Moondance – a novel which draws on a personal journey through IVF launches on the 1st November to coincide with National Fertility Awareness Week.
It’s been so many years now since we went through our final IVF cycle. We managed seven in all, but it was the fourth which created our daughter – we never quite managed a sibling for her. I’m well aware that I’m one of the lucky ones, one of those who got there, and I guess I was able to shut the memories of those days down. Yet, when my daughter was small, I began to write a novel about IVF. It sat in the dark for years, but I returned to it in 2015 after my first novel was published. Moondance will finally be published in November.
Moondance draws heavily on my personal experience of the physical and emotional impact of IVF. There has always been so much non-fiction out there, but as a writer I thought it would be fascinating to produce a novel which pulls no punches on the tests and treatments involved. A novel which raises awareness. Perhaps a novel which, for those who’ve been through it, might even enable a feeling of being understood and having their experience put into words. Most people know someone who has gone through IVF, but how many really understand the emotional pain involved? The trauma of self-injecting? The nerves before the general anaesthetic kicks in? The grotesque two-week wait? Writing Moondance was incredibly cathartic. But still, it’s not my story.
Moondance is about a couple who meet when they are young and are very happy together. But Cat is flying high as a political lobbyist and is reluctant to try for a baby until she is ready. Unable then to conceive naturally, she and Dom embark on fertility treatment and both they and their relationship begin to unravel. In Cat, I chose a protagonist who is entitled, somewhat arrogant even. As an early review has said, “Cat is in control. Of everything. What better heroine to pit against the cruel and whimsical cycles of the moon.”
While Moondance is a novel about IVF, on another level, its themes are more universal, of love, of marriage, of sex, of family. I’m told that it is honest and authentic and emotionally raw – but there is also something to smile about along the way, even laugh-out-loud moments. And, of course, there is always hope. There has to be hope.
This year my daughter became a teenager. And yes, there are still many days when she walks into the room with a smile and I gaze at her in wonder.
Moondance will be able to buy online www.blackbird-books.com/moondance