Are you more of a psychopath or an empath?

Some people who’ve read my novel say that it’s heartbreaking. Others say that they’re annoyed that Dasha doesn’t stand up to Masha earlier.

That’s because some of us have a little bit more of Dasha inside and others have a touch of Masha. We are all along the spectrum but the most important thing to me is that the narrative touches the reader.

I’ve read some beautifully crafted books, which read like poetry. But if I don’t empathise with any of the characters then despite the gorgeous prose, it becomes a chore. My prose is not meant to beautiful (it’s written in Dasha’s understated, conversational voice) but it’s honest and I’m telling a good story which carries it along.

Books should both inform and touch you emotionally. But going back to the old personality spectrum, my eldest daughter read the story of Masha and Dasha (she does actually feature in the novel as a little girl but can’t remember them very well) and while she felt for Dasha she also understood Masha’s frustration at having a ‘shipwreck’ by her side all the time. My youngest daughter read it and was a ‘shipwreck’ herself from start to finish because she felt so much for Dasha.

So there you have it. The litmus test. Read the book and find out if you are more of a psychopath or more of an empath. No judgements here guys. One way or the other, we’re all a little bit insecure and a little bit vulnerable – those of us who are most lacking in self esteem, combined with that old chestnut childhood abuse, will find ourselves at one end of the scale or the other.

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