MUM-OF-TWO Alison Pindar spends a lot of her time worrying about the behaviour of her autistic son Tom.
But the Abingdon parent, who works part-time for a publishing company in Wallingford, has still found time to complete her second novel.
Mrs Pindar’s pass-time has a beneficial effect on her son because she finds writing fiction therapeutic, and that calmness in the household then rubs off onto him.
She said: “Having the imaginative escape of writing helps me to deal with all the other stuff.
“The fictional world is under my control and it’s a safety valve.
“Tom is very sensitive to people around him getting anxious, so the calmer I can be the better.
“Two years ago he could answer yes or no to questions but did not have much descriptive language – he has improved.”
After I Left You has just been published by Transworld imprint Black Swan and is already winning glowing reviews.
The romance with a dark twist, partly set in Oxford, follows Mrs Pindar’s 2012 debut Stop The Clock and both novels are written under Mrs Pindar’s pen name, Alison Mercer.
The 41-year-old author lives in Lammas Close with husband Ian, 44, a poet, daughter Izzy, 10 and Tom, seven.
The graduate of University College, Oxford, said: “The latest book is dedicated to Ian because without his help I would not have had time to write it.
“Tom is at a mainstream primary school in Abingdon – St Nicolas – and is making progress so we are very hopeful for the future, but his condition does create some additional pressures.
“He can get frustrated or angry because he can’t express himself and finds certain situations difficult to deal with.
“A meltdown in the supermarket is a classic and other shoppers are looking round as if to say ‘why can’t you control your child’.
“We are hoping that his progress in a mainstream school will continue.”
Mrs Pindar said she managed to complete her latest novel by avoiding going out in the evening or watching TV.
The writer’s time as an English student at Oxford University helped her to formulate the plot for her latest tale.
After I Left You focuses on Anna revisiting her Oxford college 17 years after she graduates and she rekindles a romance with her old flame Victor.
The meeting brings back memories for Anna of how she was betrayed back in her student days.
Mrs Pindar said: “The novel draws on nostalgia and memories of when I was a student but it’s not autobiographical.
“It was fun to write about a time when no one had mobile phones and people pinned notes to each other’s doors. I had more than one boyfriend at university, including a big relationship which broke up, but this novel is purely fiction.”
The author said she was grateful to Mark Thornton, manager of Mostly Books in Stert Street, Abingdon, for hosting the launch of After I Left You earlier this month
After I Left You is published by Black Swan, price £6.99.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
UPDATED: Fifty homes affected as burst water main causes significant flooding in Normandy Crescent in Oxford
7:37am Tuesday 23rd September 2014
A WATER main has burst in an Oxford street causing significant flooding this morning.
1:20pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014
A MAN has appeared in court charged with raping a woman in Headington over the weekend.
Police force will not lose 400 officers says chief constable despite police and crime commissioner claim
12:32pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014
THE Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police has said the force is not set to lost 400 officers despite claims made by Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld at the weekend.
UPDATE: Delays on rail services between Oxford and London after two killed by train in "suspicious incident"
9:55am Tuesday 23rd September 2014
There are delays on rail services to London after a two people were killed when they were hit by a train in Slough.
11:10am Tuesday 23rd September 2014
A MAN has been charged after a woman was raped in a flat in Headington on Saturday and another woman attacked in South Park on Sunday.
8:40am Tuesday 23rd September 2014
A ROAD shut after a car was engulfed in flames has now fully reopened.