A 17-year-old teenager from Moreton spent the first national lockdown writing a novel after her GCSE’s were cancelled and she found herself with nothing to do.
Liv Bratherton completed her novel titled The Lives We Left Behind last year in just two months over the lockdown.
Liv, who was 16 when she wrote the novel, says writing the book was a form of escapism to help her deal with the severe anxiety she was experiencing.
Liv tells the Globe: “I had started reading on my mums kindle and at the time I couldn’t find any LGBT books where I felt represented.
“The idea came from being in lockdown and it just sprung to mind that I could write a LGBT book myself.”
Liv, who attends Birkenhead Sixth Form College, says her love of English helped inspire her writing.
She said: “I’ve always loved English.
“When I was little, I used to write and illustrate books but as I got older, I never really had the time or was in the headspace to actually be creative.
“When I wrote it, I managed to take myself to a place that I hadn’t been able to do in normal circumstances because there was always something on my mind.”
The Lives We Left Behind is set in 1943 during the war and follows the story of two teenage girls and how their relationship unfolds.
Liv says the book was a way to for her to open up about her sexuality.
She said: “I think writing it from that time period helps to remind you where all the anxiety and internalised homophobia comes from because back then being gay wasn’t accepted.
“I was writing from a headspace of not being ‘out’ where you consider the worst possible outcome, and you feel like the whole world is against you and that’s exactly how those characters feel.”
She added: “It’s such a major part of your identity and so many characters don’t have that sort of depth.
“I hope that these characters do give an insight into what it’s like as young person growing up in the LGBT community and is struggling with those inner thoughts.”
Liv says since writing the book it has brought her closer to her family.
She said: “I feel like I’m not hiding anything and it’s not a question of if it’s okay or not.
“I feel like a less anxious version of myself.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my family and friends.
“Especially my mum and dad who gave me the confidence because otherwise I wouldn’t have gone anywhere with it, and it would probably still be left on my computer!”
The novel was self-published through Amazon on June 6 and has already reached number 11 on the Lesbian Book category.
She said: “It still hasn’t sunk in even when I got to hold the paper back!
“I feel really proud to be able to physically see something I have achieved because so much hard work has gone into it.”
Liv says she has already started her second book which she also hopes to publish.
You can find The Times We Left Behind here.