It's hard to know what's normal, if you're not, and it takes Stella a while to realise she's in the definitely `not' drawer. But we are who we are and we make adjustments to fit in - most of the time - and it's only when she finds she's not quite as unique as she thought, that things begin to acquire a whole new dimension.
Forced to call on resources she didn't know she possessed and thrust headlong into the violence of a situation for which nothing could have prepared her, Stella is suddenly face to face with the stark reality of medical experimentation and its horrifying consequences.
But in a world of uncertainties, one thing's beyond doubt - this hero stuff really isn't her. Normal, or as near as damn it, is what she wants and if that means smothering her instincts and adjusting her expectations well, so be it. At least she'll then know should she slip off the wagon occasionally, it'll be through choice, not chance and to suit herself. Isn't it a fact though that just when you think you've got yourself sorted, life turns round and bites you?
Relatively Strange introduces a protagonist whose irreverent sense of humour, conviction she always knows best and inability to keep her mouth shut, will strike a chord with like-minded readers everywhere. Marilyn has been inspired by a number of authors, including Stephen King, Susan Hill and John Connolly.
A feature and fiction writer for national magazines, Marilyn Messik's first business was a children's party shop. She then moved into travel, researching and rating country hotels and inns and publishing an annual guide, subsequently bought out by Thomas Cook Publishing. She currently runs a copywriting consultancy, helping businesses shape their message to optimum effect.