Creative Writing Lecturer Amy Lilwall has just published her debut novel - The Biggerers.
"This story is about big people who keep little people as pets," explains Amy. "The little people - or 'litters' - poodle along quite merrily in their small lives until they start to have memories that they don't understand. This triggers them to examine their situation more closely - why are they denied certain comforts (such as yoghurts and spoons)? Why are they always naked? Why do their throats seize up as soon as they try to ask a question? All becomes clear when they start to unpick their memories. Ultimately, they seek to understand how they exist so differently to full-humans when they seem to be the same, only littler.
"I was inspired by my cat, and generally the dynamic between pets and their owners. I couldn't help but think that if he could speak to me, I would see him as an equal. I became interested in the idea that inequality - even to the point of dehumanisation - can be brought about by communication barriers. It was then that I had the idea to create a world where small, mute humans could be kept as pets."
Lecturer and writer Wyl Menmuir said: "In The Biggerers, Amy deftly walks a line between the playful and hilarious, and the truly terrifying. It is a remarkable debut - wonderfully unsettling and startlingly astute - and the most original dystopian novel I've read in years."
On having her novel published Amy added: "It feels good! I can, however, now fully appreciate the rigour involved in turning a story into a book. The first draft was completed nearly five years ago! Needless to say, it's great to finally hold a completed, hardback copy in my hands."
The Biggerers will be available to buy from June. There will be a book launch on 5 June at The Chintz in Falmouth.