A LITTLE Sutton author has spoken of her “whirlwind” year following the release of her second novel. Caroline Smailes, 34, launched Black Boxes at Borders in Oxford Street, London in September prior to it going on sale across country last week.
The book, which follows her debut novel, In search of Adam, is a tale of mismatched lives told through monologues in the context of two black boxes.
Caroline, a mother-of-three, was offered a book deal after her writing skills were spotted on her online blog by publishing firm, The Friday Project.
She said: “It gets harder after the first novel but I’m very secure with my publisher.
“They asked for a sample and within three days I had got a contract. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind year with the release of the two books.”
Caroline’s experience of pregnancy inspired the story behind Black Boxes, although unlike the main character, Ana, she is happily married and always puts her children first.
She said: “I became pregnant when I was still a student and stopped my studies. I took that idea on for the story.
“Ana lives with a man who’s with her because she’s pregnant. She ends up putting her emotional needs before her children’s.
“The book is dedicated to my children and it’s a promise I’ve made to myself that I will always put their emotional needs before my own.”
It could have all been a lot different for Caroline though.
If it hadn’t been for a remark made on the Richard and Judy Show back in September 2005 she may not be in the position she finds herself today.
Caroline explained: “I was going back to study a PhD in Linguistics but much of it was what I had been doing when I was younger.
“I’d changed a lot since then and had been writing. I’d lost my zest for Linguistics.
“One day I was watching a repeat of Richard and Judy and they were referring to a ‘nearly’ woman.
“That was the main trigger for me. I was nearly writing a novel and didn’t want to be one of those women so I made a decision to enrol on an MA in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.”
Caroline hasn’t looked back since.
She graduated in 2007 with distinction and won the Michael Schmidt Prize for the best novel portfolio of the year of which her first novel, In Search of Adam, was the lead work.
With Black Boxes now available to buy, the third novel already written and a special charity book lined up for Christmas to raise money for One In Four UK, Caroline’s fears of being a “nearly” woman have been well and truly put to bed.