Letters to Raya

Jane Richman jane.richmanthompson@gmail.com 1703695482939



Jane Richman-Thompson

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Child assumed dead in a terrorist bombing in India. Mother refuses to believe it to be true. She continues raising her youngest child in a seaside town caravan park and trying to keep sane. She has MS and meets Charl, a South African surfer...life rolls on with lies until a crackling phone call.



Short Summary

Mother, Aisha, is raising her child in a seaside town, living a vagrant life in a caravan park. The reader assumes he eldest daughter Raya to be alive, living in India. Aisha continually writes to Raya. Charl, a tourist, offers Aisha a ride back to Tasmania. Lies get complicated.

A relationship with Charl develops and too much time has passed for her eldest child to still be alive. Aisha must face the truth and expose her months of insanity and lies. Life continues in Byron Bay, MS continues and grief...until a faint crackling phone call...'Mum?" Phone goes dead.


Caravan in Australian seaside town of Mallacoota. Launceston, Tasmania. Byron Bay, New South Wales.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Tragedy,Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Philosophical Questions,Twist,Meaningful Message,Happy Ending

Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Aisha

Age: 39

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Complex,Crazy,Desperate,Insecure,Selfless,Sexy,Funny,Romantic,Secretive,Seductive,Manipulative,Educated,Empathetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Charl

Age: 29

Gender: Male

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Strong Moral Code,Seductive,Romantic,Visionary,Funny,Skillful,Sexy,Masculine

Additional Character Details

Name: Maibelle

Age: 6

Gender: Female

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Complex,Confident,Crazy,Engaging,Flexible,Naive,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny

Additional Character Details

Name: Ed

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Blunt,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Sarcastic,Unapologetic,Seductive,Greedy,Desperate,Charming

Development Pitch

Life, love, loss, ill-health, secrets and family. It is character dense. A loveable heroine and funny side kick daughter have fun in the sun, until love interest, South African surfer, Charl rents a nearby caravan. Now a passionate romance begins with the undercurrent of the heroine's ill health. After a short road trip, they relocate to Tasmania briefly, before being forced to take on a friend's foster son and all move to Charl's hometown of Byron Bay. Here, the heroine is shocked to learn that her daughter's father has relocated also, providing complications. Old feelings still run deep and competition errupts. The heroine obsessively emails her eldest daughter, supposedly living in India. The viewer is unaware that the heroine is writing to an abandoned gmail account. She has been told her daughter died months ago. Unable to accept this as true, she carries on a half life, manages her youngest child's eccentricities, all while trying to invent an income and keep well. Finally, when too much time has passed for her eldest daughter's death to be a lie, she has to face some cold hard facts. We leave the funeral and relocate to Nepal. A girl regains consciousness in a tent. Slowly we piece together what has happened and Raya must make her way back to her own life. Australia seems a very long way away for the weak girl. After gathering some belongings and making her way to Delhi she calls, "Mum?" The phone dies....Raya makes it home on her mum's wedding day.

About The Author

I have evolved from writing short stories to completing a degree in art history to writing my first novel, Letters to Raya, in the first person and then adapting to the third person, republished as Letters from Aisha. This took patience and focus and improved my story writing skills immensely. I utilize creative license with semi autobiographical content.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Balboa Press and Amazon (two versions-two titles)

Year Published: 2012 Letters to Raya - 2018 Letters from Aisha (same basic story changed from 1st person to 3rd person perspective)

Hard Copy Available



978-1728776651 (original ISBN was 978-1-4525-0427-8)