My novel, The Inside-Out House is published in September 2014 by Indigo Dreams. Set in 1994, the main character is a fourteen-year-old girl, Sam Green, who moves from the lively seaside town of Seamead to the suburb of Rowham with her father. However, he can’t give her a clear explanation about why she isn’t allowed to visit the local park. Sam’s decisions and relationships eventually lead her towards the park and to its artwork, a tribute to Rachel Whiteread’s 1990s art installation ‘House’.
While I was studying for an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development at Sussex University, we looked at how long-buried memories might come to light through using metaphor and structure creatively. I am a fan of novels about houses that contain a secret or mystery. When I was deciding how to develop my own novel, I remembered how, for many months, my bus journey to work would take me past Rachel Whiteread’s ‘House’ art installation: this experience provided me with a way to write about memory, as well as about how young people access public space.
“With ‘The Inside-Out House’ Joanna has written a humane story that elegantly fuses together poetry, family secrets and magic in the urban landscape.”