Statua di bronzo caduti per la patria, PisaFirst of all, I apologise for the long silence. I have been ill and when I was still feeling pretty sick I got the news that my mother had suddenly passed away.

Yes, it was not something any of us had expected so we’ve all been in shock. So where did I go? Up the dark tunnel of disbelief and on a plane to my Mum’s home where I’ve been assisting my family to make all those horrible decisions which have to be made at such a time. I’ll be away from home and internet connection again soon but will be home next week after the memorial service.

As you may have gathered, I am from a large family. The good side of coming from a large family is that there are lots of people to love one another. The down side of a large family is that there are so many to lose. This year we’ve lost three loved ones in the space of four months.

Three in the space of four months is bad enough but in Torn, my leading lady loses her entire family and many of her friends in a long painful lingering death from starvation and disease. One top of her own near death from starvation, could you expect any less than that old black dog of depression and grief to bite hard? On top of that, imagine having to move not just from your home and your hometown but your homeland to a land so rough and harsh as early Australia, such a contrast to Ireland.

Yes, I know, she’s a fictional character. However, throughout history and right up to today there have been and still are many real people in similar circumstances. In fact, that is where the ideas for Torn came from, wondering what it would be like. How would I cope? How would you cope? So, yes, a part of me is in Mary. Part of me wonders how strong I would be in that situation. Would I survive with my sanity and sense of humour intact? I hope so.