‘Honor’s Shadow’ in Paperback

Continuing with my vicarious enjoyment of my friend Voula Grand‘s progress through the stages of publication of her novel ‘Honor’s Shadow‘, last night I went to the launch of the paperback, at David’s bookshop in Letchworth.

As well as her novel, Voula also spoke about her contribution to The Psychology Book published by Dorling Kindersley, and gave us an insight into some of the psychological theories that underpin the notions of revenge and jealousy that are explored in a fictional way through her novel.

Voula and I have discussed the craft of writing as well as the need to create believable and engaging characters, as well as that conversation you have with friends and family who ask how many of the people in the books are made up, if they are in it, and if the main protagonist is you.

Last night Voula explained that while everything in the novel is ‘made up’, she is careful to make sure that the underlying psychology to their behaviour is sound; and that every character has a sliver of the writer in them.  She referred to an idea of Doris Lessing’s that for each person, a writer takes a tiny piece of themselves, and from that splinter, she grows an entire fictional personality.

The complexity of human personality is part of what is explored in Honor’s Shadow, with the idea that not only might Madalena be the counterpoint to Honor in the narrative, but that every person has a shadow personality, those traits that they feel, either consciously or unconsciously,  have to be hidden both from themselves and from the outside world.  But it is these shadow feelings which, if kept under pressure for too long, can burst out violently, causing a person to act in possibly violently unexpected ways.

It’s the stuff of dramatic fiction.

Leave a comment


  1. voulagrand

     /  May 9, 2012

    Thank you very much Rowena! xx


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