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Authors Notes – Writing Fiction Street

book cover showing young girl - illustrating a post about a short story called Fiction Street by Grace JolliffeA heart-breaking tale of childhood from 1970s Liverpool as seen through the eyes of a child.

AUTHORS NOTES

I wrote Fiction Street to be a dark story offering a window into a child’s imagination – following a disturbing encounter with a predator.

Fiction Street came to life before I wrote my novel, Piggy Monk Square.

Both stories are set in the same era, and in the same city centre area of Liverpool.

Piggy Monk Square and Fiction Street also feature the same child character and first person narrator: Rebecca.

It was the development of this character in the short story that gave me the germ of an idea for the novel, Piggy Monk Square.

I wrote the story from the child’s point of view deliberately. I wanted to convey the innocence of a child set against the harshness of the world she lives in.

I worked hard on developing her ‘voice’ and repeated her dialogue aloud – until she was practically talking to me. I always knew I wanted to write more about her.

Rebecca, is highly imaginative, very forthright and vocal as a narrator, and very innocent.

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The innocence of children is what makes them vulnerable. Sadly, it is often what a predator uses against them.

When Rebecca encounters a strange man who makes a peculiar request in exchange for money.

She has no idea what he really is or what he really means.

She has of course been warned away from ‘bad men’ but how can a child tell a bad man from good?

Rebecca doesn’t know what to make of the strange man who approaches her.

She makes an innocent presumption that he just needs help getting something. She has no idea what that something is.

She has been brought up to do as she is told by adults and she does her best to ‘help’ this man.

Of course, the reader knows this man is a predator and probably wants to scream at this child to run.

In the story, I have Rebecca escape, but she remains in confusion when faced with the reactions of the adults around her.

The adults in Rebecca’s world all know something she doesn’t.

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Rebecca has so many unanswered questions. Why are they so annoyed with her? Is it because she has done something wrong? Is she to blame?

For children who find themselves in this situation these questions are quite normal. They can perceive the adults around them as being angry – with them.

Adults are often so concerned and disturbed when they learn a child has come into contact with a predator that the first emotion they express is anger and fear.

For a child an adult’s anger and fear is terrifying and in a situation like this leads to confusion.

I describe the confusion that results in Rebecca’s mind by showing her deliberately misbehaving.

Her narration throughout the book is the window to her mind and imagination and she describes the events exactly as she sees them and exactly as they happen.

She is viewing the world through a child’s logic and the results are devastating.

Read more about Fiction Street here.

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book cover showing young girl - illustrating a post about a short story called Fiction Street by Grace Jolliffe

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