Jacqueline Ward, a published novelist living in the 19th most deprived area in the UK, sees her psychological thriller, How to Play Dead, published on 7th November 2019. The novel, published by Corvus Atlantic Books, is set in a domestic violence refuge and follows the stories of four women told from the perspective of the manager of the refuge, Ria Taylor.
Jacqueline wrote this novel loosely based on her experiences on the management board of a former women’s refuge which was closed due to lack of funding in 2015. Domestic violence is experienced by one in four women in the UK in their lifetimes and two women per week are killed in domestic violence incidents. The Domestic Abuse Bill 2019 is currently progressing through Parliament and will be discussed further later in 2019. Greater Manchester Police’s approach to tackling domestic abuse document begins with the words ‘The extent and nature of domestic abuse remains shocking’ and states that 6% of all calls for assistance were for domestic abuse and of these 16% were repeat offences. Oldham has recently slipped from 34th to 19th most deprived borough in the Indices of Deprivation 2019. Early reviews for the novel on expert reviewer site NetGalley have called the novel ‘heart-wrenching’, ‘realistic’, ‘hard-hitting’ and one that ‘every woman should read’.
After growing up in Oldham, Jacqueline worked full-time and studied for a PhD while a single-parent of three children, now has an MBE and is CEO of a charity dealing with high hazard safety. Writing fiction for most of her life, her last novel, Perfect Ten, focusing on gas lighting and revenge, receiving national reviews and stocked by most major supermarkets and bookshops. A registered Health Psychologist, Jacqueline writes widely about psychology and storytelling. Prior to her two-book deal with Corvus Atlantic Books, Jacqueline won US writing competition Kindle Scout and had a crime series published. She also writes short stories and screenplays.
Jacqueline said, ‘I wanted to be clear about what domestic violence and control really is. Although domestic abuse a difficult subject, raising awareness of it through storytelling with fictional characters is one way that everyone can find out what really happens. The rose-coloured spectacles are off in How to Play Dead. This is the real deal.’
How to Play Dead will be available online and in bookstores on 7th November 2019. Jacqueline is represented by Judith Murray at Greene and Heaton Media, Film and Literary Agency.