CATCH A MOVING TRAIN, is a novel-in-progress which takes place over sixteen years from the turn of the Millennium, following the gradually-interconnecting lives of two very different modern women who are brought together because of a man they both know, and whose friendship is tested following his sudden death. Magda Havel built her life during the City’s boom years when self-doubt wasn’t allowed, and saying too much could bring good times to an end. Vonny Weisz is a blogger, ten years younger, a product of the recession, and used to sharing her intimate fears with internet strangers. They both have dry humour, neglected foreign heritage and loaded histories involving the complicated Leo. Their friendship comes after a decade of personal challenges for them both as their aspirations meet harsh realities. Following Leo’s death, they struggle to reconcile their different lives, including how much to reveal to each other, and beyond, of their private pasts and difficult feelings. For Magda, the lasting consequences of her involvement with Leo are greater than she can even admit to herself.
Taking place from the Blair years, through the financial crash, to just short of when Brexit became a word, CATCH A MOVING TRAIN is a story of two women trying to make sense of themselves, a man and each other against a backdrop of change and loss. Inspired by personal and professional reflections, it also touches on the complacent nature of affluent society amid the indiscrimination of grief.
Having worked on support publications with leading mental health and bereavement researchers, I wanted to explore how personal histories, generational attitudes and relationships with technology shape different responses to loss. After considering an MSc in trauma research, I decided to stay with creative writing rather than move into academia, and built this into a story.