I spent a couple of hours with my oldest friend, Frankie last night. She has just finished reading ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov,’ and I’m thrilled and relieved that she enjoyed it, a real page-turner, she said! However she posed me a really interesting question. As a writer I should be totally aware of my readers… when I was a teacher I was continually nagging my students “Think about your audience! Who are your readers?” It was my perpetual refrain and yet I am really terrible at thinking about my readers. I get so involved in my stories, living the lives of my characters, listening to their words, reading their minds, knowing more about them than they do themselves… the narrative drives me and yet, and yet… hey! What about my readers?
Now here is Frankie’s question: there is a particular character in Rosa and Frankie asked me when she was about halfway through the story “What is the point of…” I won’t name the character. I was caught on the back-foot a little… but was able to justify the character and when Frankie had finished reading the whole book she could see my point, although she still had a few reservations about it.
The premise of the story is obvious from the title, Rosa was being stalked… or Rosa believed she was being stalked. Now maybe it is because Frankie knows me so well, or maybe because she is an avid reader she was on the look out for tell-tale signs or maybe she picked up the clues… but for her, the deciding factor which lead to the conclusion and the solution to the mystery was a particular character. Again, I shall say no more, give no more hints… but Frankie said the answer became clear because why else was s/he a character in the story?
Hmmm, food for thought… now back to “Loving Judah”!