Red Ink

Julie Mayhew
"Sometimes lies are safer than the truth"
Red Ink – picture

Sometimes lies are safer than the truth

When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce Melon to a ‘living, breathing’ father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and is unlikely to be jumping on a plane and coming to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has ‘The Story’. ‘The Story’ is the Fourakis family fairytale. A story is something. RED INK is a powerful coming-of-age tale about superstition, denial and family myth.

Publication Date: Thu 6 Jun 2013
ISBN Ebook: 9781471400353
ISBN Paperback: 9781471400759
ISBN Hardback: 9781471400339



Julie Mayhew

Julie Mayhew originally trained as a journalist, then as an actress, and she started writing because she hardly ever saw a script with a brilliant role for a girl or a woman. She is the author of RED INK (shortlisted for the 2014 Branford Boase Award) and the critically acclaimed THE BIG LIE. She is also prolific writer for radio, and has twice been nominated for Best Original Drama at the BBC Audio Drama Awards for her plays A SHOEBOX OF SNOW and THE ELECTRICAL VENUS. Julie is a recent recipient of an Arts Council England Award and a K Blundell Trust Award to research and develop stories in Berlin and in her hometown Peterborough, and she is currently under commission to write a free and modern adaptation of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN for Eastern Angles Theatre. She lives in Hertfordshire with her family, where she is host of short story cabaret The Berko Speakeasy.
Website:, Twitter: @juliemayhew, Instagram: JulieMayhew


The tube train clatters into the station, shouting down the silence and whipping my hair across my face. The current of air makes the boys' fringes do the Mexican wave. They're rooted to the spot, looking at their feet. The doors stop right in front of me and the doors nearest to the boys will take them onto the same carriage. I expect them to move along to another bit of the train, but that would mean acknowledging that they've seen me. Too embarrassing. The doors open. We all get on to an empty carriage. "Mind the gap." That's where I am right now, in the gap. Please mind the gap between the death of your mother and the edge of normal. The doors close. I sit down. Only when the train hiccups into life do I dare check where they are. They're on the seats by the glass panel at the end of the carriage. They're looking at me now, but they're not saying anything. I'm in the middle of the train, another two glass panels of protection away. I won't need it though. They're not going to do the thing with my name. I can feel the pity oozing off them, although they're grudging about it at the same time. Mum dying has spoiled their game. Murray gives me a soppy look, Dylan nods. It feels like being patted on the head by an old relative. The train clangs into the dark of the tunnel. This is the weirdest thing to say but, I actually preferred it when the boys took the piss.