Today is my turn on the blog tour for Senseless by Anna Lickley, please check out the other stops as we all offer something different, today I will be sharing content.
About the book
K E Y N O T E
Senseless is at heart an illustration of the messy unpredictability of love and life and the
resilience of the human spirit.
D E S C R I P T I O N
Beth’s partner, Dan, inexplicably vanishes from her life and nine years later she is still
struggling. In the intervening years, she has learnt British Sign Language (BSL) and got what
she thought would be her dream job, supporting deaf students in college. However, she finds
she still feels dissatisfied with just about everything: from working life to sex life, domestic life
to social life, it’s as if the traumas of her past will forever mar her future.
Through her work, Beth meets a group of strong-minded, pragmatists who show her how
they’ve adapted to challenges of having a disability.
Is Dan’s disappearance the primary source of Beth’s sadness? Can her new friends help to shift
her perspective on dealing with life? Will learning BSL prove to be significant after all? And what
really happened to Dan? The answers may be quite unexpected.
The themes and characters of Senseless are moulded by the challenges of deafness and
disability but the book is not ‘about’ disability per se. More succinctly, it’s about ordinary
people bumping through the ups and downs of life like we all are.
About the author
Anna’s adult life has been moulded a great deal by challenges on her physical health and needing to adapt to them. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) in the 1980s when she was 16. NF2 is a complex genetic illness involving benign tumours developing on nerves throughout the body, usually in the brain or spine. As a result, she went deaf whilst at University and began to learn British Sign Language to help with communication. She loved the language immediately and went on to became fluent enough to teach it.
In the last 5 years, Anna’s vision has deteriorated and she is now registered deafblind. That and other health complications led her to stop working. Although sad to leave a job she loved, she is now relishing having more time to write and much of her writing is greatly influenced by her desire to share the realities of living with disability.
Anna wrote and self-published a semi-autobiographical novel called Catch it Anytime You Can in 2012 and has in mind a title and plot outline for a further novel. She is in-house writer for Can You Hear Us CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to the needs of people with NF2 and also loves writing poetry, short stories and articles. Senseless is her first full-length work of fiction.
Outside of writing, she loves horse riding and competes at dressage with the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association)
You can read more about Anna at Unbound's website and on Twitter
And now for my content, enjoy
Sam Owens was sitting at his kitchen table, trying to talk to Kim while feeding Ollie. Unfortunately, Ollie had other ideas and seemed intent on making as much noise as possible by banging his flat hands on the table of his highchair. ‘Oh, stop it, Ollie!’ Kim turned to face her son, ‘Just shut up for once and eat your food!’ She bent to lift his hands away from the table and Ollie seized the opportunity to grab a strand of her long dark hair. Sam knew that Kim had just spent at least half an hour washing, straightening and styling it. ‘Ollie, get off! Sam, can’t you control him for one second?’ ‘What?!’ Sam tried not to shout; he was fed up with Kim’s seeming inability to understand that a baby is a baby. Babies puke, shit and wail in equal measures. Ofcourse, Ollie started to wail now as Kim prised his hands from her hair and ran to the tap to wash out the baby food mush he’d left there. Sam lifted Ollie from his seat and sat him on his lap, bouncing him up and down and letting him play with the straps of his hoodie. When Ollie grew quieter, Sam gave him a rattle from the table to play with. He took advantage of the lull and said: ‘I’m getting the results of my tests today. The GP wants me to go in and see him.’ ‘What tests?’ ‘The ones I told you about.’ She looked at him blankly. ‘Kim! The tests I had after I’d seen the doctor about the tingly feelings in my hands and feet.’ ‘Oh that!’ she said dismissively, ‘Couldn’t he just give you some pills?’
‘He said he could but he wanted to give me some tests first. We talked about this, Kim!’ She didn’t seem to register or react, still focused on combing out her hair with her fingers. ‘I’m getting really tired and it’s affecting my job,’ Sam pushed. ‘We all get tired!’ ‘Yeah well, you have to be completely on top of your game to fight fires.’ ‘I bet it’s because Ollie is keeping you awake.’ ‘It’s more than that, it’s like I’m not functioning properly.’ ‘Right.’ ‘Are you even listening, Kim?’
‘Ofcourse I am,’ she said, rooting in her handbag for her lipstick. ‘You go to the GP and get some pills and you’ll be right as rain. Don’t forget to pick up my dress from the dry-cleaners, will you? I’ve got Pilates after I drop Ollie with his childminder.’ ‘Kim! There’s more to life than picking up dresses from dry–cleaners.’ ‘Of course there is,but why do you need to become so dull?’ ‘Dull?! Are we even speaking the same language?’ ‘Ever since Ollie, you’ve been getting so dull, Sam. We never go out.’ ‘It’s called being a parent! One day we all have to grow up.’ Kim scoffed and picked up Ollie. Sam went silent and just looked at her in disbelief. Everything had been so different before Ollie came along. She was 22 and gorgeous when they got together and as a tall, strong, 28–year–old firefighter, he had been exactly the action-hero sidekick she’d wanted. If they made it out of bed, he’d notice how many people turned to look at them anywhere they went together. But now? Well, he didn’t know what was happening now.
He was left to wait thirty-five minutes before Dr Longford was ready to see him. It gave him time to wonder if he should be more worried thanhewas.Intruth, hecouldn’t getKim,andthestateof their relationship, out of his head.
When his name was called, he had a sudden panic; was there a reason he’d been called in or was it just routine? He went along the corridor to clinic room number eight to find Dr Longford standing in the doorway to welcome him, his face giving nothing away. ‘Ah, Sam, hello. Sit down, sit down.’ Sam waited while the doctor got his notes up on his computer and turned back to face him. ‘Look, sorry, Sam, but
I’m going to have to rush. I’m also sorry I kept you waiting. There’s a meeting I need to get to by twelve so currently I have six minutes per patient if I’m going to make it.’ Sam shifted in his seat, wishing this to be over already. He felt unbalanced by the doctor’s flustered spiel. ‘Okay, so, as you know, the results of your tests have come back.’ Dr Longford was starting to look uneasy and turned back to his computer screen, reluctant to meet Sam’s eye. Sam braced himself for the revelation that he was dying of cancer, with months left to live. ‘Go on,’ he forced out when the pause became too long.
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