You only have to look round to see that families come in all shapes and sizes. (Just read Ralph's Story in Step by Wicked Step to see how complicated they can get!) Some are happy most of the time and act as a great support to everyone in them. Others are quite the opposite, so surviving the problems and high emotions that run through them is a real challenge.
I'm fascinated by families. I come from quite a large one myself. My parents had my elder sister and me then, feeling wistful about the lack of a son, tried one more time - only to find themselves with three more baby girls. (Small wonder my favourite fairy tale was The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which almost made our household look halfway to normal.)
But writers can't afford to be afraid of conflict, or pretend arguments don't happen or don't matter. Underlying every good novel must be some bedrock of emotional truth. I look through the books I've written and see the widest possible mix of family members: parents, step-parents, divorced parents, delinquent grannies, eccentric aunts, sinister uncles, ghastly cousins. I hope I've done justice to everyone's real emotions, and, in quite a few of the novels, offered a good few laughs along the way.
"brilliantly insightful and very funny about the difficulties of family life"
Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian
Click any cover below for some more books by Anne Fine which you might enjoy:
Your bookshop or library can order any of these books for you. Ask your librarian for a 'request card'.