“I am passionate about people doing all they can to improve their chances
of having a vibrant, active and healthy older age.“
Christine Webber, author of So Many Ways of Loving
I am delighted to welcome back Christine Webber to my blog with news of her latest novel, So Many Ways of Loving, which will be published June 17th. It is a book that has been described by Dr Max Pemberton (Psychiatrist and Daily Mail columnist) as a ‘poignant and insightful tale of widowhood and other challenges of later life which really resonated with my clinical experience.’
Christine Webber has great insight into the human condition and her words always very much ring true for many of her readers across all age profiles, so I do hope you enjoy the piece she has kindly written for us all today.
[ About the Book ]
So Many Ways of Loving is set in 2019 before the world was shocked to the core by the pandemic. And it is another story by Webber featuring people in their mid to later years.
‘This is such an astonishing part of our lives,’ says Christine. ‘And packed with unforeseen changes.’
But unlike the storylines of Who’d Have Thought It? and It’s Who We Are some of the changes in this tale are bleak and heartbreaking. However, life is full of light just when we think there is only darkness and there are many unexpected developments concerning love, location, friendship, family and, as you might guess from the cover, a dog.
Ultimately, So Many Ways of Loving is a story of hope, celebrating our zest for life. It features three main female characters in their 50s and 60s. They are all, in their own way, facing crises, and the unlikely friendship that evolves between them is sustaining for them all. Acting as a kind of link between these friends is a fourth female character who is a great support to them. Readers may spot that she has been borrowed – though is now very much older than she was – from one of the author’s other novels.
[ Guest Post by Christine Webber ]
“It’s a great pleasure to contribute a guest post to the wonderful blogging site that is Swirl and Thread. Mairead has been a huge support to me since I turned to writing fiction after 30 years of penning self-help books for Hodder, Piatkus and Bloomsbury. The strange thing is that we have never yet met, but I feel we know each other so well. We even support the same Irish rugby team.
Anyway, I’m here to talk about my new novel So Many Ways of Loving which is out on Thursday June 17th. This has taken ages to write. Of course, we’ve lived through a pandemic and lots of us had our creativity somewhat stifled by that. But as many people are aware, I lost my wonderful husband in 2018, and as anyone who has been in that situation knows, though you might keep busy, some aspects of your life very definitely go on the back burner.
This is my third novel about mid to later life people. I began writing them because I felt there was so much to say about this bit of our lives. And also because I personally longed to read more material featuring individuals of my own age. And when I say featuring, I mean making those characters centre stage rather than dressing them in broad fitting shoes and elasticated waists and plonking them in a rocking chair as a bit-part player in the narrative.
I had come to believe that the overwhelming sense we experience as we get older is just how hectic and dramatic and changeable our lives become. This comes as a shock to most of us because we’ve usually entertained ideas of feeling solvent, settled and sedate in later life. Frankly, few of manage that! In fact, sometimes the amount of challenges we’re facing takes our breath away. However, there can be marvellous and terrific changes; it’s certainly not all gloom and doom.
Having said that, So Many Ways of Loving is a darker book than my previous titles. And probably no one will be surprised that one of my main characters is a widow. There is also quite a lot of focus on health, but then I have been working as a medical journalist for some thirty-five years. Nowadays this is really only part time, but I do write a positive ageing column for a regional newspaper group, and I also make video podcasts on how to live as well as possible for as long as possible. I am passionate about people doing all they can to improve their chances of having a vibrant, active and healthy older age.
Two out of the three of my main characters are pretty good about keeping in shape. The third is not. In fact, she’s a walking disaster. But as we all know, there are always going to be some individuals who ignore health messages and continue to live as they always have – and who are quite fatalistic about the possibility that this may not end well. I know so many people like this in real life and I always feel sad for them. It feels such a waste.
So, the novel does explore the downside of getting older, but on the other hand it highlights how we can make wonderful friends at any stage of life and enjoy these sustaining and entertaining and supportive relationships. Another theme in the book concerns all the different sorts of families we live in nowadays, and I have focused on how touching it can be to feel truly loved by a step-relative, and how unexpectedly delightful this can be. I have been so lucky to have step children and step grandchildren myself, and my positive experience has definitely seeped into the novel.
And then there are pets, who can provide so much happiness when we least expect it. You will have noticed that there is the most gorgeous miniature schnauzer on the cover – who, in real life, belongs to two of my closest friends. He is a major character in the novel, but I won’t tell you more because I don’t want to give too much away. All I will say is that, just as my characters discover, there are genuinely so many ways of loving.”
Pre-order Purchase Link ~ So Many Ways of Loving
[ Bio ]
Christine Webber tried various careers in her younger days – she was a classical singer, a Principal Boy in pantomimes, an undistinguished actress as well as a piano and singing teacher. Fortunately, for her, when she was thirty, she managed to get a job in television as a continuity announcer, and shortly thereafter she became a news presenter at Anglia TV. Finally, she had found an occupation she liked that other people thought she was good at. This was a massive relief.
In her early forties, she married the love of her life, Dr David Delvin. Soon afterwards, she decided to leave news presenting in order to train as a psychotherapist, and she also became a problem page columnist for various publications including TV Times, Best, BBC Parenting, The Scotsman and Woman. In addition, she regularly broadcast relationship advice on Trisha, The Good Sex Guide …Late and from the BBC’s Breakfast sofa.
In her fifties, she and her husband set up a practice in Harley Street, and they worked together there and collaborated on several books. They also wrote the sex/relationships content on www.netdoctor.co.uk and penned a joint column for the health section of The Spectator.
Over the decades, Christine was commissioned to write ten self-help books including Get the Happiness Habit, How to Mend a Broken Heart and Too Young to Get Old.
Now, in her seventies, her focus is on the issues of mid and later life. As well as writing novels, she makes video podcasts on positive ageing and writes a column for various regional papers on that theme. She is also a life coach specialising in health and ageing.
Website – www.christinewebber.com.
Twitter – @1chriswebber