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.
- What is the name of your main character? And is
Mae, and yes – entirely fictional. (Any resemblance to persons living or dead etc…)
- When and where is the story set?
Mainly in a recycling centre in South Cumbria
- 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.
- 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…
- 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…
- Is there a working title for this novel?
- When can we expect the book to be published?
2015 – hopefully.