A CHICHESTER woman has marked her 50th birthday by publishing her first novel.
Kerry Edwards, who works as a learning support assistant at The Prebendal School, in West Street, Chichester, has targeted the book at the teenage market.
She began writing the book, La Santa Muerte, as part of her MA creative writing dissertation at the University of Sussex and has now self-published the novel.
Kerry said her inspiration came from her travels: “I’ve been to Mexico and Guatemala and South American women work hard for their families – they are amazing people.
“My ideas are driven by people and particularly the women and children who are left behind to pick up the pieces after their men are drawn into war.
“My protagonist, Maria, is only 16 and the novel echoes the story of Romeo and Juliet, where their culture made it impossible for them to be together.”
The book is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico’s violent drug cartel wars. The central character, Maria, lives in Tijuana. She befriends Antonio, a popular boy at her school, but he suddenly disappears. In the midst of the mayhem of war, she finds herself at the centre of a hit and run murder trial.
Kerry, who was 50 last Wednesday, grew up in the Midlands and lived in New York and Seattle for ten years, working in the fashion industry. She now has two daughters, aged nine and 12.
Her novel is part of a trilogy and the second book in the series should be finished by the end of the year. She feels it is important to tackle topical issues in her writing.
“I have always worked in a creative industry and I have a lot of things I want to talk about,” she explained.
“Human behaviour, poverty, how these teenagers can live in such terrible conditions, the inequality between men and women – it is a real melting pot.”
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