This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to 2000 to 2018
Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Joan Fallon, the author of Love Is All, so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 2000s.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m an independent writer and publisher and I’ve been writing both historical fiction and contemporary women’s novels since 2007. I moved to Spain twenty years ago with my husband and dogs, and I find it a wonderfully conducive place to write. From my office I can look at both the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, plenty to fire the imagination.
What inspired you to write about the 2000s?
I had been writing a lot of historical fiction, mostly set in medieval Spain at the time of the Moors and I wanted a change. The 2000s is notable for being a tumultuous time for women everywhere. At long last women are being recognised for the strong, competent and independent people they can be when not oppressed by out-of date chauvinistic opinions. From the #metoo campaign to battles for equal pay, they are standing up for their rights as human beings. And best of all, they are being listened to. Old behaviours and prejudices are being questioned; young fathers no longer think it’s just a woman’s job to bring up the children; football commentators can be men or women. In the 2000s the gender divide is narrowing and the world is changing. I like writing about women and the challenges they face. I have written a number of novels with a female heroine who refuses to let life get the better of her and shows herself to be both strong and resilient when faced with adversity; in Love Is All, Teresa is both of those things.
Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away
Teresa is a normal woman, happily married with two grown-up sons and a comfortable life. But this life is shattered when her husband decides to confess that he’s been having an affair with her childhood friend. In her rage, Teresa runs from the house and drives off into a dark, wet night. She feels angry and betrayed by both her husband and her friend, and drives recklessly, thinking only of her husband’s words. In the atrocious driving conditions she loses control of the car and has a terrific accident.
When she later wakes up in hospital she discovers that she has Locked-in-Syndrome and is unable to move or communicate with anyone. She is literally locked inside her own body, a physical condition that proves to have ramifications not just for her but for all her family.
The novel is about her battle with her changed physical state and how she moves from despair and longing for death, to hope and a new life. But not all members of her family react to her condition in the same way.
Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?
The story is not based on a specific real event but rather on an accumulation of facts about people with the same condition. Some of whom I met, others who had written moving accounts of their struggle with living with Locked-in-Syndrome and personal interviews on the internet.
Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?
The characters are pure fiction, but like all my characters, certain aspects of their personalities are based on people I know or have met; this is unavoidable.
If research was necessary what did this involve?
There was quite a lot of research to be done; I had to research the condition itself and the medical treatment for it, much of which is changing all the time as new improved techniques are discovered. I’m sure in ten years’ time treatment for Locked-in-Syndrome will have changed dramatically.
LOVE IS ALL