Review of The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Publisher: RHCP Digital

Date of publication: 2 July 2015

Originality: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Quality of Writing: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Character development:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Settings:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Overall View:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So let’s raise our glasses to the accident season,

To the river beneath us where we sink our souls,

To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling,

One more drink for the watery road.

First of all, let me tell you why you should purchase this book as soon as it comes to shops this July… It’s the most bone-chilling, nail-biting, heart-tearing young adult novel I have ever read that has a juicy mix of love, friendship, and horror. Told in an entirely beautiful voice, The Accident Season is a book that will leave you thinking about it even after you’ve finished it.

Cara’s family are not so normal as you would think. Her whole family are affected by what they call the ‘Accident Season’, a whole month of continuous head-banging, bone-breaking, flesh-bruising terror that haunts the family even after it’s over. Since the death of her father one accident season many years ago, Cara’s mother is constantly reminded of the effects of that particularly terrible October. The memory tears through the whole family, creating a constant fear between each member. However, there is one thing that crops up later in the novel that suggests The Accident Season is not what it seems to be at all. Cara’s older sister, Alice, is teller of that even more horrifying tale.

In my opinion, The Accident Season is a very testing young adult novel. It deals with themes of complicated romances between the circle of main characters, fear, fading memories, and friendship. The constant symbol of secrets is effectively used throughout the novel to bring out the deepest revelations between characters. Through these secrets, we see what’s really between the lines of The Accident Season.

I particularly liked the idea of Elsie being found in all of Cara’s photographs. From the beginning this is what gripped me. The mysterious essence of the novel began here, and later took us further into more twists and turns. The locations that are described in the novel are so beautiful and magical, you are immediately thrown into another world. While I was reading I felt as I was there, as if I was Cara herself. The most complicated characters I found were Alice and her boyfriend Nick. These two characters are examples of good character development and writing.

Despite being Doyle’s first published novel, the whole plot, characters, location and narrative are top-notch. This book will not fail to amaze you at the most appropriate times, and will drag you in for a eerie and romantic ride. I have rated this four stars for it’s easy to read yet complicated plot, and I’ll definitely continue to look out for this author in the future!

Review by Lena Mistry.

@Mistry_Lena

http://newbooksnewreviews.blogspot.co.uk

The Psyche Supermarket is nearly open for business!

photo courtesy of romany scott

Photo courtesy of Romany Stott.

After much anticipation, tomorrow (the 11th of March) will finally see the release of Brunel University’s second student-centric short story anthology! The book features a varied collection of stories dealing with a range of subjects and themes. Whether you’re looking for something experimental or something more traditional. From comedy to tragedy, cerebral to the downright weird, you can find it all down the aisle of The Psyche Supermarket. Not only are the stories by students but the vast majority of the project has been run by them too. Roles such as editing, cover design, marketing and event organisation have been led by the students and now all of their hard work is finally coming to fruition. At 7pm in the Antonin Artaud building the book will be launched in an event hosted by Katijah-Wellings Thomas and Chris Winn. The event will feature readings from Grace Hill, Thu-ha Hong, Oliver Jarvis, James Schubert, Halimat Shode and Katijah-Wellings Thomas, all of whom are in the anthology. If that wasn’t enough there will also be other acts there as part of the Arts @ Artaud event. This is a huge and exciting opportunity for the budding writers and we want to get as many people there as possible, it’s set to be an amazing night showcasing and celebrating some great young talent. During the night the anthology will go on sale at £5 a copy but be sure to grab one quickly because they’ll be in limited supply! Can’t wait for tomorrow but you still want to check out some of the writers featured in the collection? Then you’re in luck because we picked the brains of a handful of them in interviews which you can find on this blog right now. All that’s left to say is that we really do hope to see you at the event, let’s make it a night to remember!

Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris is a Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What writers have influenced you most and why?

I’m influenced by a lot of writers, most notably Hemingway, Houllebecq, Easton Ellis, Dostoevsky, Sartre, Miller, and Bukowski. Mostly dead guys, I’m not into novels that are very plot-based or too descriptive. I like novels with a good, relatable voice and strong themes.

What’s your favourite genre and why?

It’s difficult to choose one genre, but I would say literary or magic realism, kind of slipstream. I like works that have something to say about society, or that raise questions about their social conventions. They don’t have to be particularly plot oriented, for instance, I’m currently reading ‘Nausea’ by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Can you give us a brief insight into your writing process?

Usually, I’ll just sit down with a blank page and I have an idea in my head. I’ll just write and see where it takes me, getting the work out feels like the fun part of writing. Then I see how well my idea has translated to the page, and I edit if I think it could work, or I’ll just bin it if not. I’m quite lazy at sitting down and writing, but I am learning to be more disciplined with it.

What are your interests when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’ll either be watching the football or at the Emirates Stadium. I love the atmosphere of thousands of people all wishing for the same result, it’s kind of like my church, only you can have a beer. Other than that, I’ll usually be reading, or I often do carpentry and woodwork with my dad. It’s good to spend time using my hands to be productive and learning a life skill, it’s also quite therapeutic.

You can read Jonathan’s short story, alongside many others, in the ‘The Psyche Supermarket’ released on the 11th of March.

You can also find him on Twitter at @JDHarris90 and his website at http://himynameisjon.com/

Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: James Schubert

James Schubert is a Game Design and Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What writers have influenced you most and why?

Brett Easton Ellis inspired me a great deal, so much so that I spent the first two years of my university creative writing career trying desperately to copy him and subsequently making every character Patrick Bateman. For the most part this was fine except for that one children’s story I wrote which ended with Mr. Squiffles nailing Nobbly Bobkins to an expensive Memphis Group Carlton Bookcase designed by Ettore Sottsass while Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey played in the background. *pause for breath* People weren’t too keen on that one. Why did he inspire me so much? Not too sure, his initials spell BEE though, that’s pretty swish right?

What’s your favourite genre and why?

I tend to gravitate towards horror; H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, E.L. James, stuff like that. I also recently had a brief fling with Alt Lit in the sense that I discovered it, got quite into it and then a week later it came out that everyone involved in the movement was a monster, figures. If I had to justify why I was interested in Alt Lit it would partially be that I’m attracted by its infantile sincerity but mostly because it brings me ever closer to my dream of one day inserting a ‘Dickbutt’ (See: http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140201013626/trollpasta/images/a/a6/Dickbutt.jpg) into a story and not being called out on it.

Can you give us a brief insight into your writing process?

When it comes to writing specifically I find it hard to just come up with good ideas apropos of nothing, I need that moment of inspiration to pounce on me like an angry squirrel. Once that happens I’m finally ready to sit in front of a blank word processor for several hours and sink further and further into depression in the knowledge that, the longer I leave the idea in my head without writing it down, the more warped and ruined it becomes. On the flip side if I do write it down there’s a chance that I damage the idea beyond repair. Steps after this generally include staring into space, tidying my desk and watching YouTube videos of people playing videogames. Also I find it really easy to write if I’m listening to The Smiths; does that make me a nobber? I think that makes me a nobber.

What are your interests when you’re not writing?

Playing an unhealthy amount of video games, finding excuses to avoid going outside and just generally avoiding being an adult. I also enjoy making games, a creative pursuit that’s different from writing in the sense that when you tell someone about it at parties they’ll laugh at you to your face rather than waiting to do it behind your back.

You can read James’ short story, alongside many others, in The Psyche Supermarket released on the 11th of March.

You can also find him on Twitter at @Jimmy_Schubert and check out his portfolio at http://james-schubert.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-me.html

Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: Thu-Ha Hong

Thu-Ha Hong is an English Literature and Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What writer(s) influenced you most and why?

Writers such as Amy key, Warsan Shire, Benjamin Zephaniah and Franz Kafka. Amy Key because her poems are feminine, romantic and experimental. She fuses reality with the fantastical through a plethora of similes and metaphors. Warsan Shire poems because her poems are extremely emotional, provocative and political. She also includes references to Somali culture in her poems. Performance poet Benjamin Zephaniah because the social, racial and political issues in his poems are historical and relevant now. He gets serious messages across through rhyme and a conversational tone. Franz Kafka’s short stories such as ‘The Hunger Artist’. This story can be interpreted in many meaningful ways and is still relatable in the twenty-first century despite being written nearly a century ago.

What’s your favourite genre and why?

I like reading poems that have deep meanings whether it be about love, womanhood, cultures, problems or situations in today’s society. In terms of novels, I like reading novels where love is a theme as the plots are usually heartfelt. I like The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have seen the film ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ and want to read Jodi Picoult’s novel. I also like reading chick lit novels such as Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding and The Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. This is because they are post-feminist novels that make us question women’s decisions and are light-hearted reads.

What are you currently reading (or what was the last thing you read)?

I am reading ‘Lullabies’ and ‘Love and Misadventures’ by Lang Leav to get inspiration and continue writing my dissertation on poetry.

Can you give us a brief insight into your writing process?

When something comes to mind, I make a note of it on my laptop, on paper or on my phone and then write about it on my laptop.

You can read Thu-Ha’s short story, alongside many others, in The Psyche Supermarket released on the 11th of March.

You can also find her on Twitter at @thuhahong and check out her fashion blog at https://stylingtelltalesbythuha.wordpress.com/

Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: Mehdi Punjwani

Mehdi Punjwani is a Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What writer(s) influenced you most and why?

When I was younger I’d read a lot of horror, from Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King in particular, but I suppose writers like Lee Child and John Grisham were quite influential on my writing style. It’s why I enjoy writing thrillers, the excitement from reading Jack Reacher novels was second to none.

What’s your favourite genre and why?

Horrors, crime thrillers and mystery novels are fantastic, I love a well-constructed plot; they make for great page turners.

What are you currently reading (or what was the last thing you read)?

Watership Down, by Richard Adams. It’s a break from what I normally read but the descriptive writing is incredible, and I’m learning a lot from it already.

Can you give us a brief insight into your writing process?

I don’t really have a solid routine at the moment, but generally I try to write a chapter by chapter plan in bullet points before starting the actual piece. It’s an easy way to put thoughts to paper.

You can read Mehdi’s short story, alongside many others, in The Psyche Supermarket released on the 11th of March.

You can also find him on Twitter at @mhp94

Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: Kate McKim

Kate McKim is a Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What writer(s) influenced you most and why?

It’s hard to choose a mere couple of writers who have influenced me as I am influenced in one way or another by every writer whose work I’ve read, however I would say that the strongest influences for my writing at the moment are Ray Bradbury, John Green and David Handler. Ray Bradbury’s short story The Veldt will always be one of my favourite short stories. Bradbury’s ability to create an immersive world that is so technologically advanced interests me; the house in which the characters live is full of machines that can cook, clean, rock the children to sleep and look after their general needs. Upon reading The Veldt I was inspired to try and create thought provoking immersive stories that deeply affect the reader. After reading Handler’s illustrated novel Why We Broke Up, I was inspired to incorporate experimental aspects into my fiction such as photos and illustrative drawings. Additionally, I am interested in YA novels and consequently have been inspired by John Green to create a distinct voice for the protagonists that narrate my stories.

What’s your favourite genre and why?

Had I been asked this question a couple of years ago I would’ve said differently, but my favourite genre is science fiction. I am drawn to the genre because I am interested in fully immersive stories, which many science fiction novels and short stories are. Their capability to transport their readers across the galaxy, to different worlds and to imaginative futures will always fascinate me. I often like to read crossover science fiction novels that portray a dark depiction of the future.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading the YA dystopian novel Divergent by Veronica Roth for my dissertation. At the centre of the novel lie questions many teenagers ask themselves today: do I have to act a certain way, do I have to categorise myself based on one factor? The answer to this question is no of course, hence why the protagonist, Tris Prior, struggles to define herself purely through her faction’s value of selflessness.

Can you give a brief insight into your writing process?

My writing process differs for every short story, novel or poem that I write. When I am working on a writing project I keep detailed notes in a diary to record background information on my characters, plot points and dialogue. One of the usual questions people ask writers is whether they completely plan their work or whether they prefer to write and see where their stories lead. I do both, depending on the project I am working on. For my short story that will be published in this year’s anthology, I planned the key moments where a majority of the action takes place. As my story is experimental and includes illustrations, I also wrote a couple of the smaller scenes without planning as I wanted to respond to the implication of each picture.

You can read Kate’s short story, alongside many others, in The Psyche Supermarket released on the 11th of March.

You can also find her on Twitter at @katemckim_