A Middlesbrough writer has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the publication of her first novel.
Author Amy Lord is working with crowdfunding publisher Unbound to release ‘The Disappeared’, a novel that explores what happens when a government strips away the rights of its people.The book is set in a dystopian future UK run by a military dictator, where expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences.
The story follows Clara, who is haunted by the disappearance of her father when she was 11-years-old.
Except he didn’t disappear: he was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. Soldiers came to the family home in the middle of the night and dragged him away. Clara never saw him again.
But she never forgot his passion for books and for the truth. She grew up to teach at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much. But the only weapons she has are the banned books her father left behind.
The story is told from two perspectives: that of Clara and her stepfather, the Major, an interrogator for the Authorisation Bureau and the man who arrested Clara’s father.
The crowdfunding campaign allows anyone interested in the project to support the novel and see it published by Unbound. Anyone who pledges to the campaign receives a copy of ‘The Disappeared’ and their name is added to a list of supporters in the back of the book.
The author has had success already with this novel, winning a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015 and being longlisted in the inaugural Bath Novel Award. An earlier manuscript saw her shortlisted for Route Publishing’s Young Yorkshire Author Award.
She is currently participating in a mentoring programme run by Writers’ Block NE, where she is working on a new novel.
As well as writing fiction, she also blogs about books, writing, travel and life in the North East at Ten Penny Dreams, which recently won Best Arts and Culture Blog in the Northern Blog Awards. The blog once published an article from Charlton Athletic fan Paul Breen who wrote about his experience of visiting Middlesbrough and was read by 20,000 people in the first day.
Former Nunthorpe School pupil Amy says: “I first had the idea for ‘The Disappeared’ over 10 years ago and I’ve been working on it on and off ever since. I wanted to write a book that would make the reader think about what it would be like to live in a society where the government has free reign to make its people disappear, just for reading the wrong book or being related to the wrong person.
“I decided to crowdfund the novel after pledging for a number of other campaigns and seeing some of the exciting work that Unbound was bringing to life. I’m really happy to be a part of their community of readers and writers and hope to raise the money needed to publish ‘The Disappeared’ next year.”
Other books published by Unbound include ‘The Good Immigrant’, by Nikesh Shukla and ‘The Wake’, by Paul Kingsnorth, which was longlisted for the Man Booker prize 2014 and won the Gordon Burn Prize 2014.
The crowdfunding campaign for ‘The Disappeared’ can be found here: https://unbound.com/books/the-disappeared.