Last year I began to convert my books published as eBooks to paperbacks – I’d started publishing books straight to paperback in 2014 but I admit, I’ve been slow to make them all available in that format and now they are!
A couple of days ago I wrote about my book, ‘The Stalking of Rosa Chekov‘ and one of the things which most stands out to me about it is how a character which was to have been just a walk-on, a dinner guest to make up the numbers, strode onto centre stage and became one of the main players! I know some writers plan their books down to the last little detail, before setting out to write them following their plan literally to the letter. I’m afraid I just can’t do that, I generally have rough or vague ideas, which unfold as I write. When I began writing Rosa, I hadn’t even got this character in mind. The story s told from the point of view of Rosa’s cousin, Tyche who is invited to meet Rosa’s friends, including her husband Luka’s best friend Brian, known as Rudi:
Tyche looked round as they went into the light airy hall and then the lounge, and gave a shiver as if she too was nervous. French windows led into a large glazed conservatory where four people sat on comfortable padded cane furniture. Tyche hadn’t expected an interview panel.
“Tyche, this is my good friend Brian Makepeace, we’ve been pals forever, same nursery, same school, same band, same Uni.”
Brian stood up to shake hands. He was a huge man with a round pale face, pocked and marked, scarred from teenage acne. He was dressed in black and standing seemed to dominate the room with his unsmiling presence.
“Hi Brian,” said Tyche pulling her hand from his enormous paw. He said nothing, his great wan face as blank and distant as the moon, his eyes small and expressionless.
“And this is Brian’s wife Estelle.”
“Hello, Tyche,” Estelle smiled shyly, friendly and welcoming. Her eyes, although wide with surprise, were warm. She looked insubstantial, somehow, a little timid creature beside her big husband.
“And this is Rosa’s best friend, Melanie, and Mel’s cousin Garth.”
So, Luka’s closest friend and Rosa’s closest friend. It was clear that they were as shocked and amazed at her appearance as Luka had been.
After ‘Farholm’, ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’, and ‘Loving Judah’, I published ‘Night Vision‘. This was inspired by something I saw, rather than someone. We were on holiday in Derbyshire in a house which was close to the face of an old quarry, and growing seemingly out of the rock was a tree which had such twisted roots and branches, it looked like a hanging man. That weird thing was my inspiration and it became part of a story about a jealous husband, who actually has secrets of his own. I have always had close male friends, and still do and I wanted to explore that. My main character Beulah’s her husband is ridiculously jealous of her male best friend, unjustly so.
Night Vision: Beulah and Neil Cameron return to his childhood home of Easthope to try and repair their damaged marriage. Neil is profoundly and wrongly jealous of Beulah’s best friend; however Beulah discovers that Neil has his own secrets which may damage their marriage more permanently. The disappearance of his fifteen year-old brother Patrick thirty years ago, casts a long shadow, and despite Neil’s opposition, Beulah is determined to find out what happened to him.
Here is a link to ‘Night Vision’:
By the way, Beulah and her husband Neil reappear in my novel ‘Saltpans’.