A former English teacher, Lynette Sofras gave up a high level career in education to focus on her writing a few years ago, thus fulfilling her lifelong dream. She mainly writes women fiction, often with suspense and/or a supernatural twist. When not producing novels, she works as an editor and writing tutor at 24houranswers.com. Learn more about Lynette and her books at her website and blog.
It's said that most Americans will experience poverty at some point in their lives, particularly inner city or rural dwellers. What seems almost ludicrous to me is that as the world advances in so many ways, poverty is steadily increasing. In the UK, the dramatic rise in the number of people using food banks is testament to the fact that poverty is no longer a third world issue.
When times are tight, there are numerous ways you can cut back on expenses to save money for essentials. You don't have to starve or live in misery, thanks to food banks and the supermarket price wars. Buying budget brands doesn't always mean sacrificing quality and essential nutrition. In the UK, stores like Lidl and Aldi are forcing competition and the big name supermarkets are having to downprice accordingly. If you don't want to switch loyalties, try switching brands for a month to see how much you can save. Search for offers and money-off vouchers in free magazines or the Internet. Visit markets, boot/garage sales and auction houses to hunt down cheaper alternatives.
Foregoing expensive forms of entertainment for a short while can also help you save pennies. Cut out fancy restaurants and get experimental in the kitchen. Visit museums and libraries and broaden your mind for free or simply get healthy with a walk in the park and perhaps a picnic lunch.
While I've never known real deprivation, I did go through a period of financial hardship when I was bringing up a young child with virtually no support from the father, while putting myself through university and beyond to ensure I could provide for us both in the future. It is perhaps hardly surprising, therefore, that money issues infiltrate some of my novels. In my latest romantic suspense, The Nightclub, two half-sisters, fleeing a pretty dreadful past, find themselves living hand to mouth and surviving only with great difficulty. Money is so tight, they have to live in a squalid flat, shop at charity shops or scavenge for market bargains, and re-use teabags to save pennies. But they have each other, determination and ambition.
Trying to make a living for her teenage sister and herself, naïve Laura Hamilton accepts a job offer as a hostess at an infamous London nightclub. As she struggles to survive in a world of sex, drugs and corruption, she certainly doesn't expect to find her own knight in shining armour in the club's owner, Julian. But will he really save her from a future as a fallen woman? And is he involved in the criminal organisation that threatens not only her sister's life, but will change her own fate forever?