Published by Black & White Publishing
Publishing: 8 May 2014
ISBN10: 1 84502 719 1
ISBN13: 978 1 84502 719 3
Extent: 256 pp
“If your first love came back to offer you everything you ever dreamed of, what would you do?”
Hannah is thirty-eight and the happily married mother of eleven-year old Luke, the diamond in her world. Her marriage is reassuringly stable, and after fifteen years she has managed to push the wild dreams of youth from her mind and concentrate on the everyday satisfactions of here and now. The first half of her life hasn’t been as exciting as she had hoped, but then, she reckons, whose has?
When she succeeds in convincing husband Cliff to rent a villa in the south of France for a summer holiday with her sister Jill and gay friend Tristan, she’s expecting little more than a pleasant few weeks with her family. But they each have their own baggage – their own secrets – ready to explode on this not-so-relaxing holiday in France.
When a phone call at the villa announces the imminent arrival of a ghost from her past, the ambiance is transformed into a raging sea of jealousy as Hannah is forced to question everything she thought she knew and believed.
But is she brave enough to take the life-changing decisions her future happiness requires?
Nick Alexander - Other Halves
Published by Black and White publishing
Paperback publishing 5 June 2014
ISBN10: 1 84502 764 7
ISBN13: 978 1 84502 764 3
Extent: 256 pp
'When Hannah and Cliff's fifteen-year marriage falls apart, it seems almost impossible to start again. While Hannah tries to reconcile the warring factions of her heart, torn between a pre-teen son and a romantic love half a world away, Cliff struggles to face up to issues he has suppressed since adolescence in the hope of finding happiness in a confusing world. Amid the turmoil of separation, and with their son, Luke, caught in the crossfire, both Hannah and Cliff face the challenge of rebuilding their lives. To make the other halves of their lives count, they will need courage and determination. To build new relationships, they will need to dare to love again. Other Halves beautifully maps the break-up of a couple, with all the tough choices and heartache it entails, but above all it is a touching story of self-discovery, finding new love and beginning life afresh.'
Guest Post by Nick Alexander
Living Other Lives
Although I had planned to write a sequel to The Half-Life of Hannah from the moment I started planning the first book, the actual nature of Other Halves didn't come to me until much later. In The Half-Life of Hannah, Cliff came over very much as the bad guy, and this was fine and intentional. The story was all about Hannah, and a large part of that story was how Cliff had let her down by keeping a couple of very major secrets from her. The book was written from Hannah's point of view, so, of course, Cliff wasn't going to come out of it smelling of roses. But once I had finished writing the first episode of Hannah's life, and as the book reviews started piling up (frequently mentioning what a truly nasty guy Cliff was) I started to feel a bit sorry for him. Because, in my mind, Cliff had never intended to hurt Hannah. Nor had he intentionally let her down.
So it started to seem to me that book two would have to redress that balance a bit. It would need to explain just why someone would behave so badly.
At the time, a couple of my friends were in the process of divorcing. It was what people call "a messy divorce", and often, in the same day, I would have both of them on the phone to me telling me what a complete and utter bastard the other person was being. I realised, fairly soon on, that I was going to have to cut loose one side of the couple, because being in the middle was an almost impossible place to be. But equally, I discovered that it was really very, very intriguing, exciting, almost, to be able to hear one side of a story and then another. I was constantly amazed how the utterly repugnant behaviour of one half of the couple would sound utterly reasonable half an hour later when described by the person who had been accused. And as I started to plan out the new loves and lives of Hannah and Cliff in Other Halves, I started to think, "Yes, that's what I want to do!" I wanted to drag the reader back and forth between different points of view, to make them sympathise with Hannah, and then Cliff, and then Hannah again. And I wanted, above all, to get across the idea that unless you really know what's going on inside someone else's head (which pretty much involves having lived their entire life from birth to date) you're in no position to judge them.
To push the concept to the extreme, take the serial killer. Had I been unlucky enough to live a serial killer's entire life, being born when and where and to the same parents, and living every single unhappy experience he lived, I honestly believe that I would have ended up the same way – a serial killer! And had I been born Cliff or Hannah, I would very likely have behaved exactly the way they did. And with that understanding comes forgiveness. That doesn't make anything anyone does acceptable, but it does make it understandable. Luckily, I was born Nick Alexander, so I get to live as many other lives as I want right here inside my head. Maybe I'll write a serial killer next time! Hum. Maybe not.
About the Author
I grew up in the seaside town of Margate England with four brothers including three on the web: Matthew Alexander, Greg Alexander, Steven Alexander who are all painters as was our father, Chris.
On leaving Margate, I moved to the Midlands and then Cambridge. In 1991, in need of adventure, I headed off with a backpack finally settling in Nice France where with the exception of a brief, exciting stint in New York, I have lived ever since.
After being refused by truly every publisher in the world, I self-published my first novel 50 Reasons to Say Goodbye in 2003. Encouraged by its success, I wrote and published four sequel novels: Sottopassaggio (2005), Good Thing/Bad Thing(2006), Better Than Easy(2009) and Sleight of Hand(2010) as well as a standalone novel, 13:55 Eastern Standard Time(2007).
My self published 2011 title The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend reached #1 in Amazon’s UK chart and gained me my first proper publishing contract with Corvus-Atlantic who also republished the entire 50 Reasons series and the sequel to The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend, The French House which sold more than 200,000 copies.
My 2012 novel The Half-Life Of Hannah, though mysteriously refused for publication by Corvus, again, once self published, reached number one and sold over 275,000 copies, and the paperback rights were subsequently purchased by Black and White Publishing. Black and White are also publishing the Hannah sequel entitled Other Halves in both ebook and paperback, so I seem, finally, to be on a bit of a roll. Long may it last!
I also edit and contribute to the gay lit website, BIGfib.com
I currently spend half my time in Nice, and the other half in a cabin in the French Alps where I get bored enough to actually concentrate on writing. But whenever I can, I jump on a plane or a train to London, my favourite city in the world.