The five of us have been chatting about characters we’ve invented during our writing lives and thought we’d share our favourites with you.
Over the course of your writing career do you have a favourite character and why? It can be your hero, heroine or a minor player.
Natalie: I thought long and hard about this – believe me there are many to choose from – but in the end it came down to the hero of my soon to be published book, Voyage of Desire. His name is Ryan Donovan. He has thick dark wavy hair and is tall to the point of generating neck ache in anyone who wants to look into his gorgeous eyes and with just the right touch of the blarney about him I find him irresistible. Oh, and he has that absolute must – a great sense of humour.
Viv: The character I most enjoyed creating was Irene, a middle-aged spinster librarian caring for her elderly mother. She appeared in a short story in 2002 – it won a Writers’ News competition, and I later went on to read it on radio. Irene is not the typical womag character I usually write about. Underneath her quiet and respectable surface lurks a dark side – a seething resentment over a lost boyfriend and an aborted baby that’s been festering for years. Irene kills her mother in the end – but I still feel great sympathy for her, and I hope my readers did too!
Elaine R: My favourite character is Mary; she was in the first short story I had published, New Beginnings. Nature had decided Mary and Peter would be childless, but they had enjoyed decades of happiness together, until his unexpected death. Mary lost her husband and soul mate five years earlier, now she was finally finding the strength to face their favourite pastime together, gardening. Their garden hadn’t been given any love since her husband Peter had died, and neither had she. Mary’s story is sad, but it’s also one of inner strength and hope.
Elaine E: My chosen character is Joe Johnson the nasty husband of Gracie Sayers from my novel Gracie’s War. I love a bad boy and Joe was nasty from day one. A petty criminal at the beginning of the book his career developed until he was a major criminal and made Gracie’s life hell because her evidence could put him in prison for many years. I was told no one was completely bad so I made sure he loved his mother who died when he was a young boy. Was this the reason he followed the wrong path in life?
Francesca: I’ve picked fourteen-year-old Morwen Parry from Sea Angel, a Young Adult novel and the first novel I ever wrote. Morwen has problems including a mother with issues, a father she’s never met and having to work her spare time in her mother’s café. She’s furious about all these things. Then she meets Thalassa, the sea angel of the title, who makes life even harder – and weirder. The bright spot in her existence is Gabriel, the (rather gorgeous) boy next door. There are aspects of Morwen’s teen life and my own which are similar (not Gabriel, sadly!), so I guess I identify with her.
An eclectic mix and one that demonstrates, I think, how different we all are.