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Book: Calling All Services by Tara Ford

Book: Calling All Services by Tara Ford

categories: Book, Chick-Lit, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Humour, Families, Infidelity, Love, Relationships, Women's Fiction

Tara Ford

Author Tara Fordabout this book: Calling All Services is a book about a married mother of 4 children, Alex Frey, whose world is turned upside-down when she is quite suddenly, hospitalised with a mysterious illness. The unusual symptoms of her condition leave the doctors puzzled over a diagnosis and her husband begins to fall apart as he struggles to cope with life, his family and anything else that happens.

From her hospital bed, Alex is powerless to put things right at home or indeed sort out any of the family issues that have always arose but always been dealt with by herself.

• 5* review: 'Can the Frey household survive the hospital incarceration of the head of the house? The answer is not quite what you would expect!'

The inspiration behind this book came from my own experience of a rather unusual illness and some time spent in the hospital, a couple of years ago. During my stay, things did seem to go slightly wrong at home and I spent most of the time wishing I was back there to sort things out. I had always been the wife, mother, agony aunt, cook, cleaner, mediator, general organiser of everyone else's lives and the solver of short-lived problems. 5* review. 'As in most families, the mother is the head of the family and believes that her brood cannot survive for more than a few hours without her there, is she right? You will have to read the book to find that out.'

I've always had a vivid imagination and my dark sense of humour turned my hospital visit in to a period of reflection, creativity and inspiration. I was beginning to write the book in my head, while I lay helplessly in the hospital bed.

The urge to write had been a lifelong ambition but I had never had the time or a good enough idea of what to write about. The experience of my illness had somehow triggered the dream of writing a novel to reignite, having lain dormant for 3 decades since my school days.

As soon as I arrived home from the hospital, I began a private mission. I spent the next 3 months writing about my own experiences and my other ideas as I recovered at home, having been signed off sick from my full-time job.

Calling All Services is very loosely based around my own experiences in the hospital and one or two of the incidents, that required one of the emergency services, are again, very loosely based around things that happened while I was there. The rest of it was created from my sometimes warped, sense of humour.

I felt that the title for the book was obvious, once I started writing it. I played around with a couple of ideas but always went back to the first one, 'Calling All Services'. As for the cover design, well I always had a rough image of what I wanted it to look like and when my cover designer came up with the initial drawing, I was amazed to see that it was very much like the image I had in my head. I didn't want the cover to look too serious and I also liked the idea of a drawing, almost cartoon-like, to portray the content of the book in a light and seemingly humorous way.

I have now come to realise that writing the book was not really the hard part at all. Luckily, I had plenty of ideas to 'pad-out' my story and hopefully turn it in to an entertaining, light-hearted and easy read. The most difficult bit is the marketing and the never-ending search for exposure amongst the millions of good books, blogs and review websites.

The one thing that I have learned from my whole experience is that I want to continue writing for ever. I want to spend night after night, tirelessly marketing my own and some other authors material and I want to continue having manic weekends where I try to catch up with the housework (as I'm back at work, full-time now), watch the hours tick away as I frantically write and spare fleeting and rare moments with my family.

I believe that I have truly discovered myself after almost half a century and can now live the rest of my days feeling as though I have achieved my original ambition and continue to aspire to new ones. I have recently completed my second novel, 'Calling All Dentists', which is a sequel to the first book. There will now be 4 books in the 'Calling All... series and after just a short break, I will be starting the third book in a couple of weeks, 'Calling All Customers'.

A message to my readers.

I consider my books to be 'easy reads' and ideal material for the holiday periods when the reader might like something light and entertaining. Full of humour, 'Calling All Services' will have the reader laughing, crying and cringing as they follow the stories of the three-dimensional characters through a combination of problems, bad luck and plain foolish actions.

• 5* review: 'The characters really come to life in this funny and sometimes emotional story. It's a great read for the holidays and you won't want to put it down.'

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