), running (in the summer) and eating chocolate!