The kiss ignited something, blew it into being, and afterwards, all Skye could think about was Ben.
One day a woman meets a man and falls instantly and irrevocably in love with him. It hits her like a thunderbolt, and she has to have him, has to be with him, regardless of the cost, of the pain of breaking up her existing relationship. She has never felt more in synch-or in love-with anyone in her whole life. So this is how it feels, she thinks to herself, this is what real love feels like.
It's like that for him too; he wants her in a way he's never wanted anything or anyone before: obsessively, passionately, all-consumingly.
She has found her one true love, her soulmate, and he has found his. What happens next will tear them apart and unleash havoc onto their worlds.
This brave, brilliant, electrifying novel from the acclaimed author of After the Fall and Last Summer, will move you deeply and shock you to your core. Love, lust and longing have rarely wielded such power, nor family secrets triggered such devastation.
Kylie Ladd is a novelist and freelance writer. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Age, Griffith Review and O magazine, among others, and she is a regular contributor to the popular MamaMia website. Kylie's first novel, After the Fall, was published in Australia, the US and Turkey. Her previous books are Naked: Confessions of Adultery and Infidelity and Living with Alzheimer's and Other Dementias. She holds a PhD in neuropsychology and lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Her latest novel Last Summer was Highly Commended in the FAW Books of the Year selection and was the receiver of much critical praise.
Into My Arms
Allen and Unwin
Author: Kylie Ladd
Note: Interview does contain spoilers.
Question: What inspired the idea behind Into My Arms?
Kylie Ladd: The idea came from an article that I read in the Guardian newspaper many years ago which was about a recently recognised phenomenon that had been documented in a medical journal called genetic sexual attraction where people who were strongly closely related to each other (siblings or parent and child) but had not grown up together or lived together, but met as adults, felt this overwhelming sexual desire as well as love for each other. I am a psychologist and work three days a week as a psychologist and enjoy writing about relationships and the whole idea was exciting however I didn't write about it for another four or five years because I believed it was too out there to write about. The idea had stayed in the back of my mind and eventually I thought it was time to write about it.
Question: What was the best thing about creating a character like Skye?
Kylie Ladd: I couldn't tell you the best thing but the most difficult thing was trying to make the characters sympathetic. They are sympathetic characters but I had to make the situation sympathetic or at least not repulsive to the reader. It was hard to make them such real people that readers would identify with them and not be so horrified when they found out that there was an incestual relationship, not that the characters knew that. The most challenging thing was making the reader like the characters and understand where they were coming from.
Question: Is your writing or any of your characters inspired by your real life?
Kylie Ladd: Every character I write, something or somebody I know ends up in them but that said Skye and Ben are probably least that way than some of the characters in my book Last Summer. I'm not ashamed of these characters but I didn't want anyone to get their nose out of joint and think I was associating them with the topic. The characters are younger than the characters I usually write about and that was partly because of how long IVF and donor embryos has been going and I had to be careful to make it technically correct and as a result they are in their early 20's.
So, no, there were no direct inspiration for the character of Skye or Ben.
Question: What audience did you write this book for?
Kylie Ladd: The same audience who had read my two previous novels and a fairly general audience, probably a women audience although I don't like the term -women's fiction' because I don't like women being pigeonholed but I do think unfortunately or fortunately that women are more interested in issues of this nature surrounding family, love and what it means to be related or belong to someone and how relationships are managed however I know that's a sweeping generalisation. There are no aircraft carriers being blown up in the book (laughing) so I do feel it's probably more for women.
Question: Are you currently working on another title?
Kylie Ladd: Yes, quite definitely, infact I'm almost finished. Again, not wanting to pigeonhole myself as a women's writer it is provisionally titled Mothers and Daughters and it's about four mothers and their four teenage daughters on a girl's trip away, together. It's about the tricky relationship between mothers and daughters particularly teenager daughters.
I have a daughter who is 11 years old and I've realised that by the time the book comes out she will probably be 14 years old and everyone will think she is one of the daughters however I've been writing this book since she was 9 years old as books take a while to produce. It wasn't inspired by her as much but it was inspired by a girl's trip that I went on. I am very interested in relationships which is a big term but I've covered lovers in my first book After the Fall and friendship in my second book Last Summer and there is family in this book and my next book is another extent of family. I am very close to my daughter and I do have friends with older daughters and I'm watching them negotiate that relationship which I'm very interested in.
Question: How does it feel to be compared to writers such as Jodi Picoult and Caroline Overington?
Kylie Ladd: That is fantastic in terms of it would be lovely if I got some sales like Jodi Picoult but I guess the Jodi Picoult comparison has come about particularly with this book because hopefully it's character driven but it is also a bit of an issue book and Jodi Picoult does look at issues including Autism, school shootings and what have you and draws her stories around those. This book came about because I was so interested in the issue of genetic sexual attraction that I came to write the story around it so I can see why that comparison has been made.
Interview by Brooke Hunter