Ex-News reporter pens debut book on love during Great War

IN PRINT: Former Bridport News reporter turned author Juliet West

IN PRINT: Former Bridport News reporter turned author Juliet West

First published in Bridport

A TALENTED writer who started her career at the Bridport News is celebrating the publication of her first novel.

Before The Fall is the debut work of mum-of-three Juliet West.

She has described it as a ‘moving tale of a love affair, set in the East End of London during the First World War and based on an unforgettable real life story’.

Although the book is set mainly in London, there are scenes from Dorset (Charmouth beach) and references to Thomas Hardy, especially the novel Jude The Obscure.

Before her creative writing career, Juliet worked as a trainee reporter at the Bridport News before moving to the then Dorset Evening Echo (now called the Dorset Echo).

The West Sussex resident, who returns to Dorset regularly, paid tribute to the West Dorset town where her writing career began.

She said: “I started my writing career as a trainee reporter on the Bridport News in 1992.

“John Slater was Bridport News editor at the time, and he was always incredibly encouraging and patient.”

She added: “I was at the Bridport News for a year, then went on to work in the Weymouth and Dorchester offices of the Dorset Evening Echo.

“I live in West Sussex now but I try to get back to Dorset as often as possible.

“I fell in love with Bridport and it’s wonderful to see how the town has thrived over the years.”

Juliet undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University, where she won the Kate Betts’ Memorial Prize.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for the Myriad Editions novel writing competition in 2012.

She also writes short stories and poetry, and won the HE Bates short story prize in 2009.

Since its release, Before The Fall has received a wide variety of praising reviews.

Alison MacLeod, author of Booker long-listed Unexploded, said: “Before The Fall is as poignant as it is powerful.

“With tremendous sensitivity and insight, Juliet West explores the consequences of private lives engulfed by the public catastrophe of war.

“At the same time, nothing diminishes the force of her storytelling. Her characters – including London’s East End itself – are unforgettable.”

For more information, visit the website: julietwest.com

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