The inspiration for my new novel Love vs Honour came in a most unexpected way, at a most unexpected time. I was sitting on a bus in a traffic jam, bored beyond belief, and the entire plot suddenly downloaded into my mind from who knows where. At least, Acts 1 and 3 did. The mechanics of Act 2, wherein Johnny and Sabina pretend to covert to different religions as an elaborate parental appeasing ruse so they can still see each other, came to me a little later. But in essentials, the plot for Love vs Honour arrived in my consciousness on that bus journey in 2005.
Once I determined to write the book, I wondered about where to set it. When I moved to Devon shortly after the initial inspiration, I decided to set it locally, using locations like Dartmouth and the staggering beautiful Blackpool Sands beach (see below).
As I have already said on this blog, Love vs Honour is a long way outside of my “comfort zone” (if you’ll forgive my use of an obscenity). My primary reason for writing this story was the sheer challenge of working away from my usual genres. I hope that readers enjoy the novel, and find it gripping and moving. I think it’s an unusual love story, and whilst it owes a debt to past romantic classics, I think it also works as a unique piece in its own right.
I should also add that I did not want Love vs Honour to be a piece of Christian propaganda, nor a Muslim bashing piece, nor a story with an ending where everything is neatly tied up. I definitely intend this novel to provoke thought and discussion, given its potentially contentious subject matter.
Ultimately readers will decide whether Love vs Honour should be judged as a success or failure. It is available to pre-order on Amazon Kindle (see link below).
Here is the blurb from the back of the book:
Two Religions. Two Deceptions. One Love.
When Johnny meets and falls in love with Sabina, their bond proves stronger than a teenage holiday fling.
Fearing the disapproval of their strict Christian and Islamic families, they undertake an elaborate deception to continue seeing one another. Johnny pretends to convert to Islam whilst Sabina pretends to covert to Christianity to appease their parents.
But how long can this deception last before it unravels?
Love vs Honour is released on the 31st May on Kindle.
Print copies will be available from the 7th of June.