THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
BY ELEANOR SMYTHE
Maureen and Karina had been friends since childhood. However, due to betrayal and grief their lives have taken on very different paths. The Other Side of Town tells the story of the two families, brought together by tragedy.
Maureen marries John Evans and they soon have their fair share of misfortune. An accident at work impacts on their lives, forcing them to sell their home and move into social housing and a completely different lifestyle. Maureen soon has to find work with a multinational IT company called Millbrooks. Tragedy soon finds them again and their life is consumed with grief while trying to find justice. Amidst all this, Maureen befriends a woman called Judith and although she has a chequered past, Judith brings a sense of humour and friendship into their lives.
Karina marries Rupert Millbrook, whose family span generations and are so influential that the town is named after them. Karina soon discovers that once you marry a Millbrook, you marry the family and its history. Karina soon becomes Managing Director of Millbrook’s IT and Maureen’s boss. However, Karina’s life is not without its own difficulties and she soon finds herself struggling with her teenage children and the issues they bring. Rupert has his own problems. A criminal investigation, lead by Inspector Hennessy who is on a special assignment from London, reveals links between Rupert’s business deals and a known international criminal, Yakov Volkov.
My writing Journey to publication has been a very steep learning curve, in many ways, and probably goes back to my youth, or before. At approximately ten years old, I stated that I intended to write a book, and set about doing some research on my subject… probably would have been plagiarized from everything I was reading at the time…I wasn’t taken seriously. My mother went on to explain that “only very clever people write books,” and that my fanciful dreams most probably wouldn’t happen. I put my pen and paper away. In my early twenties I had another urge to write and began writing poems and short stories for my children. The need to write became quite strong after the death of our daughter… all the emotions wanting to come out I guess. It seemed like a good idea to write and share the experience, in the hopes it would help someone else. During a visit from the local vicar, I shared my idea, and he promptly replied with, “What makes you think anyone would want to read what you have to say?” I promptly destroyed everything I had written, the anger had to go somewhere… right. So the first part of my journey was learning to trust myself and not to take other peoples’ opinions too seriously or to heart. It seems to have taken me an awful long time to get to this place, as I still have a tendency to worry about not being “good enough.”
The only writing I did after my twenties was for my dissertation, medical legal reports or reports connected to my work. The desire to write had never left but I didn’t think it would ever be possible. Believing one had to have a literary agent and a publisher, who would take my writing seriously and not having enough self confidence the idea never really got off the ground.
Once we retired to Portugal, with loads of extra time on my hands to be creative, one winter evening I began drawing a family tree, of a fictitious family. The story line developed with a woman called Sally, being the main character. Before long I had so much material and a determination not to shred it, but had no idea what I was to do with it. A friend introduced me to the author Suzy Turner, who at the time was on her sixth book and from then on she took me under her wing, introducing me to the world of indie authors and eBooks. She has guided me through each step and has continued to be a fantastic support. Considering I wasn’t even on a social media site and had no idea where to start, I think she was very brave…I still struggle and she still helps me. She has become a very special person in my life and I will always be grateful that she helped me fulfill my dream.
Ironically, I’ve yet to publish anything with regards to the Sally’s Journeys. I had spent so long chopping it around and playing with the storyline, it never seemed quite “good enough.” Instead I started a completely new story, The Other Side of Town, which was self-published with amazon, in March 2015 and is now also on Smash-words and Kobo. I’ve since returned to Sally and have been able to pull a few of the characters from my first book with the aim of weaving them through the story, which I hope …no, will be out later this year.
My Journey has taught me never to give up on dreams, and never be afraid to say I don’t know how… please show me. The world is full of kind amazing people and I hope I will become skillful enough, to help another person fulfill their dreams. Gandhi said, “Be the change you what to see in the world.” I believe that kindness and encouragement can be contagious. I have meet so many wonderful new friends on this journey, (cyber friends on Social media) how can anyone fail or give up, We only fail when we stop trying. Self-Publishing Rocks!!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eleanor Smythe was born in the east end of London. Raised a family to secondary school level and then went on to obtain a degree in Occupational Therapy. Although she worked in various medical settings her greatest passion in her career was working with clients in the community, where she claims real life takes place.
Recently retired and now living in Portugal Eleanor has more time to pursue her love of writing. She has always been intrigued by the way in which people’s lives have twists and turns and how individuals cope with life’s challenges. Her stories attempt to embrace the emotional turmoils of life, bringing her characters to life by showing humour, tragedy, conflict and betrayal; emotions that many of us face daily.
You can follow Eleanor at these links:
Twitter: Eleanor Smythe @authoreleanor1
FB. Eleanor Smythe www.facebook.com/authoreleanorsmythe