Pretending is the story of six actors and a director convinced that theatre will change the world. Based at a converted chapel in rural Devon, the theatre company struggles with a lack of funding and local prejudice. Invited to tour a new play about global warming to small town America, they succeed in upsetting their benefactors and audiences. They return to Devon and an uncertain future, where they are forced to confront reality and their own relationships, including inconvenient pregnancies, gender issues and fraud. In this parallel universe of fantasy and truth, the actors search for a way to compromise, without losing the thrill of pretending. Life, they discover, can be as ephemeral as theatre, unless they accept responsibility for their actions. Humorous, with a serious undertone, the book takes a sideways look at how these theatre practitioners think, behave and interact with each other and the community, on and off stage. Events change everyone, though strangely, pretending prevails…

ISBN: 9781781765623

Total Pages: 380

Published: 18 July 2012


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From the author:

Writing this book has been a HUGE learning curve for me. I have been a writer for some time, but in the past my work was all about raising awareness of health and social issues and I had never attempted a novel. I had no idea how difficult it would be.

I’ve always loved to write. Since I was a child and got top marks in a competition at primary school, writing has enthralled me. I am not brilliant at either spelling or grammar, but I love the way I can create a unique world and people it with all sorts of odd balls.  I love how the characters talk to me and at times, seem to lead me through the story.  I like the puzzle that writing becomes and never more so than when you try to write your first novel.

Some writers make copious notes and have a very clear plan. I used to do that when I was writing to a deadline and using research given to me by  commissioning organisations. Now, I want to experience freedom. I am sure I will be criticised for this ‘free’ approach, as writers infinitely better than I am, have written tomes about structure, plot and character.

To sanction myself too much at the start, restricts me.  So, I simply write and write and write and usually the first draft is utter drivel. The second, not much better and by the time I reach the third, there is a glimmer of hope that I might be on the right track. That’s why the publisher Feedaread is so great. They allow for that process to happen.

I am about to take the plunge and put my book out there in the wide world.  You must be mad, you might well say. I am opening up my book to a barrage of criticism. Well, that’s the only way to learn. I hope there will be some encouraging remarks, but I am happy to take the flak, too.

Writing this first novel has been a fantastic experience for me and I hope it will be a good one for my readers. I have already started the next one and I know it will be far harder to complete. I will be tougher on myself and my expectations are higher. The Lottery and The Arts Council have funded Feedaread so that new authors like me can stretch their literary muscles.  I had something to say and I have found a way to say it in a novel that others can now read.  It’s a small miracle.