Wednesday, February 05, 2014

An Interview with Rachel Florence Roberts + Giveaway

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Historical Fiction
Author: Rachel Florence Roberts
Format: Paperback, eBook, 366 pages
ISBN: 149365117X
Publication Date: Edition 1, November 13st 2013. Edition 2, 23rd November 2013.
Notes of merit: 5/5 star, Readers Favourite. 

'I did it because I love my child. Wouldn't any mother care to do the same? I didn't feel guilty when the blood ran over my hands, yet neither did I feel vindicated. I just felt I had protected my child in the only way I knew how.' 

*** Based On A True Story ***

Anne wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. Slowly, she realises she is in a lunatic asylum. 1885. Anne Stanbury - Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?
Edgar Stanbury - the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.
Dr George Savage - the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands.
The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses' were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

An Interview With Rachel Florence Roberts

1.You were inspired by some of your own experiences to write "The Medea Complex". Do  you see some of yourself in the main character you created?
   I absolutely do. Both in her craziness, and also in her strength and utter devotion to her child.

2. Lunatic Asylums were filled with sane women back in the day. Do you think you'd be in one, and for what reason?
Yes! What a great question. I think I would be in one for being so stubborn - and very independent. Women were very much the 'angels of the house', and I most certainly am not. I would be put into an insane asylum as soon as I told my husband to make his own dinner!

3. Do you still believe that women are controlled today by being labelled by media as "Crazy" or "Unstable"? How can we fight this?
I do. Take for example the Miriram Carey incident - the woman who rammed the White House gates recently. She was quite clearly suffering from postnatal depressions uglier and bigger sister - postnatal psychosis. I think the true madness doesn't lie in what she did, but the way she was simply shot without any questions, and lets not forget - she had a BABY in the back of the car. This really upset me, as I could so easily see her as me, or anyone else who has had a child and suffered. It alters your brain chemistry, and that is a fact. The problem is nobody truly understands why, and as it is something that only affects women, it is another thing for men to use and call us 'crazy'. Its another version of, "Are you on your period?" Infuriating. I think the only way to fight this is awareness. keeping your eye on your friends, sister - anyone who has recently had a baby. help them, watch them. Don't dismiss her feelings as being 'sad', or 'neurotic', or blame the sleepless nights. Really, I think more than anything, the men of the world need to be made aware of this. My postnatal depression was dismissed as natural - but mine went beyond that. feeling as if you cannot cope, is not natural.

4. What are some of your favourite books that feature unfair Asylum imprisonment? 
    Oh! I loved The Woman In White, by Wilkie Collins. 

5. Are you writing another book? 
    Yes. I am writing the sequel to The Medea complex, which should be released late summer 2014.

6. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
   Newly 30 (!) born in Liverpool. I'm a nurse by profession, though now I'm a stay at home mum. I love shopping, travelling, spending time with family and friends, watching funny videos on youtube, good food, good wine, and a comfy bed. I'm scared of cows, hate ants, and think a tiger would be the best pet EVER.

7. What inspired you to write The Medea Complex?
   The inspiration behind the novel was my own encounter with postnatal depression following the birth of my (now two year old) son. Unfortunately, compounding this was the fact that I was living in a foreign country without any sort of support network (no family, no friends, etc),so I decided to do some research into the subject myself. I was astounded to find that PND is something that goes back through the ages, and somewhere along the way I fell into the Victorian Era. Subsequent research resonated with me personally: such as women being the property of their husbands, no rights to their children etc...and I thought to myself: "Just how far would a woman, any woman, go to protect their child?" Like that, The Medea Complex was born in its infancy. During the writing process, the story changed drastically and veered off the original course I had set inside my head: with each nugget of information I gleaned, every report from the 19th century I read, it somehow expanded and shaped the course of the novel. A lot can be gleaned by the title: but I warn you, don't judge a book by its cover, nor its title. Remember, The Medea Complex is a psychological thriller...and I like to play with my reader's minds!

8. Are you an avid reader? Who are some of your favourite authors and what are some of your favourite books?
   I read every single day, and I never go to bed without a book in my hand. I can't sleep without reading first! I think I've been reading my whole life. My absolute favourite books of all time (so far) have to be: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Post-Birthday World and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (took me three times to get 'into' it but I'm so glad I did!), and The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory. I could add more! Recently, I have enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and The Silent Wife by A S A Harrison...though i wouldn't consider them to be my 'favourites', they really are very good reads. More than anything, I love to read books that are original in some way. If I read ONE more novel about a stereotypical cop and serial killer, I'm going to scream.

9. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? What are your hobbies?
   I wish I could say I had a hobby, but I really don't! (Does reading count as one?) I would love to take up horse riding one day, I have that whole image of trotting along a sandy beach in my head....*sigh*. In the summer, I like swimming in the sea and doing a bit of snorkeling.

10. Rapid Fire!!
1) Black or white?
Black. White shows up sticky finger marks too easily!2)    Day or night?
Night. I love long, peaceful summer evenings.3)    Beach or mountain?
4) Mountain.
5) Tea or coffee?
Tea. I hate coffee.
6) Team Edward or Team Jacob?
7) Sweet or sour?
8) Novels or novellas?
Novels, I always feel bereft when a novella finishes so quickly!
9) E-books or physical copies?
Physical copies. I love to hold a book...but that said, since I received a Kindle for a present, I've barely bought any paperbacks at all. It's just so much more convenient to download a book. I guess both have their perks.
10) Success or happiness?
Happiness. Though one normally leads to the other...don't you think? (Love a bit of controversy!)
11) Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset. When the sun rises I like to be buried underneath my duvet.
12) Favourite author?
Philippa Gregory.
13) Favourite book?


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