Born Bad by Heather Burnside
Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.
Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.
Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.
But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…
Q) For the readers can you give a summary of yourself and your latest release Born Bad?
A) I have been writing for 18 years since I started studying for a creative writing diploma. During that time I have been involved in many aspects of writing, from having articles published in popular national magazines to running a writing services business for a broad range of clients. Nowadays I mainly focus on my books and in 2014 I had my first novel, Slur, published, which was book one in a trilogy of gritty crime novels.
Born Bad is the first book in a new gritty crime trilogy based in Manchester. It features Adele and Peter Robinson, the children of a violent, drunken father and an inept, beaten mother. As a result of their turbulent upbringing Peter drifts into a life of crime.
Adele, on the other hand, studies hard to better herself, encouraged by her beloved grandmother, Joyce. Adele and Peter have each chosen a different path in life and this eventually drives a wedge between them.
But, one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past and events spiral out of control. Worried and desperate, she turns to her brother for help. Their shared secrets and tortured past bring them closer once more. But perhaps even Peter can’t get her out of this particular fix. With no-one else to turn to, Adele puts her trust in her brother and hopes that he will help her find a way out of her dilemma.
Q) The synopsis sounds intense and the main protagonist Adele comes across as relatable and realistic. Can you tell us more about Adele?
A) Adele is basically a good person with a conscience but she is also a troubled soul because of her unstable upbringing. At times her temper gets the better of her and she sometimes acts out of character. This is usually because she is hitting back at the way she is treated by adults and life in general. However, she then gets an attack of conscience and often regrets her actions.
Q) Adele is raised in a childhood marred by alcohol and violence. Yet she has a resounding desire to create a different life for herself. What was the inspiration behind Adele’s life story?
A) Having spent my teens on a tough council estate and having seen quite a few bad home situations, I was interested in how some children manage to break the chain. For the majority, the cycle seems to be repeated but there are a few who change their lives.
I think that adult influences can play a huge role, which is why I have introduced the positive influences of Adele’s grandmother and her school teacher. Because of her intelligence she is encouraged by them to better herself and she achieves this to some extent. Her brother, on the other hand, doesn’t receive any encouragement and he drifts into a life of crime.
However, another aspect that interests me is how, even for people who have escaped their past in a physical sense, the emotional effects can be far more damaging. Do they ever really escape the mental anguish brought about by a turbulent childhood or does it stay with them for the rest of their lives?
Q) The novel also features a brother/sister dynamic, which I found unusual within the genre. I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters myself, so I think this is a brilliant concept. As there is nothing stronger than the bond between siblings. What made you choose a brother/sister relationship as the driving force of the novel?
A) I was the only girl with four brothers and I am particularly close to two of them. I agree with what you say about there being nothing stronger than the bond between siblings. It is a unique relationship as you have so much shared knowledge and experiences. There are certain situations that nobody would ever understand as much as a sibling. My brothers and I even have our own wacky sense of humour, which nobody else really gets.
My own son and daughter are also very close. I’ve no experience of what it’s like to have a sister but I do know what it’s like having siblings. I really wanted to show the close bond between siblings and, with four brothers, it was more natural for me to choose a brother/sister situation.
Q) I can see the easy comparison to Martina Cole or Marnie Riches, with the specific type of genre. How do you feel about the comparison to other authors?
A) I’m very flattered to be compared to Martina Cole and Marnie Riches. However, when I started writing novels I didn’t consciously try to emulate any other authors. I had only read one or two books by Martina Cole at that time and I can’t remember having read any other books by authors in that genre before the comparisons began.
In the past I mainly read sagas and thrillers. One reader compared my style as Catherine Cookson meets Martina Cole and that comparison rang true with me. I like the strong characterisation and emotional depth that you get with many sagas so I try to include that in my writing.
I mainly draw influence from things that are happening around me and news articles. In the 90s gang crime regularly hit the news headlines in Manchester and a lot of it was a bit close to home. I therefore wanted to concentrate on these topics and try to see behind the headlines; to the families that are affected by gang culture.
Q) I noticed on the Amazon page, Born Bad is book 1 in a trilogy. What is next to come in the series?
A) I am already working on the second novel which follows Adele and Peter into adulthood. This is when Peter becomes established as a big name in the Manchester gangland scene. I can’t tell you too much about Adele without spoiling the second and third books for readers but the violent events of book one make a major impact on her throughout books two and three. Her damaged childhood also has a huge influence.
*Huge thanks to Heather Burnside for taking part in a Q&A on my blog. I wish you all the best with the release of Born Bad.
HB: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure. Thank you too for giving me the opportunity.
Born Bad Universal Amazon link: http://viewBook.at/BornBad
Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/HBurnside
*Happy publication date to Heather Burnside, Born Bad is available from today via Kindle Ebook at just £2.48 🙂
Happy Saturday reading!