I don’t think I’ve ever used a real person as a character in any of my novels, nor even based a character on any one I know. However I do use real faces as a starting point for characters although they change as I write about them and become someone quite different and probably unrecognisable – and even then it’s usually strangers, people on the street, in bars, on TV.
I had another lovely day and evening in the great city of Coventry last week with a lovely friend. We always have such fun together, and after wandering round the cathedral and the city centre, had tea and cake, had dinner, went to a fantastic pub and a great gig… Altogether an amazing twenty-four hours.
Coventry is full of nice places to take tea, eat and drink but we settled on a place for dinner, and as it was such a lovely evening we sat outside of the first floor restaurant, gazing out over the square people and pigeon watching. We had arrived early as we wanted to make sure we had good seats for the gig which was in the Old Windmill pub, which I’ve written about before. We climbed the stairs and were greeted by a large, handsome, dark-haired French man with a warm and welcoming smile. We asked to sit outside for drinks before we dined, and he led the way. As he took our order we noticed that his name tag said Cédric, which really suited him. I remarked that he was such an impressive man that he was sure to be in one of my books… and i think I might actually use his name – it just suited him so well!
Intrigued by the name Cedric, I looked it up… I guessed it was an Anglo-Saxon name, or maybe Norman, certainly and old and old-fashioned name. Actually I was wrong! The name is only two hundred years ago and was invented by Sir Walter Scott as a character in Ivanhoe! In fact Cedric was Ivanhoe’s father. Well I was surprised! Ivanhoe is a Saxon character, and the name probably comes from Cerdic which is a very ancient name. It’s very popular in France, as demonstrated by dashing and handsome Cédric our charming host at the restaurant!
Here’s who we saw at the Old Windmill: