From Dust to Dust and a Lifetime in Between is a true story about Mollie Cooke's life, my grandmother. The biography is written in the first person to enable the reader to sink into the characters and emotionally join them on their journey. It's a story about life and love that touches your heart. The World War II, cancer and dementia are central topics.
Why did you decide to set the book in Church Stretton, England?
Chruch Stretton is where the books main character, Mollie, lived most of her life. It’s where I spent many years and nice days with her.
Why did you decide to start the book in the 1920s?
The book starts at a very innocent time in Mollie's life. She was born 1915 and grew up in a sheltered environment with two brothers. The siblings had a strong bond and the rural area was a perfect playground for them. At this time there seemed to be no limitations and no negative influences have moulded them. She is still free to dream and unfold her character with the reader.
Why did you want to touch on subjects such as dementia and cancer in the book?
Mollie lost her only child to cancer, later on also her dearly loved husband and at the end of her life has her own battle with the illness. Cancer was a constant companion throughout her life and I therefore wanted to take a closer look. I was curious to find out how cancer as a creature, if you can say it this way, looks at life.
Sadly Dementia came into Mollie's life when she was around 70 years old. Luckily she was able to cope very well. The illness was frustrating for herself but also for her family. It was a long journey I accompanied her on and I wanted to share this with the readers.
Both topics will support some who are handling such situations and enhance the healing process.
A true story inspired you to take up professional writing so can you tell us a bit about this moment?
I always wanted to take up writing because I believe to have moving but also funny stories to tell. It was just difficult to actually find the time and space to let a story develop. After my Nana had passed away she remained very much in my mind. A year after her death the thought of writing her story just hit me and didn't let me go anymore. It was her dream to write a book about her life and by doing it for her I have been able to fulfil her wish.
Who are your favourite authors?
I don't have a particular favourite author. I like true stories or stories that are based upon a real happening. The language needs to have a nice flow and inspire pictures to form in my mind without having to re-read sentences. When reading a book I like to feel as if I am in a film.
What is your writing process?
In my mind I am constantly working on little story pieces. I like to be inspired by nature or just little things that happen during the day. These pictures stay in my mind and are often the perfect scene for a part of a book.
What is next for you?
A lot is going on around the book "From Dust to Dust and a Lifetime in Between". It's like a little child that needs to learn to walk. In my mind I have created new stories that I would like to put down on paper. I am currently working on one story and look forward to some quiet days during the Christmas season to dive into the manuscript.