What I learnt this week: 9th August 2019

A little bit of me

I suspect a part of me is in all the heroines I write. Just like I suspect a teeny bit of my husband is in my heroes, too (for goodness sake don’t tell him, but there’s probably a reason my male leads, from the bodyguard through to the racing car driver, barrister, doctor, accountant and, in my latest book out next month, a professional singer, all have a dry sense of humour).

The joy in writing is dreaming up new characters and getting into their skin, yet at the end of the day no matter how alive they feel to me, I am the one sitting at my desk, writing them. So perhaps, inevitably, some of my thoughts, my experiences, will find their way into them.

Take Tess from Search for a Truth. She’s tall with killer legs and long red silky hair – yep, only in my dreams. She ended up working (and falling in love) in a pharmaceutical company though. Just like me. Meghan in Too Charming is a feisty detective – I’m more your coward end of the spectrum. Yet she has a relationship with her parents very similar to the one I had with mine.

The closest to me of all my heroines though, is Jessie in my next book, Reach for a Star. Jessie is a pharmacist with curly hair and two sons who likes to talk. She spends a lot of her time fantasising about a celebrity – in her case a famous singer (who she gets to meet in a singing competition). I was a pharmacist, I have curly hair which I desperately try to straighten, I have two sons and I love a good chat. Regular readers of my blog will know all about my celebrity crush on Jenson Button…alas the only time I saw him in real life he was zooming past me in a Formula One car.

So why, out of all my heroines, did Jessie come out the most like me? Well you see, although it’s the twelfth book to be published, Reach for a Star is actually the first book I ever wrote (though it’s undergone a complete overhaul in the intervening years).

Back in those early days of writing it was much easier to write about what I knew, so Jessie did a job I could relate to, had boys who, at the time (10 years ago!), were the same age as mine. Her personality isn’t too dissimilar to mine, either. She’s devoted to her family but in between the washing, ironing and ferrying children around, she dreams of finding that grand passion. Of course I found mine (just in case the husband reads this) and as if that doesn’t make me lucky enough, I also now spend my days reliving that grand passion through each of my heroines 🙂