Felicity Fair Thompson on her gripping novels Cutting In and The Kid on Slapton Beach
Writing the novel Cutting In, capturing the thoughts and dreams of the main character Elaine wasn’t easy, but I had spent my childhood dreaming of being a ballet dancer. I knew how much effort and concentration was required, how much drive, talent and ambition one needed to succeed – and how much more, to reach ballerina status. Every young dancer wants to be Odette in Swan Lake, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Juliet, Giselle…
But I needed to go further. How far could this ambitious girl go? Envy and desire – use those to push the boundaries into a darker story? Insecure and unloved, Elaine comes to ballet late, but when she sees the exquisite Beverley Soames in ballet class, she watches, copies, imitates… Stalking in pursuit of a dream… Add the agonies and ecstasies of adolescence – it’s a time full of physical awakening, and blossoming desire. Ballet is such a physical art. Will Elaine achieve her dreams? Cutting In – available from your favourite book shop.
Now imagine you are twelve. Your country is at war. You hear the drone of Luftwaffe bombers flying towards Plymouth and Exeter and Coventry, see Spitfires and Hurricanes darting across the skies, warships out on the horizon.
Harry is the boy in The Kid on Slapton Beach. He loves his secret cave, running on the sand, talking to fishermen, watching birds on the dunes. Torcross by Slapton Sands is just a small village. But there’s a war on. How difficult it is for the 3000 people along that coast forced to pack up their lives and move away without knowing why, or where they will go. And Harry leaves behind something that really matters. He goes back. Secret ill-fated D-Day rehearsals will happen on Slapton Sands, and Harry will be on that beach.
‘A great gift for portraying the agonies and ecstasies of adolescence…’ I was thrilled to receive that review from Frederick E Smith.
Graham Hurley: ‘I read it at a single sitting. Perceptive writing… wonderfully spiked with bitchiness.’
Julian Rathbone: ‘Hard edged, striking and truthful.’
The books are available via www.wightdiamondpress.com where you can also find out more about author Felicity Fair Thompson and her other work.