May 19 2013 Latest news:
Julia Gregory, Acting News Editor
Friday, June 22, 2012
If you like your villains really obnoxious and your heroines bent on revenge, then the first adult novel from the pen of Beckenham writer Anna-Lou Weatherley is likely to hit the spot.
Chelsea Wives, published this week, is her first book and the former editor of teen magazine J17 said that adult fiction lets her explore topics for a different readership.
“I write predominantly for women. I want to focus on issues that all women face, like infidelity, unrequited love, revenge and put it into a different context.”
The novel opens with the female characters enjoying what appears to be a luxurious lifestyle.
But it’s a gilded cage as they discover who is really pulling the strings – and just how hard the rope is being yanked.
“I try to make the nasty characters more than people who are just nasty. I try to give them a reason why they are the way they are.”
Creating villains gives the writer scope to use her imagination and delve into aspects of human nature that she has observed over the years.
Ms Weatherley started the novel while expecting her first son and put it away in a drawer. Then by chance she read about writer Martina Cole’s agent and she sent off the manuscript.
She recalled: “A week later I got an email saying ‘we want to sign you’. I thought it was a joke. It was a life-changing moment.”
The former pupil of Blackfen School in Sidcup, who lived in Sherwood Avenue until she was 17, started her career as a journalist but she always wanted to write books.
One of her school friends, Lisa Shepherd (nee Honeybon), attended the book’s launch party, remembering the days when “Bromley was the place to be”.
Ms Weatherley, who now lives in Beckenham, gave up full-time journalism when she had her children and it has let her concentrate on writing.
She puts in the hours, including late nights and weekends, and adds: “I have work which I love and I will never mind putting in the work.”
She added: “I really hope people enjoy it, it’s been an absolute joy to write.”
n Chelsea Wives is published by Avon Books at £6.99.