Writers Inspiring Change feature book review: The Diary of Harri Foxx
The Diary of Harri Foxx by author Sue Lloyd is a haunting tale, one that strikes a cord deep inside any human being who could become a victim to this dark and ominous beast. It is a tragically sad, and yet, ironically humorous story in some ways, told in the first person by its main character, a middle-aged woman by the name of Harri Foxx who is battling depression after two life-changing events. As one reads, one is drawn forward with an unrelenting desire to find out what happens to Harri and what it is that has shattered her life so badly as to leave her in the
maws of deep depression. One cannot help but ask, "Could this ever happen to me?" The dark nature of the story is filled with touches of witticism, enough to salt it with levity. The author elevates the somberness of its theme with prose that graces it to something higher, suggesting that death is not so much about an end, but a new beginning. Such lines as, "My principles from the past often leak forward into my new self in a vain attempt to vanquish the flame of fear that imprinted on my soul." Or, "As the days go on, the visions of the past become faded versions of the original. They're now an old black and white photograph." The story also shows the depth of humanity and empathy of those around Harri who faithfully and tirelessly work to help her battle the storm. The Diary of Harri Foxx is a worthy and touching read.
Review by International Writers Inspiring Change
About Sue Lloyd
I’m Sue Lloyd, mother of four and partner to one. I’m a little bit crazy in a fun way. I’m also a sensitive and creative soul on a mission. I hail from the mighty Manchester, UK, but now reside in Germany with my partner, Grahame and nine-year-old daughter, Mia. You could say I’ve accrued an impressive CV over the years. I’d respond by noting that I’ve had more jobs than you could shake a stick at. I’ve been an auxiliary nurse, shop assistant, cleaner, customer service advisor and recruitment consultant to name a few. My most recent role being a Key Account Executive for a law firm. At present, I’m writing full time – “What a luxury,” I hear you say! Indeed it is, and I’m relishing the opportunity of emptying my head of all it’s fictional residents. There’s never a quiet moment as a writer and those creative wheels never do stop turning. My partner recently gave me a stern, ‘Sue, you know these are characters and not real people?’ lecture. How rude, I say! Tell them that!
What prompted you to become a writer? Was there some experience that drove you in that direction, some inspiration or someone?
What a great question! I have to say that all three have been influential in steering me to write. It is at this point that I have to admit to being a school drop-out. I’m not proud of that fact, but it is part of my story. My father, an advocate for education and a reader, graced me with a love of books at a young age. I soon discovered that I could escape within the pages and be somewhere else; be someone else, even if only for a little while. My life, like many others, has been threaded with difficulties. My personal experiences and trials were stored away, churned, regurgitated and have since found their way indirectly into my writing. Books undoubtedly enrich lives, and they have been a big part of mine. I returned to education in my thirties and at the same time started writing a book. I never envisaged finishing it, and it was purely an exercise of pleasure writing. What little was stored on that old floppy disc never actually left me and I often thought about picking up where I left off. In reality, I struggled to find the time to keep my eyelids open at the end of my usual busy day. In the summer of 2015, I relocated from the UK to Germany and began to write. I didn’t stop and recently completed my third novel, The Diary Of Harri Foxx. Some achievement for a school drop-out!
What do readers like about your writing?
Readers have commented on my ability to paint a picture of everyday life in all its glory and with all its challenges. My first book, Delsey Prodigal, was described by one reader as ‘A Modern Day Parable.’ I loved that description, and it suited the harrowing storyline perfectly. Life is tough, so I always add an oversized dollop of humour when writing. My readers appear to appreciate a laugh in between the ever present reality check. I create original characters because I’m fascinated by people. We are amazing, complex creatures with the ability to use our talent for good, bad or indifferent. We only get one shot at life. I aim to make mine count.
Is there a message weaved into your writing?
Of course, there is! I always set out with a mission to challenge myself when I’m writing. What would I think? What would I do? How would I react? You get the idea. As a reader, I always look for a quote, a journey or some inspiration to take away from a book. In essence, I want to learn something new and feel something within the pages of a novel. My aim is to impart the same in my novels. I am in awe of writers who have the ability to stop me in my tracks and arrest my time. If a book grabs me, I will devour it until the infamous words – THE END.
What is it that you want to inspire in others or change in the world through your writing?
If I could inspire readers to be sensitive to the needs of others, I will have achieved something worthwhile.
Tell us about your most recent book and why you wrote it?
The Diary Of Harri Foxx is my most personal book to date. It was also emotionally difficult to write. I won’t spoil the storyline by divulging too much content, but I will touch on my reason for putting this one out there. I have watched people all my life. Some people have moved me without even knowing they exist in my world. These ‘gems’ have also inspired me to see the good in humanity in a world that appears to be at war with itself. I lost my best friend in tragic circumstances to depression. It’s a subject close to my heart, having also fought the beast. I read The Widow by Fiona Barton in January 2015, and I got excited with the idea of writing a novel in the first person. For the first time, I became a medium for my main character, Harri Foxx, as I let her spill her story out over a 28 day period. A snapshot in time. It’s not an easy read, and some readers have suggested that the novel should get sponsored my Kleenex! What you get in this novel is the raw truth behind the darkness that is depression. I set the story in my hometown of Manchester. It’s a place I am familiar with and one that houses some of the funniest characters I have been privileged to meet. There are ‘rough diamonds’ everywhere who some would overlook despite their fierce loyalty to those they love. The cul-de-sac where Harri lives is one such place. She is supported and loved by those around her but is also trapped; a prisoner in her home due to an ‘unspeakable event.’ You may have never battled the beast. Maybe you just want a window into someone else’s world. The Diary Of Harri Foxx will give you that, and more. Thank you.