What happens after happy ever after? Fiona Perrin’s THE STORY AFTER US

My current mood is beyond epic…
Woohooooooooo. That’s how I feel right now. The Story After Us, my debut novel, is going to be published in 8 weeks. 

A couple of days ago, I saw the cover for the first time and I loved it. The whole thing finally feels real – thank you Aria.

So, what’s the story?
The Story After Us is not mine (my joke with my ex-husband is that ‘it’s not about you’ and it isn’t). But it does draw on what has happened to me and many women around me. I wanted to write about a family that reflects many of ours – no longer two-up, two-down, they don’t look like they belong in a magazine spread, but they are still full of love and laughter. 

I’m divorced and good mates with my ex-husband while happily married to my second; and I’ve been a single parent. I’m a mother and stepmother to four young adults who awe me, infuriate me and inspire me every day. I wanted to reflect the hope that can come even if happy ever after doesn’t work out in the traditional way.

The book
Here’s the blurb: Ami used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her. 

Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become - or why she and her husband can't even be in the same room anymore. 

With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off 'consciously uncoupling' like a celeb. But she's starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be... happier? 

Our heroine
Amelia Fitch (Ami), is a woman with a job, as well as being a mother. I had a really full-on job when writing this book and it meant a lot to me that Ami is an entrepreneur.  She’s just managed to set up her own ad agency when her best client goes under. Her own self-belief is in question - right in the middle of the meltdown of her marriage, she’s also fighting to provide a future for her children. 

And she loved her husband. When Ami & Lars meet, they fall in proper love. This is the journey of whether their connection is enough to cling on to. 

But in all of that there is hope: new experiences, new ways of thinking about life – the odd hot bloke… 

It’s feminist but it’s also fun: in between all the drama, there’s quite a few jokes. Well, I sniggered when I was writing it. 

Please laugh. 

Was I trying to say anything and if so …like, what exactly?

Here’s what I wanted women to think after they read The Story After Us: we must champion our own right to live life as the very best version of ourselves: whatever outcome we choose. As I get older, one of the things I think is that you shouldn’t judge too readily – and you should never try and get second guess another woman’s choices (unless she asks you and then fill your boots).  

I’m lucky. I have a husband I want to sit on a bench with when I’m old, laughing about silly jokes. Amazing kids. Great work life now. A family and post-family set-up that works. I try to spend as much time as possible in my study at the end of the Lizard in Cornwall (sheep, lighthouse, sea – you’re there). And I’m going to see my book out in the world.

Underneath all that image stuff is the reality of families. 

That’s what I wanted to write about. 

I hope you laugh and love as much I did writing The Story After Us.