Julie Armstrong

 

Julie teaches Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.  She has an MA in Writing Studies from Edge Hill University College and a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster.  Her poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications and she has been commissioned by Yorkshire TV to write three interactive drama scripts.

Her first novel is The Root and the Wing.  Set in the North West of England, the novel introduces us to two oddly matched misfits whose lives seem to offer no hope of fulfilment, freedom or peace.  There is thirteen year old Shane, routinely beaten by his alcoholic father, abandoned by his mother, in fear of his drug dealing brother.  And then there is Beatrice, a middle-aged woman dominated by her cruel and cantankerous mother, with whom she scratches out a miserable existence on incapacity benefit. However, Beatrice’s ‘conversations’ with her dead father, and her passion for gardening, have kept her afloat, until now.

When Shane and Beatrice meet at a voluntary centre, where they begin work as part of a team to restore an allotment, an intense and unexpected relationship develops between them and suddenly it feels as if – through each other’s support and determination - the prison doors are swinging open, and the pair can dare to dream of escape and happiness.

However, with their roots deep in the mire of poverty, violence, fear and hatred, they must first throw off the stifling bonds that tie them to the past.  The struggle – against secrets, against family, against the urban nightmare - is hard and dangerous, and there will be casualties before this pitiless domestic war is over.

All rights available.