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Meet my character: blog tour - sandra danby
What a wonderful idea for a blog tour, focussing on the people that really matter: not the authors, but our characters. I could write about Rose Haldane all day long… aah, I do! So thanks to Judith Frances Field for asking me to take part in this blog tour. First I need to tell you about Judith. Born in Liverpool and living in London, Judith is the daughter of writers. This means she learned how to agonize over fiction submissions at her mother and father’s knees. Click here to read about Mark Anderson, the main character in Perigee, the short story she is currently working on. So here’s the lowdown on Rose, identity detective, and the lynchpin of Ignoring Gravity. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person? Rose is a fictional person, though when I imagined her I looked at the photo above. It’s a cutting from a magazine, years old now, I can’t remember where I got it from, or the name of the real woman. But for me, she is Rose. The photo is stuck to the pin board behind my computer screen so I say ‘good morning’ to her every day. When and where is the story set? It is set around SW London, Wimbledon, Battersea, Barnes and Richmond, where Rose and her family have lived all their lives. Her sister Lily lives in Barnes. Rose lives in a flat in Southfields, along the road from the All England Lawn Tennis Club, and commutes to work by train and tube every day to her newspaper’s offices in Docklands. Rose’s story takes place in the mid-2000s [I hate the phrase ‘the Noughties’]. The second strand about Diana and Kate, Rose and Lily’s mother and aunt, takes place in London in the Sixties. That was an uncomfortable time to be a woman: expectations of freedom for young women, set against a backdrop of the continuing restrictions and social norms of the Fifties. What should we know about her? Rose is a journalist on a down-market newspaper but wishes she worked on The Guardian. She likes listening to cheesy music [Robbie Williams] and her best friend since university is eccentric fellow-journalist Maggie. Rose always seems to fall for the wrong sort of man, salesmen who have the gift of the gab and do a good job of selling themselves to her. Her mother Diana recently died, and she and her sister Lily are doing their bit to support their father John through their grief. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life? Adoption. She is a late-discovery adoptee, in other words Rose is an adult when she finds out she was adopted as a baby. The parents who she has thought of for 35 years as her mother and father, are not. Her sister, Lily, is not her sister. Aside from the ‘who am I?’ question, there is also the ‘why didn’t anyone tell me?’ question. Getting her head around the secrets and lies – who told what to who, why, when – is probably the most difficult thing. If you love someone, why lie? What is the personal goal of the character? Her world becomes dominated by the need to discover the identity of her birth parents. Rose’s life as a journalist is about asking questions and getting answers, suddenly she is asking questions to which no-one has the answers. She is out of her comfort zone. Is there a working title for this novel if it is a WIP, and can we read more about it? Ignoring Gravity is the final title, though it was in its early days called Finding Rose. In our house, it is generally referred to as ‘Rose’ as in “how’s Rose coming along”, or “are you going to work on Rose today?” To read more about Ignoring Gravity, click on the tab at the top of this blog.When can we expect the book to be published? 2015. Watch my blog for news. Today I am nominating two authors who will tell you more about their main characters. JANE CABLE Jane Cable’s first novel, The Cheesemaker’s House, saw the light of day in 2013 after winning the suspense & crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. It is a spooky romance set in a beautiful North Yorkshire village and follows newly arrived divorcee Alice Hart’s journey as she meets her neighbours from the present and the past. Jane firmly believes that writing is in her blood. Her late father, Mercer Simpson, was a poet; her cousin, Roger Hubank, a novelist; Roger’s uncle, John Hampson was also a novelist and fringe member of the Bloomsbury Group. It’s even rumoured that John Keats is somewhere back in her family tree. Following the popularity of The Cheesemaker’s House with readers and book bloggers alike, Jane’s next book, The Faerie Tree, will appear as if by magic in early 2015. To read more from Jane, click here. Click here to read my review of The Cheesemaker’s House. LISA DEVANEY Whether it was writing and illustrating her own comic books as a child, creating cartoon-inspired websites in the 90s, taking to the stage in New York City to perform in SLAM-poetry style as her make-believe online character (((Futuregirl))) or even spinning a publicity campaign for a business client, Lisa Devaney has been enthralled by storytelling and the mediums that can be used to tell her stories. Her imagination has now led her to writing and self-publishing books, with her debut novel In Ark: A Promise of Survival already earning 5* ratings and reviews. But the story isn’t just on pages, follow the hashtag #InArk on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find the transmedia layer of Lisa’s newest storytelling adventure. For Lisa’s website, click here. Click here to read my review of In Ark.