By Jodie Saville
A MOSSLEY-BASED writer is publishing her debut novel in the new year.
Bonnie Meekums’s book ‘A Kind of Family’ is to be published on January 7 by Between the Lines publishing.
Born and raised in London, Bonnie fell in love with the Pennine hills in the 1980s and decided to swap the city life for the quieter town of Mossley, where she is part of a Mossley Writers’ Club.
In 2011, while working as a lecturer at the University of Leeds in counselling and psychotherapy, her aspirations for writing beyond academic publications came to light.
She began a creative writing course there which lasted for 10 weeks led by Yorkshire writer Ian Clayton.
“It was during that course that I had to visit my mum down south,” recalls Bonnie, who has also written short stories and a blog about an older woman who ‘rambles’.
“I wrote a story based around her which was the inspiration to a short story, which later became one of the first extracts I used for the novel.”
As a therapist and due to her own personal experiences, Bonnie focuses her book on grief and long-distanced family members which is significant as Bonnie’s daughter lives in New Zealand, who she is going to visit in January.
“I am doing three free author talks over there in libraries which I’m delighted about because I love libraries and I am very committed to them,” she said.
“I got thinking about those themes, people being separated from loved ones but also being curious about the empire story and how pernicious imperialism has been and how it can be damaging.”
The novel delves into the lives of two women wanting a child together, challenges traditional ideas about what constitutes family as well as exploring grief, love, loss, and ultimately hope.
“I don’t feel that family is about genetics,” added Bonnie. “Life does not have neat edges.”
• A Kind of Family will be launched at the University of Leeds on February 26, and at Lees Library on March 9. Book your place now: https://tinyurl.com/u67lqn5
It is currently on pre-order via Amazon – kindle price 99p or paperback £14.99.
Find out more about Bonnie on her blog: https://mamabonnie.wordpress.com/