Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Don't hold me to that . . .

I have been tagged again – this time by Marlena Hand, in the ‘Meet My Main Character' blog chain. When I first saw her post I thought, ooo what fun! But a week later I am wracked with indecision. Not because I don’t know enough about my main character; it’s just that she is still, after all, a work in progress, and everything may change by the time I am ready to let her loose on the world.

You see, this story started life as a women’s novel. I wrote a few full drafts and while there were things I liked about the story, it has never felt completely right. I never really fell in love with my main character – a rude and aggressive 35 year-old alcoholic female. (What’s not to love?) For some inexplicable reason, we just didn’t get on.

And then one morning I woke up to a brainwave. I could reinvent her as a 17 year-old!

Months of rewriting later, I am about half way there! It’s a pretty drastic change in some ways, and in other ways, it’s perfect. It's easier to love a YA/NA anti-heroine, but there's still a lot of work to be done to get her just right…so although I will join in and answer the questions, please don't hold me to anything.

The Q&As

  1. What is the name of your main character? And is he/she fictional
    Mae, and yes – entirely fictional. (Any resemblance to persons living or dead etc…)

  2. When and where is the story set?
    Mainly in a recycling centre in South Cumbria

  3. What should we know about her?
    After punching a pizza delivery boy, Mae has been given a community payback sentence by the court. Her brother has died. She is 17 years-old, drinks too much, swears too much, has alienated all her friends, and is not handling her grief very well at all. Her step-dad has moved out  -- as a result of Mae’s anti-social behaviour -- so she lives alone.

  4. What is the main conflict?
    Hard to pick one without giving the game away, but I will tell you that Mae is in conflict with many people and things: her step-father, her friends, one particular woman at the recycling centre, authority, herself…

  5. What is her personal goal?
    At the beginning of the story, Mae does not have a goal; she’s lost and directionless. By the end, this has changed. A long time personal goal is rekindled – to be a chef – but something far bigger than this comes into play. I’m not going to tell you what that is…

  6. Is there a working title for this novel?
    Mrs Outhwaite

  7. When can we expect the book to be published?
    2015 – hopefully.

So now it’s my turn to tag some other writers to tell us about their main character. But only if they want to. Kate Hanney, Katie Hayoz, Emma Haughton.


  1. Mae's fab! I think I possibly loved the 35 year-old version more than you did, but the 17 year-old one is totally sensational! Will definitely look forward to responding to this tag, thanks so much, love ya, x x

    1. Thanks, Kate. Looking forward to reading your post. xxx

  2. This book of yours sounds fantastic. I love YA novels that have less than perfectly loveable characters! Thanks for the tag. I'll get on it.


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