With ‘The Donor’ this time I have focused on sibling rivalry, writing the story from several perspectives. I have never had any brothers or sisters of my own, but know plenty of people who are lucky enough to have one or two siblings, and I can vouch for the fact that sisterly relationships in particular can sometimes be fraught if not downright rocky.
Running alongside this theme is my love of the Isle of Wight. I was just too young to have attended the 1970 music festival on the Island where Clare Ronson and Ross Tyler meet, but often visit Freshwater Bay, look out over Afton Down, and try to imagine what a gathering of 600,000 people there must have looked like. While writing The Donor I visited Dimbola Lodge at Freshwater, which apart from an exhibition of pictures by the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, also houses a museum of 1970 festival artefacts. I immersed myself in the festival for a day, and pretended I was there.
Clare and Ross are set for a happily ever after ending, until Clare’s sister Izzy and Ross catch sight of each other when Clare brings him home to meet her parents. The fallout from this meeting lasts for over 30 years, until Ross turns up on Clare’s doorstep pleading with her to help Izzy in a way that only a sister can.
I hope you enjoy ‘The Donor’ as much as I enjoyed writing it.