Author Helen Fisher, from near Stowmarket, launches second novel Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life at Waterstone’s at the arc in Bury St Edmunds
Author Helen Fisher was at rock bottom when she started writing her latest published novel.
In the acknowledgements to Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life, she says she had been ‘on the verge of giving up writing forever’ and it felt like her life was going wrong in every direction.
Helen, 51, who grew up in Bury St Edmunds, had secured a two-book deal with publishers Simon & Schuster, but after her debut, Space Hopper, the novels she wrote were felt to not be right as a follow up. That is until she wrote Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life, which came out on November 9.
The book is about the protagonist Joe Nuthin who, Helen says, is a character ‘all of his own’ but was built out of the people she loves.
Helen, who has two children and lives near Stowmarket, says the creation of Joe is partly to examine ‘the importance of what some might think of as a small and ordinary life’.
Joe is neurodivergent and while his mother helps to guide him every day, she’s also writing a book full of advice for him. Following her wisdom – and applying it in his own unique way – the next part of Joe’s life is more of a surprise than he expects.
In the acknowledgements, Helen says during those dark times, she took sanctuary in Joe.
“It sounds dramatic, but sometimes it felt like he was saving me,” she says.
Helen, who has a background in psychology and ergonomics and worked as a senior evaluator in research at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, describes how she got into writing as a ‘cliché’: “I had always wanted to write a book.”
Helen will be signing copies of her new book at Waterstone’s at the arc on December 2.