The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is a story about the last 8 days of a 40 year-old woman’s life. It’s about her family’s struggle to come to terms with letting her go and Rabbit’s fight to make every last moment count. It’s filled with love, joy, celebration, laughter, tears and all the complexities of letting a loved one go.
Please tell us about the character of Mia.
Mia is a determined single mum. She’s full of life. She knows what she wants and has always been clear about what she doesn’t need in her life. She a roving soul, the only thing that keeps her rooted is love. Mia could have been anything she wanted to be and although she never reached the dizzying heights her aptitude promised she considers her life a successful one. The love and joy surrounding her during her final days is proof of that.
The book has been compared to Roddy Doyle, so how does this make you feel?
Roddy Doyle was a huge inspiration for me in fact I can pin point the moment I decided to leave stand-up comedy behind and focus on writing books. It was during a hospital stay and a friend handed me the Barrytown Trilogy. I had always loved writing bits and pieces but after finishing that book it was the first time I thought just maybe I could find my voice. Being compared to Roddy Doyle in any way is a really big deal.
Please tell us about your recent work on Holby City.
I’ve just completed my third Holby Script. It’s been an incredible experience and a huge learning curve but every one in the team has been incredibly supportive and are bound by a love of the show so it’s has been really positive. If I still carried around a canvas school bag it would have ‘I heart Holby’ written on it, in purple marker.
Why is it important to find humour in the darkest of situations?
That’s a hard question to answer. I suppose the importance of finding humour depends on who you are. I can’t help but grab on to the humour in any situation. I’m a slave to the joke as was my mother before me. It’s a strange old world and funny people are oftentimes still funny even in their darkness moments.
How do you juggle your work with your family life and scriptwriting?
I have a very understanding husband and no children. I can write all day and into the night if I need or want to. It means I have much freedom but also that I’m a little ditsier and less like a fully functioning adult than I’d like.
This is your sixth novel- so how difficult is it to keep coming up with new ideas?
The day it becomes difficult is the day I’ll give up. I don’t think you can force an idea at least I can’t. A character just comes to mind and grow a little every day and their story unfolds until it’s impossible not to put it down.
What Is next for you?
I’m currently working on book seven and I’ll work on Holby City as long as they’ll have me.