I can assure you – CONDITIONED isn’t that.
Well, yes, I have included some heavy issues but there are other storylines in there as well to keep the tone lighter: a wedding, romance and fun characters…
The Conditions Series is probably the work dearest to my heart. Conditions was my first ever novel and I packed it with the things that I knew and that I wanted people to know about. It was too close for comfort for me and stayed in the drawer for years before I wondered if I could risk showing it to people and maybe re-work it to make it publishable.
Mental illnesses make people uncomfortable and many prefer to brush them under the carpet, which makes the problem worse; whether it be depression, addiction or bi-polarism.
In the Conditions Series I’m not lecturing you about it. I’m portraying one likeable character with his issues and other foibles and show how people around him adapt – some great, some not so great. I’ve deliberately added a dose of lighter notes and quirky supporting characters to keep it as light as possible.
Again, it is what I know. In my youth and party days I saw some close friends lose control over their drinking and often cling to very unhealthy relationships.
I, too, stayed for far too long in one relationship that was, although not physically violent, very volatile and emotionally abusive. Looking back I can see that it could easily have become more destructive had we stayed together. It took me years to recover.
Sadly, I keep witnessing such relationships and wanted to portray the thought and behaviour patterns that hold people in their self-made prisons. Bringing it out into the open helps victims to break out of their isolation and helps people to provide the right support.
That still sounds like a depressing read to me…
Well, trust me, it isn’t. For every ‘miserable’ character there is one that is upbeat or quirky, there are sweet and lovely moments, romance and a wedding. I wrote it in short chapters, alternating between the various stories to serve only small doses of ‘heavy’. Since making it a series I have the option of giving some individuals closure without writing an unrealistic fairytale ending for all.
No happy ending?
Now that would be telling… Let’s just say that, since this is a series, I bought myself time to bring each story to a realistic conclusion. A mental health problem won’t be cured by a miracle over night (at least not the vast majority of them), and so it’s impossible to create 8 characters with conditions and have them all live happily ever after within the space of 170 pages.
CONDITIONED dives back into the world of gardener Charles, his friends and the state of his mental health – one year on. We meet loner Simon and his battle with the outside world, co-dependent Martha and her abusive husband Clive, neurotic poet Catherine on the verge of getting married, Tony, who finds his strange brother Charles a challenge, psychic Elaine looking for a new direction in life and quirky widow Sarah Roseberg who has a go at sorting out all of their problems.
CONDITIONS aimed to sensitise readers and make them think about tolerance and acceptance.
CONDITIONED wants readers to look beyond their attitude towards Conditions and examine what we all do and what we can do to overcome our challenges. The sequel is another snapshot of this circle of friends. Some will have improved their lives, others will not.
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.