SMALL FREEDOMS, my first novel was a book waiting to be written. Needing to be written if you catch my drift.
I come from a dysfunctional family. Come to think of it, a highly dysfunctional family! I was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) By the way, I prefer the name Ceylon! As in the book, I am a Dutch Burgher, which basically means I am a mongrel! Bits and pieces of German, Dutch, Portugese and probably a lot more nationalities, but who cares? I am what I am!
From about the age of 7, I had given a lot of thought to what had been going on around me. At about the same age, I developed a love of reading and writing. I became a voracious horder of information about the family. Every useless bit was tucked away into my memory files, until a few years ago, when I knew the time was ripe to open up those files and do something with the information.
I have woven a story around what I knew. It is a roman á clef novel, which of course means that it is fiction based on fact.
SMALL FREEDOMS is spread over more than 9 decades. It is a family saga of a Dutch Burgher family, and takes the reader from Ceylon to Madras in India, to England and Australia.
The story moves through the gracious living of colonial times in the tropics, to the soul destroying life in colder places, to a world of dashed dreams and faceless people, where reflections of yesterday are hard to see in the tarnished mirrors of the family's lives.
How much is fact and how much of the book is fiction?
Even I am now finding hard to draw any lines!
There are parts, that people who know me and my family will realise are figments of my writer's pen. There are people in the family whom I don't care for, and therefore, I have not given them any life in my world of SMALL FREEDOMS!
Others that I don't care for, have been given a bad press within the pages of the novel. They were an integral part of the family life, so couldn't be omitted!
Writing and researching this book has taken me more than 5 years!
BUT, I have written several film scripts during that period.
Have just finished my 2nd edit. Going for at least one more! But at 145,931 words, it takes time!
I'm going to put a long synopsis of the book on here within the next few days
Wish me luck people!