An Andover woman’s latest novel hopes to inspire people to have a greater respect for carers following her personal experience.

Rosemarie Martin has written Ruby Red, a novel based on her experiences as a carer and those of others, to highlight the work of the care sector, especially following the pandemic.

“I think before the pandemic, nobody ever heard about carers unless it was negative, so I decided the time was right to sit down and write a book” Rosemarie told the Advertiser. “It uses my stories, as well as some I’ve borrowed from other carers as well.”

Rosemarie was inspired to become a carer after being inspired by the people helping her to look after her parents. She has previously written about her mother’s life working around the world.

She said: “I decided to be a carer because the girls who came in to see my parents were amazing, and before then I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. But they encouraged me to go for it, and it was lovely.”

Rosemarie then spent over a decade as a carer, working around Andover, Hampshire and Wiltshire. During this time, she encountered scenarios which she wanted to challenge.

“Caring is quite a complex area, and carers can get treated badly,” she said. “One thing I remember was when I went to a client’s house and the commode was overflowing, and they said: ‘that’s what the carer’s there for.’

“More recently, one of the things that made me cross was about someone complaining their carer didn’t fold the towels properly. I thought: ‘are you really that bothered about that after all they do for you?’

“It always winds me up when I hear things like that. I think people take carers for granted, despite all the hard work they do.”

Rosemarie’s now decided to bring together these experiences in a novel, which includes many different aspects of care.

“Ruby is the main character and it’s her that is the carer, but during the novel she comes into contact with other carers,” she said. “I’ve brought in other things that I thought were quite important as well, such as young carers and also a character with a baby with Downs Syndrome. I wanted to bring a lot of different ideas into it.”

She says that she has tried to balance the positives and the negatives of work in care, while providing an interesting novel for readers.

“I’ve shown what carers go through, so it can be a bit negative,” Rosemarie said. “But during it, I have tried to put in positive things as well, because there are positive aspects to being a carer and I loved it when I did it.

“I always thought as a carer that you can’t expect someone to give part of themselves to you if you don’t give part of yourself to them, and I’ve tried to show that.”

Having finished Ruby Red, Rosemarie is now working on a historical drama about the Saxon Queen, Elfrida.

Ruby Red is available now from Etsy: https://NewPages.Etsy.Com