Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle - Jaime Shurmer

WHEN: TIME: RSVP: AS­COT au­thor Anne Davies wrote Wrath to en­cour­age re­luc­tant teen- age boys to read.

The book is based on a true story about a 24-yearold Ten­nessee man who was ex­e­cuted for mur­der­ing his mum and step­fa­ther at the age of 13.

He was put in soli­tary con­fine­ment for 23 hours a day from the age of 15, where he ed­u­cated him­self and filled his cell with art be­fore he was elec­tro­cuted.

Wrath has a much more pos­i­tive end­ing and aims to chal­lenge morals, ex­plore ro­mance and the emo­tions of a 16-year-old boy charged with a dou­ble mur­der.

The story goes back in time to when the main character, Luca, was close to his twin sis­ter, Katy, and his par­ents were still to­gether.

“I tar­geted teenage boys be­cause I was an English teacher for nearly 20 years and boys in the 15-17 age group were the most re­luc­tant read­ers,” Davies said.

She said The Out­siders was a fail-safe book when she was teach­ing boys, but it was about 40 years old now.

Davies set out to write her own novel that was a bit meatier, with a fas­trolling plot and short chap­ters that chal­lenge boys’ think­ing, and was writ­ten to give scope for teach­ers to use it in the class­room.

She ad­mit­ted the book in­volved a vi­o­lent topic.

“Nev­er­the­less, I ex­plain the events lead­ing up to that event and how, if we act out of anger and lose con­trol, the mis­takes we make can be ter­ri­ble,” Davies said.

“I have gone into this, as well as drug-tak­ing and other crime, in a way which I hope will make kids think. In no way does it in­cite vi­o­lence, just the op­po­site.”

Davies put her cre­ative writ­ing on hold while she was a teacher, join­ing the So­ci­ety of Women Writ­ers of WA when she left the role.

“We met ev­ery month or so and I joined a writ­ers’ cir­cle of about eight peo­ple, which meant we all had to con­trib­ute some sort of writ­ing, send it to an ed­i­tor who col­lated them all and sent them to each mem­ber,” she said.

“I was writ­ing a short story each time.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Anne Davies with her novel, Wrath.

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