Today Nick Alexander, author of ten novels including The French House and The Half-life of Hannah, has kindly shared his inspiration behind Other Halves, his latest novel.
The inspiration for Other Halves came to me in the middle of the messiest of divorces. Luckily for me, it was someone else’s divorce. I was caught in the middle, and it was an uncomfortable place to be. A couple I knew were falling apart, and both parties were phoning me to bitch and gain information about the other (but mainly just to bitch). That’s when it struck me just how much truth each of the two entirely opposed realities of their breakup story were. And how compelling it was to be in a position
where I knew both sides of that story.
In the end, of course, I had to choose one side over the other. I had to opt for the oldest, closest friend, and wave goodbye to his ex. The alternative was to lose contact with both friends.
But the memory of being stuck in the middle remained with me: conflicting realities was something I wanted to explore further.
A sequel for my novel The Half-Life of Hannah seemed the perfect place to do this, because it ends, precisely, in the breakup of a fifteen year marriage. In The Half-Life of Hannah, the reader sees things almost exclusively from Hannah’s point of view. The reader discovers, with horror, her husband’s fifteen years of deceit, and has little choice but to pray that she will flee. How exciting it could be, for a reader, I figured, if we took them into Cliff’s mind as well, and showed that from his, entirely different vision of the world, he had never done anything other than offer his very best. For no matter how bad their best, who out there really sets out to do their worst?
How interesting and unusual an experience for a reader it would be, I reckoned, to be dragged back and forth from Hannah’s point of view, to Cliff’s; to be forced to see Hannah’s behaviour, outrageous through Cliff’s eyes, and then to see it again, so utterly reasonable through her own. So, like Cliff, I did my best. And as far as I can tell from the first reviews, which all seem mention the reader’s allegiances being dragged back and forth, I managed it!
Readers can get both The Half-Life of Hannah and Other Halves for less than a pound at the moment, so see what you think!
The Half-Life of Hannah and Other Halves are available from Amazon.co.uk <http://www.amazon.co.uk/Other-Halves-Nick-Alexander-ebook/dp/B00GL9R6MO/
and Apple <https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/other-halves/id741565635> and all major ebook retailers.