Mal’s fourth novel inspired by a real-life story
A Knaphill author’s latest book, Jude & Bliss has received glowing reviews.
“I’ve been sitting on the concept of writing Jude & Bliss since the summer of 1994, when I first discovered the real-life tale of a young girl from Surrey who was tragically wronged by her employer
towards the end of the 19th century,” Mal said, “It somehow stuck, so much so that this was the novel, I was always going to write.”
Readers have certainly taken to the story, which has attracted
a series of five-star reviews on Amazon. “The feedback has been brilliant,” Mal added.
Jude & Bliss relates to the experience of Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable 16-year-old who in 1896, secures
a position in domestic service at a large house in Half Moon Street, near Piccadilly, in London. After a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not as it seems.
“In the synopsis, I did say that
the story is not for the faint-hearted, but that’s really because of the descriptions of the autopsy,” Mal said. “It is not a spoiler to say that there is a death in the book.”
a lot of time reading through reports of Victorian autopsies, and they were so graphic, I had to tone them down for the book. Research is important to me, and I enjoy that part of the process.”
Mal has drawn widely
on local events and locations for his previous novels, including Brookwood Hospital, for his first novel, The Asylum Soul, published in 2015.
Previously, he had concentrated on poetry. A talent he had discovered
before having to leave school at 15 to support his single mother and younger brother.
He soon had his poetry published, although the greatest accolade came in 2007 when his most widely read poem, The Wedding, was
published in the Australian Secondary School’s anthology Poetry Unlocked, which was part of the country’s English Literature exam curriculum for that year.
“I always thought that was quite
amusing, considering I left school without any formal qualifications,” Mal said.
14 January 2021 (Reproduced: Courtesy Woking News & Mail)