Leona Storey (yes, that is her real name, thank you very much!) grew up within a small village in the heart of England. She wrote her first story when she was just seven years old and very kindly asked if her dad could publish it for her. For obvious reasons, this didn’t happen, but she never lost her zest for reading and writing. Graduating with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Roehampton in 2018, she went on to do an MA in the same discipline at the University of Manchester.
She published her first novel, Pride, with an independent press within the U.K. in 2020. She hopes to secure an agent and traditionally publish with her next novel, Maple.
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When 23-year-old Missy Miller gets attacked, she luckily escapes from her assailant only to find out that no-one noticed she’d been missing for two days. In an attempt to get her alcoholic mother’s attention and care, she decides to make herself a missing person. But when she finds out why her father killed himself when she was just ten years old, can she ever look at her mother the same way again?
A dual-narrative novel, Maple looks at family, relationships and the lengths people go to get what they want.
The first sound Missy Miller could remember was the gunshot.
You’d think that a ten-year-old would remember other sounds before this: a mother’s laugh, or perhaps a mother’s scolding. A school-bell ringing, a child in the playground taunting them. But for Missy, the tangled mess of memories that happened before her father’s suicide on a hot July day in sleepy, suburban Illinois were just that: a tangled mess.
Childhood for Missy was never easy, but her father had been the happiest part of her life. Despite his frequent absence when working back-to-back shifts at the bar-restaurant in the heart of their small town, he always seemed to be there. She often joined him in the same garage he would later take his life in, swaying from one bare foot to the other as she watched him slide back and forth under various cars.
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