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Living the Difference: Exclusive Interview with Richard Frost

Hope in dystopian fiction and beyond

One of my favourite things about dystopian fiction and the reason many people enjoy it is its capacity to communicate hope. We see in so many young adult dystopian books in particular the stance of overcoming adversity and living differently. Think of Katniss Everdeen becoming the face for a revolution or Winston Smith in 1984 testing the boundaries of 'living' in opposition to the Party.

This is where dystopian ideas can crossover well with other genres of fiction and I recently chatted with one such author who, while his books are not dystopian, communicates a similar message of hope and encouragement.

Introducing Richard Frost, the author of Living the Difference...

What is the premise of Living the Difference and what inspired you to write it?

Living the Difference Book Cover

Living the Difference is the second in the Eastwood Story series published by Chronos Publishing. The first book, Looking to Move On introduced the main characters, Matt and Sophie and this second book is a follow on of sorts. I've written non-fiction for many, many years and had books and articles published but writing fiction was a lockdown surprise. During those periods I started reading a lot more fiction and then suddenly started writing it!


You described Living the Difference as a story of hope overcoming adversity? Can you tell us more about that and how it comes through in your characters, story and its setting?

The books are set in the fictional town of Eastwood Minster in current times and feature a range of characters. I'm a former mental health and employment specialist and the books draw heavily on my professional experience and personal background, exploring topics such as disability, bereavement and relationships. Throughout my life I have always looked for signs of progress that people make in the most trying of circumstances - hence the titles of both books are 'forward looking'. They both have happy endings too!


Living the Difference is a novella. Do you think there is an increasing popularity for novellas in our modern, fast-paced world?

That's a good question and yes, I'm sure you are right. To be honest, I didn't know what a novella was before all this but there's been quite a few well-known ones over the years (Animal Farm, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men) so it does seem to be a popular length. I had a lovely review for Living the Difference which seems to reflect this: ‘The ideal book for someone who wants to receive a little hope and a warm heart, but doesn’t want to read a 500 page book to search for it!’


What are your plans for your writing and where can people find Living the Difference?

Well, Eastwood Story Book 3 is well underway and I have a proposal in for a short publication about the importance of having love for ourselves. 

Living the Difference can be ordered through local bookshops, is available for Kindle and also through my website. I'm happy to sign copies bought from me!

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