Interview and Review by Melissa Barnsley
Publication Date: Available Now.
Four young people are in love – David, Sarah, Ben and Alison – and yet none of them are particularly happy with what their lives have become. The story is about how and why people fall in and out of love and the unexpected, sometimes life-changing, consequences that follow. It is a story about growing up and making big mistakes, as all friends and lovers eventually do, and then living with those mistakes afterwards.
It took me exactly one hour and twenty seven minutes to read this lovely little novel; time that I certainly wouldn’t want to take back. Having been handed the book at work by a friend I picked it up that evening, thinking “I’ll just see if I like the first few chapters before I agree to review,” but before I knew it the story was over and I was left wanting more! Daniel Gothard paints an honest, raw picture of the way adult relationships both begin and end. The friction of emotion between each of the characters, whether they are joined by friendship, passion, or love, is utterly believable and at times even difficult to read (in a good way). We’ve all felt those same emotions at some point in our lives – guilt, jealousy, lust, regret. ‘Friendship and afterwards’ is a realistic romance, one that I would certainly recommend that you go and read NOW. My only criticism, and the reason for my four star rating, is that I felt it could have been longer. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was left wanting more!
I was lucky enough to catch up with the author, Daniel Gothard, for a Q&A.
First off, why did you decide to write using multiple narratives?
The multiple character narrative was a test for/on myself and also because I wanted to show how good intentions, love, friendship, ambition, etc, can become so complex in any life no matter where you begin from; that there are usually no simple answers to reasonably simple questions when the heart is ruling the head!
There were moments in the book where characters seem to have different accounts of the same event, could you elaborate?
The original title of the book was ‘How I See Things’ and it was very much based on each character and their views of the same/similar scenarios.
What made you decide to keep the story so short?
The shortish length of the book wasn’t planned, it just turned out that way – it’s the shortest piece I’ve written for a while. But, like Raymond Carver, Chekhov and others, I feel comfortable boiling down emotions and psychology in stories to a point where the reader can fill in some ‘gaps’.
How much of the story is based on your personal experiences?
Thankfully, this story is all fiction. The novel is hugely influenced by the work of my favourite author, Richard Yates, particularly his book Young Hearts Crying: a classic story about the American Dream and its slow death post WW2.
What first inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always written – as a teenager mainly poetry. I gained a CertHE in creative writing from Ruskin College here in Oxford and then an MA in the same subject at Bath Spa Uni. It was after Bath that I made a decision to relentlessly follow my ambition to write and be published.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any new projects – perhaps something slightly longer I can get my teeth into?
My publisher is talking about releasing 3/4 of my older novels next year. And I’ve just published a 16,000 word dystopian novella, (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/494450) I loved writing in a different genre (first time writing in a second-person narrative too).
Thank you so much Daniel. I look forward to reading more of your work!
Thank you to the Author and Publisher
Find out more here: http://yolkpublishing.co.uk/
Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/GOTHARDDANIEL
Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Friendship-Afterwards-Daniel-Gothard-ebook/dp/B00N6SMOUM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416995648&sr=1-1&keywords=friendship+and+afterwards+daniel+gothard
Happy Reading Folks!