I’m an only child. I’m also in possession of an overactive imagination and spent many of my early years hoping for older brothers and not entirely understanding why this wasn’t going to be possible.
Instead I got an older sister.
My earliest memory of her is finding a woman (and she was very definitely a “woman” to me) hunched over the very large, very plastic, PC in the spare room of our house surrounded by towers of thick books festooned with post-it notes. I must have met her previously, but I don’t remember anything before the afternoon after school when I walked up the stairs and was greeted by this image. Knowing her now as well as I do this memory couldn’t have been a more perfect introduction, and in my minds eye this is still how she appears, in a grey Cambridge hoodie, hair scraped back into a messy short ponytail, determined look on her face, long elegant fingers frantically typing.
Debs came into my life in a flurry of books and literary arguments and has become one of my closest friends and biggest inspirations. I know now that she was one of my father’s students, that my mother always not-so-secretly would have liked to adopt her, and that this memory is from a period when she was writing her dissertation.
Since then my, my sista from anotha mista as she styles herself, has been there and guided me through all my exams (yup, I still have the lucky pants she bought me when I did my GCSEs!), let me stay in her flat whilst writing my own essays, picked me up after breakups and fed me a diet of ice cream and Sex and the City. We’ve attended each other’s weddings and I’ve baked cakes with her daughter. She’s taught me all the valuable things big sisters are supposed to, such as to embrace your love of Britney, that a proper pair of running shoes are worth the money and to stand up for yourself no matter what.
I mention all this because today her first novel, My Husband’s Son, has just been published in ebook form (the paperback is out in Oct). You can pick it up for an absolute steal on Amazon at the moment and I think you should. I know I’m biased, but I think I have a right to be. I’ve seen the dedication of this women to the pursuit of writing, I’ve watched her mind at work and been in awe of it since I first met her all those years ago, and am so proud I could burst to know that tomorrow when I get on the train to Falmouth I’ll be reading her novel all the way.
So please, treat yourself to a new book by my wonderful (sorta) big sister.