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"There is no place for violence in a loving relationship"

What is your book Loving the Brothers about?
Loving the Brothers is about three very different women who plot to leave their abusive relationships on the same day.

Tell us a bit more about the characters
Patti is a busy senior probation officer working in Camden, London, with a teenager who’s off to university. Charmaine is a stressed-out mum of twins and Rose, is a pastor’s wife with five daughters. Life gets complicated for these women when they meet and marry three brothers – Manley, Marcus and Junior Morgan – who are from a close-knit Jamaican family.

Why did you decide to write this book?
I have worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse for many years through my work [in the criminal justice system]. I have been privileged to hear many real accounts from both sides about this topic, but the book is purely fiction. I believe however that the story is told with a real understanding of the many complex issues involved.

I have seen how men use domestic abuse as a way to exert power and control in relationships. This can be in intimate partnerships, in elderly abuse situations and child abuse. The aspect I want to shine a light on is domestic abuse from a female’s point of view.

Love and relationships are not supposed to hurt or be painful. There is no place for violence in a loving relationship. Every circumstance is different though and different women need different outcomes and support when they are in this situation. The challenges in each case, can be very varied.

Through this powerful story, I want to raise awareness of domestic abuse and show that abuse can take many forms and effect all types of women regardless of age, profession or class. I want all of us whether we are work colleagues, friends or relatives to take notice and reach out if we suspect someone is being abused.

This is your first book. How did you find the process of writing?
I have had the idea for the book for many years but started to write in a disciplined way after meeting Marcia Spence from Marcia M Publishing House. Writing can be challenging, especially when you are working around family life. I really wanted to get my book published before my milestone 50th birthday and I did this with two months to spare. I’m already working on a sequel Loving the Sisters and plan to complete the trilogy. I feel so passionate about this topic!

What would you say to others who are thinking of starting to write?
I really want to encourage to write, particularly black British women. I say just make a start, write something.

We understand your book has been well received and has already been awarded an accolade...
Yes, many people have commented on the readability of Loving the Brothers and I think using a larger font type and a simple structure for the book really helps with this. The book has great reviews on Amazon and I am receiving messages from across the globe from readers who have enjoyed it and want to know when the sequel is coming out. I’m also hearing from those who have connected with the topic of abuse and are looking for support. Then, just last month, I was really honoured to receive the prestigious author of the year award from Powerhouse Global. It’s amazing.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself
As I said, I’m now 50 and I live in east London. I was brought up in Canning Town. Last year was my 30th anniversary of working for the criminal justice system. My role is as a senior probation officer and I manage a team of women who support female service users to make changes in their lives for the better. I have previously worked as a domestic abuse facilitator and with victims of domestic abuse.

What do you plan to do next?
Besides finishing the trilogy, I also want to speak to groups about domestic abuse and to take part in related projects. I’m particularly keen to help educate girls and young women about the importance of good self-esteem and healthy relationships.

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