Crossing the Line, (first published as Public Battles, Private Wars) Accent Press, 14th March 2019
Yorkshire, 1983. Miner’s wife Mandy Walker lives a quiet life. She’s hopeless at everything apart from looking after her boys and baking. Life is fine. But she knows it could be better. Her husband’s a drinker, and her best friend Ruth is busy with a teaching career. Mandy dreams of a different life – an impossible, unachievable life. Only Ruth’s husband Dan believes in her but, after serving during the Falklands war, he has problems of his own.
When the men come out on strike, Mandy joins a support group. She finds friends and strength in surprising places. And secrets and enemies where she least expected them.
Mandy must decide which side of the line to stand on.
‘Encapsulates the feeling and sense of the early 80s with flair and poise’ – JA Corrigan, Falling Suns
‘Hugely enjoyable, fascinating and emotional… I absolutely loved it’ – Bookaholic Holly
‘A novel with a big heart’ Pen and Paper
‘A story that looks at friendship, community, love, and jealousy’ Random Things Through My Letterbox
To buy a copy from Amazon click HERE.
Otherwise you can find it at all good bookshops.
For a Book Group Guide please click Book Club Questions.
Here are some articles about the book, my research, the strike and history of the times.
Feature in the Yorkshire Post.
We Love this Book piece: Five Favourite Fictional Redheads
Article in the F-word magazine: Remembering our foremothers.
Article in Knockback magazine: Women of the Miners’ Strike 30 years on.
Interview in Glow magazine: Diversity of Storytelling.
Article on author Bridget Whelan’s site: Research in Fiction.
Skin Deep, Accent Press, 15th June 2017
It’s what’s inside that counts…
Art student and former model Diana has always been admired for her beauty but what use are good looks when you want to shine for your talent? Insecure and desperate for inspiration, Diana needs a muse.
Facially disfigured four-year-old Cal lives a life largely hidden from the world. But he was born to be looked at and he needs love too. A chance encounter changes everything; Cal becomes Diana’s muse. But as Diana’s reputation develops and Cal grows up, their relationship implodes.
Both struggle to be accepted for what lies within.
Is it possible to find acceptance in a society where what’s on the outside counts for so much?
‘Skin Deep is a truly compelling, page-turning and evocative novel. The story hooked me, the questions it raised about beauty and art gripped me, and the characters will stay with me for a long, long time. Highly recommended!’ Kate Harrison, bestselling author of more than 16 titles
‘I loved this. Viewed through the eyes of troubled art-student Diana and neglected child Cal, Manchester’s Hulme in the 80’s is vividly painted and instantly recognisable. Laura Wilkinson’s novel asks important questions of us all; about the nature of photography as art, about the ideals of beauty that constrain and limit us, about exploitation, about class. This book will get under your skin.’ Jules Grant, author of We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire
‘An engrossing, poignant and wise story that reminds us how we all crave to be seen for who we truly are. I raced through it.’ Jo Bloom, author of Ridley Road.
Redemption Song, Accent Press, 28th January 2016
Saffron is studying for a promising career in medicine until a horrific accident changes her life for ever. Needing to escape London, she moves to the Welsh coast to live with her mother. Saffron hates the small town existence and feels trapped until she meets Joe, another outsider. Despite initial misgivings, they grow closer to each other as they realise they have a lot in common. Like Saffron, Joe has a complicated past…one that’s creeping up on his present. Can Joe escape his demons for long enough to live a normal life – and can Saffron reveal the truth about what really happened on that fateful night? Love is the one thing they need most, but will they – can they – risk it?
Redemption Song is a captivating, insightful look at what happens when everything goes wrong – and the process of putting the pieces back together again.
Buy it here.
The Family Line, Accent Press, 16th July 2016 (first published as BloodMining, Bridge House, Oct 2011)
Every family has secrets. But some are deadlier than others.
Megan is a former foreign correspondent whose life is thrown into turmoil when her son is diagnosed with a terminal illness: a degenerative disease passed down the mother’s line. In order to save him, Megan will have to unearth the truth about her origins and about a catastrophic event from the past. She must confront the strained relationship she has with her mother, make sense of the family history that has been hidden from her all her life, and embark on a journey of self-discovery that stretches halfway around the world.
Set in a much-changed Britain in the mid-twenty-first century, The Family Line is the debut novel from acclaimed writer Laura Wilkinson, now revised and proudly reissued by Accent Press.
‘Lean, lyrical, topical and emotionally gripping. This book is about the issues that we care about most – with a twist. Read it and pass on the word!’
Yvonne Roberts, award-winning journalist and author
You can read reviews on the Praise page, or check out interviews with Laura about the novel here:
Interview on Paragraph Planet, October 2012
Interview on Writers’ Hub. October 2012
Interview with Brighton Blogger. Jan 2012
Interview with Irish writer Alison Wells at Head above Water. Dec 2011
Interview in Beat Magazine by Julie-Ann Corrigan. Dec 2011
With historical novelist Faye L Booth at Scandal and Hysteria.
With writer Sarah Tanburn here.
Morgen Bailey’s Writing Tips Blog
Katy O’Dowd’s In Glorious Technicolour
Sally Clements Love and Chocolate
Susan Howe’s The Long and The Short of It