"She was like the iris of an eye; she crushed you or stretched you, depending on the day, and altered the way you saw things and the way the world was lit." ~~~ Iris could not be any more different to the other students of Gwenafwy School, or any more enticing. The whole school is entranced by her, none more so than Gareth. He longs to know her better but, as she drags him deeper into her conflicted and fragmented world, he realises that maybe he never knew Iris at all...


16. Author's Note

Thank you so much to anyone who has read this (aka, very few people) I just wanted to explain where some of my inspiration came from.
The idea for the story was born in July when I happened to be watching the news and they were commenting on a child-abuse/murder case that had happened a year or so before. I’d heard of the event at the time and then promptly forgotten about it along with the rest of the public. Although I’d found out some of the details when it had happened, I was surprised by one of the details the reporters gave. They commented briefly that “the siblings had been taken into care” and I had not been aware that there were any siblings involved which made me begin to wonder how horrific it would be to have watched and experience that level of abuse. Iris is not based on any real person; she is merely the result of my exploration into the destruction caused by this type of violence.
The other characters are all loosely inspired by real people that I know although they are mostly just moments and concepts that I have threaded together with parts of myself. The only character who is fully based on someone else is Jac. A lot of the dialogue was stolen from conversations with this person (including the Duplex/Durex confusion and his decision that he would be the “most fucking corrupt Pope ever”) in order to try to make it as realistic as possible. I realise that this has led to quite a large portion of swearing but I honestly did dilute the profanities as much as I felt I could without losing touch with how my characters would actually speak.
I’m afraid I know nothing about the technicalities behind any of this story. I did no research into the care system or the justice system or anything but, as my story is more of a character exploration than a factual account, I decided that this was not particularly relevant. That said, I went out of my way to set the story realistically. I’ve never been to the part of Wales that I placed it in but I went to the lengths of researching Rhayader supermarkets and Powys bus services to try to make it believable. Gwenafwy School doesn’t exist but Gwenafwy was a saint from South Wales. Rhona is the Welsh version of Rowena, meaning white-haired, which is why I gave her daughter whitish-blonde hair. Iris means, among other things, Rainbow hence the idea of her being “an arcing spectrum” that is impossible to ever chase or grasp hold of. The name Gareth either belongs to “uncertain origin” or to one of the knights of the round table… I guess that is why I swing between belittling him and honouring him… I called Gareth’s dad Harry meaning house or home ruler which is essentially what he is but you probably noticed that Gareth only ever calls him “my dad” as opposed to “Mum” which I hoped would show the distance between them…
And I have been driving my spell check crazy with these Welsh names and place names!

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