A debut novel by a Broadstairs writer, marketing director and former magazine boss has gone on sale in the UK today (April 22).
Mother of Floods by Madeleine White was completed in 2018 and picked up by Toronto based publisher Crowsnest Books, which specialises in publishing ideas driven fiction that can make a difference.
Mother of Floods follows the tradition of writers such as Margaret Atwood – The Handmaiden’s Tale – and Paulo Coehlo -The Alchemist – exploring what it means to be human in the 21st century and how people develop cultural, spiritual and digital identities.
Mum-of-three Madeleine is a former freelance journalist whose first big article was for the Evening Standard in the 90s looking at how her family dealt with her fathers bi polar disorder. The article coincided with the release of the Robert de Niro film looking at the topic, Mr Jones.
The former Clarendon grammar student later turned to teaching and was the brains behind Oi! Magazine produced for and by young people and launched with Marlowe Academy. The magazine went national as So! in 2009. She later worked on Nina-Iraq.com magazine- launched with world bank – for women in Iraq.
The magazines were all platforms to give disenfranchised communities a voice
The debut novel took the 48-year-old a year to write.
She said: “I had done quite a lot of research through my work before that year with some of the women I’d met and stories I heard for Nina-Iraq as well as even further back through working with teens as a teacher and through So and Oi.
“My debut work is speculative fiction, set in the ‘Age of Downfall’ we are living through; where depleted resources, economic chaos and social instability reign. A sentient internet stands at the intersection of the human story and the story of technology as four women’s tales intersect, transforming pixels to dust of creation.
“I am a storyteller who has, over the last few years, been focusing on building and strengthening communities in emerging markets. I have a particular interest in supporting women’s networks.
“Mother of Floods is a shift in direction, one in which I have turned my attention to trying to win hearts and minds through fiction. The power of stories, both true and fictional, is enormous in shifting opinions and opening us up.
“Although I am still working in other areas, I have come to believe sometimes fiction is far more powerful than factual journalism and reporting in terms of getting to the truth of a situation.”
Madeleine says the release now, amid the Covid-19 crisis and with World Book Day tomorrow (April 23) has prompted a special edition with a coronavirus focused foreword.
She said: “ I think in these unprecedented times, a novel that presents a message of hope and a way for us all to connected across words of digital, spiritual and physical existences offers a powerful message.”
Mother of Floods is available via Amazon as a Kindle edition or paperback.