Today I’m delighted to welcome debut author, Morwenna Blackwood on to my blog. The (D)Evolution of Us is her first novel, due out on 4th May, and I can’t wait to read it.
Over to you, Morwenna…
I spent most of my childhood and teenage years hiding in libraries; now, I carry my own personal one around in my pocket wherever I go. This doesn’t mean I don’t still stop and lose track of time in bookshops and bookstalls, though. In fact, this morning, on my lockdown-permitted-exercise walk, some lovely person had left a storage container full of books at the end of their front garden, with a note on it inviting passers-by to pick one, or leave one for others who might be in need of a random lockdown read. I couldn’t help myself – I paused for a look.
The thing I love most about reading second-hand books is finding bits of other stories inside them: forgotten bookmarks; ticket stubs; Biro-ed dedications; and best of all, notes scrawled in the margins. In the books I own, I am a margin-scrawler. My husband says this is defacing someone else’s work, but to me, it’s adding to it. Stories are inextricably linked, and in any case, what one reader gets from a book will be different to the next, and that’s the beauty of it. Perception is everything.
The (D)Evolution of Us is an exploration – or explanation – of those ideas. The novel is a noir existential thriller, set in a small Devon town at the turn of the 21st century, and is told from the view points of the three protagonists, Richard, Kayleigh and Catherine. The girls are best friends. Catherine is dead.
Mental illness, personal history, personality and perception drive the actions of all three as they struggle to make sense of their lives and their agency; whilst living in a town where everyone appears to know everything about everyone else, and the days roll away in a work-pub-work-pub cycle.
This is my debut novel, and its origins lie in my own existential dread. In the end, I decided to wholeheartedly pursue the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do – write – and if there’s ever a starting point to anything, the story of Richard, Kayleigh and Catherine is it for me.
If you come into possession of the paperback, feel free to write in the margins.
About the book:
… the water was red and translucent, like when you rinse a paint brush in a jam jar. The deeper into the water, the darker the red got. No, the thicker it got. It wasn’t water, it was human. It was Cath.
Cath is dead, but how and why isn’t clear-cut to her best friend, Kayleigh.
As Kayleigh searches for answers, she is drawn deeper into Cath’s hidden world.
The (D)Evolution of Us questions where a story really begins, and whether the world in our heads is more real than reality.
About the author:
When Morwenna Blackwood was six years old, she got told off for filling a school exercise book with an endless story when she should have been listening to the teacher/eating her tea/colouring with her friends. The story was about a frog. It never did end; and Morwenna never looked back.
Born and raised in Devon, Morwenna suffered from severe OCD and depression, and spent her childhood and teens in libraries. She travelled about for a decade before returning to Devon. She now has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter, and lives with her husband, son and three cats in a cottage that Bilbo Baggins would be proud of. When she is not writing, she works for an animal rescue charity, or can be found down by the sea.
She often thinks about that frog.
Morwenna can be found on social media: