A children’s favourite seaside puppet show portraying domestic abuse was basis for this new novel by Carol M Mottershead. Here is what Erin Pizzey, founder of the UK’s first ever women’s refuge in Chiswick and avid social reformer on domestic abuse, said about it:
‘Wow your book is a tour de force the research that you must have done to cover such a huge amount of years is amazing I loved the book you are a natural born storyteller. I hope to read your next book soon; lots of love and congratulations.’ Author Erin Pizzey’
JOAN – Put On A Happy Face’ has recently been rated #1 BEST SELLER in both Historical Biographical Fiction and Medieval Thought. It’s a real page turner! So what’s the story about?
Joan had been silenced by her status, her religion, by society for hundreds of years. Her puppets, her only friends, told her real story, but even now people want to silence her –it was time she spoke out, they’re not just blocks of wood! It all started so long ago…
Joan’s son missed his Father putting him to bed at night so Joan decided to turn Father into a puppet; so he would always be with them at bed time. She could tell her son stories about him, create adventures that the whole family could take part in, eventually adding their friends and her son loved them – it became a special time for Mother and Son.
As time went on, she began to share her shows with the other children and her shows became so popular that other puppeteers began telling similar stories, all with the same basic characters, but all different in their own ways and at first Joan was pleased that her stories were entertaining so many children, for Joan loved children, but she and her husband had been blessed with only the one… Nicholas – who she adored!
What people needed to know was that Joan and her family were/are immortal. Their lives had not been entirely easy, but over the hundreds of years they have experienced it all… laughter, love, happiness, jealousy… even murder; no one has known their real story until now. Joan decided it was time to reveal the story behind her puppet show, the show we all came to know as ‘Punch & Judy’.
PRAISE FOR CAROL FROM MANY OTHER AUTHORS
‘Ello Carol, I managed to get the paperback version from Amazon and had time to read over the holidays. Well done! An excellent read. I loved your characters and really enjoyed following them on their journey. I’m looking forward to the next book. I really enjoyed the chapters that you recorded too. I think I will ask Amanda to record my book when it’s finished. Best wishes Mark Hadlett (Author)’
‘Hi Carol, Finished your book this morning and I LOVED it – as all my family on my mum’s side are Italian I loved it even more! When they went to the seaside resort in Italy I had in my mind that it was in my hometown Viareggio which is on that side of Italy and is the most wonderful place in the world – every year they have a Carnival (which is the biggest one in Europe) and is full of amazing floats and I think Joan and co would love performing in it. Thanks, Chantal Taylor’
‘I’ve really enjoyed this book. An interesting mix of plot points that cover everything from historical fiction and fantasy, to an in depth study of marital abuse and the strength of character to rise above it. I hope the author continues this story as I really like the ending too. David Littlefair’
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A children's favourite seaside show portraying domestic abuse was the basis for my novel after watching an interview with a Punch and Judy Professor Brian Llewellyn on Good Morning Britain a TV show in the UK. Professor Brian, one of UK's #1 Punch and Judy entertainers, was heard to describe his puppets a 'just blocks of wood!' which for some reason ignited something in my brain. I asked myself 'who performed the very first puppet show we now call Punch and Judy? Could they have been real people?
Judy, otherwise known to many as Joan, or should I say Dame Joan to be precise seemed to come to life. She had been silenced for hundreds of years, first by her status as a noble person, one has an image to maintain; then by marriage, one does not speak out against her husband; her religion, the law and rules of society, but NO MORE!
These interviewers wanted Professor Brian to change the story, remove the violence, brush it under the carpet you could say. They accused her show puppet shows of promulgating domestic violence when in fact they were quite the opposite – she always asked the audience, children and adults alike, to 'speak out against violence. Should Judy if you see Mr Punch doing anything wrong' she would say, and so do her professors.
She would not be silenced! This time she wanted everyone to know her real story! She had been silenced long enough!
As Joan revealed her story to me, I listened. She was turning into a real person, alive and for some reason I pictured her living in the Lake District – a beautiful location in England.
How is she still alive and kicking in the Lake District?
She, and her family, are immortal… and there lies another book. Thank you for asking the question.