“I’m tellin’ me Ma….”

“I’m tellin’ me Ma….”

I was reminded recently, that “I’m tellin’  me Ma” used to be the second scariest phrase I could hear. “I’m tellin’ Da” nudged it by a whisker.  God, wasn’t life simpler then.  I remember chasing girls without knowing why, thinking that anyone who kissed a girl needed their head examined and that anyone over the age of fifteen was old.

We used expressions like “Gis a goozer(give us a kiss) and had no understanding in our mono-racial Ireland of the time, that terms like Golly-wog could be in any way offensive.  Lingerie didn’t exist in our world, knickers were knickers or keks for the boys and I once was humiliated into wearing my sisters ‘keks’ to school because my mother had nothing else dry.  “There’s no dryin’ out today.”

Indeed ‘Drying’ was a major problem in a country that needs a roof most of the time and in a time where central heating, radiators, hot presses or dryers didn’t exist. Drying happened on the line, or in winter in front of the fire where space was at a premium.

We played knick-knack, knocking on doors before bells, and then running away before we got caught. Bad boys ‘scutted’ on the back of lorries and paying your fare on a bus was best avoided at all times. The telly was never on except after six in the evening and we spent our days outdoors whether we wanted to or not.  Class size began at 40 and boys and girls went to very separate schools.   Most of my teachers wore a habit, policemen were all Culchies (from the country) and the priest was held in high regard.  Mass was obligatory and on Sunday was packed on the hour every hour from seven to one, with 2 more in the evening for good measure.

Mothers didn’t fart, fathers constantly did, men drank pints and women said they didn’t really drink, even when they did. Girls wore dresses and boys wore shorts and we all fancied someone (despite our distrust of the opposite sex) that we were never going to do anything about. Fancying came with nothing more than a notion and nothing less than distrust. Girls were hard work and sisters were trouble.  Big brothers ‘bate ya’ because they were bigger but protected you nonetheless and small ones got in the way.

We tied ropes to trees, poles, walls and anything else that would hold them if it meant we could make a swing of some sort. There were more kids playing football on the road than cars and chalk was used with abandon by the girls to play ‘beds’.  Everything was useful. Empty polish tins were filled with muck to play beds, discarded jars trapped bumble bees and everything from buckets, to mops and old bricks, became an imagined equestrian obstacle course for us, the majestic horses to overcome.

Kiss-chasing was something the girls seemed more interested in than the boys and spin the bottle was a lethal game of truth or dare.   We drank milk from a bottle and water from the tap. Spaghetti pasta and rice were as foreign to us as men from Mars.  We ate spuds and carrots because they were good for you and you never saw a blind rabbit did you?

Teachers hit you with sticks and leathers for no other reason than they could, and we were all ‘thick’ as far as they were concerned. We were children not to be pampered, encouraged or praised.  We had a place and we knew it, out of harm’s way for the most part, away in the local parks or fields, adventuring, climbing imagined mountains, shooting ‘Injuns’ scoring a winning goal in the final, or just running… running with the wind in our scaldy faces, praying for another few minutes of daylight, free and wild for a few moments a day.  We’d break a rule or two and not get caught, at least until you crossed your sister and a pound would get you a penny that then she’d say… “I’m tellin’ me Ma…”

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REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower

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Read free previews here;

Little Big Boy https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00WRP0J8E&preview

Darkly Wood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B004DL0PMU&preview

Larry Flynn https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00MZGSY3M&preview

Bad Blood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00Q39HGEK&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_8ZOMwb0RPBYZE

Little Big Boy

A Reader Recommends

Little Big Boy by Max Power

Little Big Boy tells the often harrowing tale of a small boy, struggling to cope in an environment of violence and fear, in 1970’s Dublin. All he wants is to be a big boy, but that comes with a price. At home, he faces an increasingly violent father and at school, he encounters new threats from other boys and more menacingly, from one Christian Brother in particular. In the midst of his turmoil, the one person that stands up for him and keeps him safe is his mother. But a series of seemingly unconnected events, conjure up a storm of epic proportions, with this little boy in its path.

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“The book is narrated throughout by an eight year old Irish boy growing up in Dublin in the 1970s. Through his eyes the reader shares his experiences of love and friendship but also brutality and…

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…tainted by a smile…

…tainted by a smile…

… A short writer’s perspective on finding my way to the heart of a story…

There is no way past fear only through it. Courage isn’t available without being afraid. For me, choice is probably the key to surviving the worst of times and choice has been my way of finding the best of times. The choices we make, dictate how or if we discover the courage many never find. Circumstance however, often directs the choices we make, or indeed circumstance may help us avoid making a choice when different options are available.

Many things help decide the choices we make and often, the choice to do nothing cripples us. When things are going good, when we don’t have to worry about poverty, hunger or fear, it can be easy to make a decision. Being in the worst possible position on the other hand can make a person feel powerless to make choices.   Others living in relative comfort, can fail to comprehend the stifling, smothering that can swallow you whole, when you fear making the wrong choice, which may have devastating consequences.

The greatest gift I ever gave my self, was choosing not to be afraid. It sounds easy when strung together in a sentence, but making that choice, freed me and changed my life. Fear is what holds us back more than almost anything else. Fear of embarrassment, fear of loneliness, fear that comes from direct physical danger, I am a writer who constantly turns to fear for effect.

When I wrote Little Big Boy I knew what I wanted to achieve, but I have been surprised by some of the reaction to the book.  It was quite an emotional painful journey for me.  I took my little boy of the title and placed him in a perilous world.  I gave him a special gift, the gift of courage that he acquired through the love of his mother.  At times I have him paralysed with fear in quite traumatic circumstances, but ultimately I force him to make a choice and it is an almost impossible choice, for someone so small and seemingly helpless.

I have had many personal enquiries and messages about this book, many more than for my other books. People asking questions, people often suffering, some touched deeply by the connection the book has made to them.  I wanted the reality of what happens inside a child’s head connect to the reader.  Some people anthropomorphise their pets, giving them human emotions in an effort to understand and connect with them.  We do something similar with children.  We imagine how we might react as adults when considering a child’s eye view of the world and it is so far from the truth. We often fail to understand the most vulnerable among us, because we choose to see things from only our own limited perspective.

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To help get to the child’s eye perspective, I chose a very particular technique as I wrote the book. When things happened that the little boy didn’t understand, I intentionally didn’t explain them.  I left the interpretation to the reader.  It is written in the first person, so at every juncture my Little Big Boy has to make sense of the sometimes cruel world of adults.  He witnesses and suffers abuse at home and outside the home.  People he loves, those he looks up to and often fears, dish it out or are on the receiving end of it.  Little Big Boy is all about how one little boy interprets and deals with such alien concepts.  Centred as he is by the love of his mother, a vital pivot for this story, the contrast is stark both for him and the reader.

Importantly I gave him a happy start and he springs into life for the reader as a much loved, happy little chap. I say importantly because the contrast between his initial safe secure, loved world and what follows, becomes the key to letting the reader in, on this very small innocent’s understanding of the world.  Even when he gets it totally wrong, as an adult, the reader knows the truth and it makes his choice to be or not be afraid, all the more significant.

Little Big Boy was my greatest writing challenge. It took the most out of me but it was genuinely a labour of love.

I tend to fall a bit in love with one character or other in my books. I still adore the often disliked Larry Flynn from my book with his name as the title, and Darkly Wood is sprinkled with many I adore.  Even Bad Blood has a villain I can’t resist, but for me Little Big Boy is truly special.

One fellow writer asked me how I managed to make him cry when he read Little Big Boy. He sent me a lengthy mail and said he never cried reading books, but he did reading my book.  His tears were tainted by a smile, that’s how he put it and I thought it quite lyrical.  My answer isn’t advice for other writers, I daren’t be so pompous, but it was true so I’ll share it.  I told him simply that I am an emotional writer and when I write I am very much part of the story.

I opened this blog by saying I gifted myself the choice not to be afraid in life and that is true. But when I write, I re-expose myself to fear and worse.  When  my Little Big Boy peeps out from under the sofa, I was him, peeping with him.  I knew where my book was going before I wrote it but in that moment beneath the sofa for example, I had no idea what I was about to see.   Sometimes it seems, fear can be useful….

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Read free previews here;

Little Big Boy https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00WRP0J8E&preview

Darkly Wood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B004DL0PMU&preview

Larry Flynn https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00MZGSY3M&preview

Bad Blood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00Q39HGEK&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_8ZOMwb0RPBYZE

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REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com

fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

twitter @maxpowerbooks1