I knew that I wanted to write about people who were different from the norm, people with weaknesses and problems, such as mental health, alcoholism and domestic abuse; people who struggle with life and who get by with the help from their friends. So I did what everyone told me to: Just write. Don’t over-think it. Write and take it from there.
The inspiration for “Conditions” - as with many first novels - came from real life. My central idea was based on a real funeral, a very cold and hostile event that I could not possibly imagine what turn of events caused things to ‘get this bad’ - a beta reader even told me it was unrealistic and that I should tone it down. I had just finished reading “The Slap” by Christos Tsiolkas and the first version of my novel copied his style by telling each chapter from a different perspective. I wasn’t happy with this version and put it away in the drawer.
However, I felt confident that I could now write and finish a novel and went on to write different, historical novels, based on my family roots.
A year or so later my thoughts returned to “Conditions”. I felt that the story had too much that I wanted to say and so I changed the ‘copycat’ narrative format. First novels are said try to fit everything in a writer wants to say, and mine was no different in that respect. I removed large parts that were distracting and used the leftovers as basis for future novels.
Another year later, my first contemporary family drama, “Time To Let Go”, became a surprise success and my interest for my historical novels became temporarily put onto the back burner, and I decided to have another go at “Conditions”. In many ways both contemporary novels were similar; I wanted to convey a positive message and write about inspiring people.
All the pieces suddenly fell into place during the next re-write and what remained on the pages expressed exactly what I wanted to say: We all have our own conditions and nobody is ‘normal’ or perfect. Some conditions are easier to handle than others, some we can overcome, others we can merely alleviate. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all knew how to handle each other’s difficult parts and had more tolerance and patience?
Good things come to those who can wait. I’ll leave it up to your judgement if the resulting novel can be labelled ‘good’ but if you are a fellow writer, don’t despair when you are going through a difficult patch with a story. Stick with it and it may all work out in the end.
Conditions is a wonderful example of this. This novel takes a look at a family, and struggles that come between brothers. Each struggles with their own “conditions,” each has their own paths, complications, and challenges to overcome. This story brings these two together in the most awkward of situations, the death of their mother. In a time that emotions are already pulled tight, you can imagine what happens when two estranged brothers come together, facing each other, their past, and their future.
When I first read this story, my first impression was that this had the same feeling as The Breakfast Club. This book highlights a diverse group of people coming together, some to support, some to divide over the death of a mother. Through the interactions, we learn more about each character, follow them as moments of growth shine through, and ache for the inevitable struggles of others. This book is one of those that sticks with you, giving you more than a lesson or two to think about when the book ends.
I highly recommend this book and this author! 5 Stars... must read.
Meet the Author - Christoph Fischer
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; 'Sebastian' in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel "Time To Let Go" in May. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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