Christine Poulson’s protagonist Lisa is in need of an escape from the demands of caring on her own for a son with cerebral palsy — and she has found this escape in a lover whose name is Jay. She meets him once a month and loses herself in a realm without responsibility – until one day when Jamie does not appear, and Lisa discovers that the relationship is built on a lie. This is splendidly written fare from the reliable Poulson, written with keen psychological insight.

Invisible by Christine Poulson is published by Accent Press 9781783754298

I’m sometimes asked, do you write full-time? Well, yes . . . and no. No, in that I don’t sit down to write from nine to five every day. But yes, in the sense that being a writer is like being a parent. You are never really off duty.

That’s never more the case than when you are actually supposed to be on holiday. There is something about being away from home and ordinary routines that is wonderfully conducive to having ideas. My first short story was written during a holiday in Crete and a story about a serial killer was inspired by a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Venice. Similarly the idea for my most recent novel came during a trip to Sweden in 2002.

My imagination was caught by a magical summer house by a lake, by the extraordinary Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm (a World Heritage Site), and by Stockholm itself, flooded in midsummer light. At the same time the main characters in the story began to come into focus. I wrote in my notebook: ‘A woman and a man meet and start an affair. The sexual excitement is generated by knowing nothing about each other and they decide to keep it that way. It suits her because of her commitment to her heavily handicapped son. What she doesn’t know that her lover has other reasons for keeping it that way and it would be dangerous for her to know who he is.’

I didn’t know why it would be dangerous, and I was already committed to writing the third in my Cassandra James series, so the idea went on the back burner. But by the time I came to write Invisible I knew all about Lisa and Jay and Lisa’s son, Ricky. I’d spent hours planning and musing and day dreaming. Lying awake at night, I’d walked the streets of Stockholm in my imagination. I’d find myself thinking about the novel while I was cooking, or out for a walk, or on a bus.

So, no, I don’t write full-time, but actually I’m writing all the time.

Invisible is published as an ebook and in paperback.

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