The initial idea for 'A Very British Afterlife' came about through death.
I lost my father at the age of 26, which catapulted my life into a different direction and made me start to question a lot of things especially what is life all about and what death actually means. During that time a single thought kept crossing my mind, what if we do get our time in front of God? If we do then I'd have a few things to say to him.
When we meet Vincent he is very much within the same place. He's lost his father and his own life long before his time which makes him feel as though he's lost everything. This makes him question a lot of values.
I truly do believe when we lose someone special we become more aware of our own mortality and how close and
personal death can be, this makes us more philosophical as we start to question things.
As I was wrting the book I asked myself what does the Afterlife mean to anyone or everyone? If it's a place of happiness then that's very subjective, after all one man's meat is another man's poison. The times that Vincent visits the Afterlife we read about some of the entertainment and areas available as I tried to make it as much as a well rounded place as I could,something for everyone.
"Totally amazing, never tried those activities before.
I've always been afraid of pain, but when there is no fear of injury, it's so much more enjoyable,
at least for me anyway. Those Australian adrenaline junkies didn't seem to think so though refusing to do it
due to the fact that there wasn't any thrill of impending death. You'd think because two of them were killed
bungee jumping, one paragliding, two skiing and one eaten by a shark, that they would have learnt their lesson."
Vincent - A Very British Afterlife
During the writing of this book I lost my mother and not long after a friend lost hers. After reading the book she admitted that it helped her through the loss, it made her imagine her mum in a better place surrounded by beauty, love and happiness.
"I got swallowed up into the crowd amongst the people who patted me on the back and shook my hand warmly.
Everyone wanted to talk to me and ask me questions about my first impressions of the afterlife and welcoming
me to my new home. The crowd then parted slightly and a figure strode forward in front of me, a figure
I recognised and had missed every day for years, the figure of my father. We smiled at each other and
I rushed forward and threw my arms around him."
I guess this book helped me through bereavement because it pushed me to try harder, to be more and to be the best that I can be. The death of my dad made me go to university and it made me write this book. Personally, I think we owe it to the great people we lose in our lives to do something remarkable while we are still living in honour of them.
All authors want people to read and enjoy their stories. If my book can give someone comfort at a time of sadness then every minute writing the story will have been worthwhile.