Seven Days with You Updates

Seven Days with You Finds a Home

When I started writing fiction three years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I would be published so soon, let alone for a book spawned from a dream.

After all, anyone who’s ever written a book knows how the journey unfolds. You find the courage to pursue a plot that you may or may not think is plausible and with an ounce of self-belief, a perpetual loneliness in a dimly-lit room commences in the hope that one day you’ll have something tangible to show for it before arriviste agents and no-nonsense publishing houses tell you you’re not good enough.

To my astonishment, however, and following many soul-crushing rejections, I have a soon-to-be-published novel in my locker.

In fact, I’ve written three books in the last three years which makes me sound like a pompous douche when in reality I’ve never really excelled at much academically.

Sure, I was good at English (as most writers will tell you) but I was never the best, and if you had said to me aged 18, with little-to-no-confidence and zits slowly forming around my porcelain face that I wouldn’t only complete three books but also get one published, I would have laughed and said that that was just as likely as Jessica Alba taking my hand in marriage.

Anyway, I have a publisher who believes in the book just as much as I do and I’m glad someone does as it’s a story embedded with universal themes. Yes, it’s a coming-of-age love story (heard that one before, haven’t you?) but it’s also about the sacrifice and conflict that arises from first-time love, and it was always stories like those that I related to most growing up. In my mind, books, particularly one’s with personal resonances, can help in times of difficulty, and I hope this book can do that to you in some small way.

But this blog won’t only be Seven Days with You-related. I’ll ramble about awkward Tinder dates, profile books that have inspired my writing, explain why John Green and The Weeknd are awesome, and of course, in the build-up to the novel’s release, post Seven Days with You extracts.

Most importantly, when you read this blog I want you to feel inspired as well as entertained, and if you feel the need to get in touch for whatever reason, then go to my contact page and hit me up. Not in the literal sense, though. That would be rather unfortunate.

H x

Thoughts

Why Are Young People So Disillusioned With 21st Century Politics?

When Nick Clegg infamously retracted his promise to scrap tuition fees, it dented the moral fabric of the whole of Westminster, not just his party and, in due course, alienated young people.

There are distinct differences in the types of political disillusionment among youth voters. These are divided between deciding not to vote through an educated response to a political topic, such as the expenses scandal, with the other side deciding not to vote due to having no political opinion or, more disconcertingly, simply not caring. That said, with only 43% of the 18-24 age group registering their vote in the 2015 election (the lowest from all age groups), young people’s engagement with politics is disturbingly low.

Whilst one must not dwell on statistics alone, they are certainly a good indication of illustrating just how low youth participation in politics is becoming. To some extent, I see the rise of cheap popular culture, for instance, reality television and the expansion of Sky, playing a role in lowering the engagement levels of the youth. This modern day celebrity-obsessed culture has targeted the youth market to such an extent that many young voters are so passively consumed by their products that they hold opinions on television shows, such as 90210, without having any views on political events, e.g. Syria, which can create a coma of ignorance. In response to this argument, many would say ignorance is bliss, and to an extent, I agree.  However, we live in a time where such an attitude towards political issues will only create an increasingly stagnant political system.

Although I have been critical of certain youth voters in my age group, I do however sympathise with them. The raising of tuition fees was a huge slap in the face for the youth vote. In addition, those who choose not to engage in political affairs have arguably been disillusioned by being bought up in an era of New Labour that promised so much but instead proved to be a mere extension of Thatcher’s free market policies. Since the 1980s, the income inequality gap has only widened further whilst the austerity measures introduced by the coalition government are only worsening future job prospects for the youth of today. Unemployed youths across the country may see little value in investing their time voting for a political party that, in turn, has invested so little in their communities over the years. It is no wonder that many potential youth voters have lost interest in a system which only mentions them concerning their retirement age or increasing tuition fees.

A counter argument could also be made against political apathy among young voters if one points to the demonstrations that occurred in response to the raising of tuition fees, as well as the Occupy movement, both of which attracted young protesters from across the country. These are, however, in my somewhat cynical opinion, isolated instances which have proven to be exceptions to the norm in recent years.

In reality, politics often lacks the appeal needed to access a wider youth audience. Perhaps Russell Brand injected some much-needed charisma and opposing thought back into the political arena, but that was merely a superb critique of a flawed system rather than a solution to existing problems. Increasing political appeal in the future does not need to be drastic, but would benefit from greater transparency and openness within our political system; a place where the youth actually feel like their voice is being heard. A leader who practices what they preach is essentially all that the youth desire, rather than the infamous façade Cameron adopted during his cringe-worthy ‘hug a hoody’ phase.

Ultimately, my generation just wants new energy injected into our regressive political system. As the famous American political commentator Paul Begala said: “Politics is show business for ugly people”. He was spot on: the ugliness of 21st century British politics is why our youth are rejecting politics.