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A Song for Tomorrow… by Alice Peterson
2017/01/20  |  By:   |  Features  |  

I never thought I’d be a writer. I was always Alice, the tennis player. Tennis was my childhood passion. I trained with Tim Henman, was ranked in the top eight under eighteen and was all set to go to America on a tennis scholarship, but then, overnight, I developed pain in my feet and hands. It was rheumatoid arthritis (RA) a chronic autoimmune condition of which there is no cure. I have never picked up a racket since, a sadness that will always be with me.

In my early twenties, uncertain of my future, I was encouraged by my cousin and fellow author, Bella Pollen to write my personal story. Bella taught me how to write. She said it wasn’t good enough to highlight a condition like RA or tell readers what had happened in chronological order. Why should they care? I needed to entertain them, make them smile and laugh and cry and feel as if they were living in my shoes. Since writing my own story, A Will to Win, now republished as Another Alice, I have written eight novels, which are very much influenced by my experiences. In each, I include hard-hitting and thought-provoking themes, including disability, taking my protagonists to dark places where they have to dig deep to overcome adversity.

9781471153013 (3)A Song for Tomorrow is inspired by the singer and songwriter Alice Martineau. I read about Alice in a weekend magazine back in 2002. The story of her battle to live with cystic fibrosis (CF) a genetic condition that causes lung damage and steals lives struck such a chord with me. Here she was, aged twenty-eight, on a triple transplant list but not only fighting for her life – her life expectancy was thirty – she was passionate to achieve her ambition to be a singer. Move on to when I was forty, looking for a new subject for a novel, and Alice came into my head. Alice had very sadly died in 2003, but she had signed a recording deal with Sony. Her story of music, love, defiance and dreaming when all the odds are against you, was so powerful that I had to write about her. I believe it is my most emotional story to date, and it is certainly the one I feel I was meant to write.

It has been wonderful working on A Song for Tomorrow with my agent and the new team at Simon & Schuster. My editor, Jo Dickinson, has skillfully strengthened this novel in a way that I couldn’t possibly have done working on my own. I may have written ten books, but the excitement of seeing the finished copy for the first time never diminishes. If anything it means more to me now. I just cannot wait to see that brown cardboard box with the copies of A Song for Tomorrow inside! Similarly when I receive reviews from my blogger friends they mean a huge amount to me, and coming to events like the Books and the City ones is a fabulous way to meet people in the writing community – and also enjoy a few cocktails and cake! Writing is hard and often solitary work but being published is a dream.

 

 

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson publishes on 9th February in paperback and eBook.

 

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