Thank you to Julie Fulton, author of the wonderful ‘Ever So’ series of picture books (read more here), for asking me to join the Meet My Character Blog Tour. I had a hard time deciding whether to go for a character from my children’s rhymes or someone from my more grown-up fiction. In the end I decided on one of my favourite characters from my short story collection ‘The Woman Who Never Did’.
Question 1. What’s your character’s name? Are they a fictional or historical person?
Jean is an entirely fictional character and, as such, is made up of little bits and pieces of lots of different people I have met in lots of different places over the years. Jean first appears in a supporting role in the collection’s title story ‘The Woman Who Never Did’, then takes centre stage as the lead character in the following story ‘Gloria’.
The story is set mainly around the centre of Southampton and roughly around now.
Jean is a lady of a certain age who loves fuschia wrap tops, pencil skirts and gorgeous shoes. To use her own words: ‘A girl always feels better with a bit of diamante’. (Jean would love these!)
Question 4. What is their main conflict? What messes up their life?
She’s very anxious about meeting up with her one-time best friend, Gloria. There’s a gap of several years to address, plus a fair bit of unresolved history.
I’d say her immediate goal is to get through the meeting. As regards long-term goals, Jean probably couldn’t say. But she’ll settle for a good time.
Question 6. What is the book’s working title?
The short story collection is called ‘The Woman Who Never Did and a Circle of Other Stories’.
Question 7. When will it be published?
I was planning to publish this summer, but have agreed to delay so that I can take part in an exciting new publishing concept … watch this space!
Passing on the Baton …
… or rather, NOT Passing on the Baton. I promised Julie I would find two more writers to continue the Meet My Character Blog Tour, but for various reasons (lack of notice, holidays, everyone else has already done it …) I’ve failed to rope anybody in.
So I’m going to do something different. I’m going to link you to a multitude of characters by way of a couple of excellent websites that cover the two main areas of my literary passion:
The Fiction Desk is an independent book publisher that specialises in short story anthologies, publishing 3 per year in January, May and September. I haven’t managed to get one of my stories in their collection yet, but I will keep trying as I’d love to see my work in such company. For proper grown-up spookiness, try their collection, ‘New Ghost Stories’.
Click here to visit The Fiction Desk.
Playing by the book is the creation of Zoe Toft. I don’t know whether to call her an expert, a zealot, a curator … whatever she is, Zoe’s website is a wonderful gathering of information about children’s books. Look for a particular author, or look for a book for a particular topic or emotion. Look for whatever reason, but please do look.
Click here to visit Playing by the Book