Meet Jackson. A very unusual boy in world that prefers ‘normal’.
Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her only son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone around him – and bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy. Then, one Monday morning, an incident at school changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
Bestselling novelist Fiona Higgins returns with a heart-stopping, devastating, but ultimately uplifting story about loyalty, love and forgiveness.
An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
Fiona Higgins is the author of four fiction titles and a memoir. She works in the not-for-profit sector and lives in Sydney, Australia, with her stoic husband, three rambunctious children and two aloof goldfish.
Hello Fiona, Thanks ever so much for stopping by to chat with BnV about your new book. Lets dive right in! What do you love most about Writing?
I love that writing is an almost magical form of ‘primary production’; writers produce something out of nothing, using only their internal resources.
How did you get your start writing?
Young! As a child, I always loved words – and I still remember, aged nine, the heady rush of winning a poetry competition. My slightly quirky entry, entitled ‘Ya Local Truckie’, explored the stigma endured by overnight truck drivers. My poem evidently caught the judges’ eye – even though I wasn’t from a trucking family!
What Inspired you to write your book?
I’ve known many children – and adults, for that matter – who are ‘different’ in some way (some with a diagnosis, many without), and witnessed their joys and struggles. An Unusual Boy explores the great strength and beauty that lies in difference, and the healing power of empathy.
I love that. I believe Empathy, Forgiveness and Kindness are great healers. Because you have a spiritual perspective, do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?
In An Unusual Boy, I write from two POVs – that of Julia (Jackson’s mother), as well as Jackson himself. It was quite a thrilling experience, tapping into the stream of consciousness of an eleven-year-old boy! (Two of my three children are boys, which helped me channel the pre-teen male.) Despite understanding Julia’s perspective better, I preferred the colourful, imaginative world of Jackson.
Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?
Yes, that’s quite normal for me. They often surprise me. In An Unusual Boy, one of the characters delivered a twist that even I didn’t see coming.
That’s happened to me too. Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character?
Definitely Jackson. He’s a composite of all the wonderful, vulnerable, interesting and quirky children I’ve ever known. Jackson reminds me of a friend of mine from school, Michael, to whom An Unusual Boy is dedicated.
What sets them apart from the others?
Jackson has a strong moral compass – of which the rest of the world is mostly unaware – that governs his choices, as well as some incredible hidden strengths unlockable with a little patience and empathy.
As a successful author, do you have any tips for an aspiring Author?
Write what consumes you.
I so agree. Outside of writing, what type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I am a huge fan of fantasy and sci-fi genres, which are wildly different to my genre of contemporary fiction.
Is there a book you consider a must-read- why?
As a writer, one book I always return to is Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. She has some very solid, practical (and humorous) advice for writers.
I’ll have to look for that one! I’m always looking for my next new thing to learn 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with BnV.
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