James Brady is a writer based in the North West. Raised in Skelmersdale, he later moved to Liverpool, gaining a B.A. (Hons) in History from Liverpool John Moores University. Always a storyteller, he eventually succumbed to his true passion, enrolling at the University of Manchester to study creative writing. Although he has a keen interest in the forms of poetry and screenwriting, James’s favoured form is prose fiction. Once a fantasy writer, he now prefers writing contemporary realistic fiction, focusing on stories which centre on the family and relationship issues that we all experience.
James’s novel-in-progress, Proud Titania, focuses on newly married couple, Dionisie and Iris Eremia, whose relationship becomes strained after Iris’s difficult and neurotic mother comes to live with them for a period of time. The extract provided is one of the earlier chapters, when Mary-Margaret arrives for her stay at the couple’s flat.
The wider narrative centres on the growing tension between Dionisie and his mother-in-law, and the downward spiral of the trio’s relationship during her stay.
The front door to the apartment flew open, thumping the wall of Iris’s hallway as she slipped in behind her mother. Dionisie barely caught a glimpse of Marguerite Wallis’s face as she marched towards him before a pair of thin arms wrapped themselves around his body.
‘It’s so lovely to properly meet you!’ Her wet lips pressed against his stubble, leaving a red smudge of lipstick, before she released her grip and turned back to Iris. ‘He’s a lot more handsome than he sounded over the phone.’
‘So, my voice is unattractive, is it?’ Dionisie teased. He had spent most of his life worrying about whether he had an unattractive face, never an unattractive voice.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll smooth out the creases in no time,’ Marguerite said, adjusting his collar maternally. Iris clearly hadn’t heard her mother, whose staring had become uncomfortably prolonged as her deep blue eyes moved slowly from Dionisie’s white collar up to his thin stubble, past his large nose and back to his brown eyes again, forming her painted lips back into a large smile.
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