The next couple of weeks are going to be a little bit different around here...
No, no, I'm not going to suddenly start talking sense or stop posting pictures of my kittens or anything, that would be mad. But firstly, I've been tagged or 'dropped in it' as we technical people say by two of my Choc Lit mates to do a character post about my hero and, since the book comes out as an e-book TOMORROW, PEOPLE, SERIOUSLY!!!, I thought this would be a good idea. And next week, as a little treat for you, I'm interviewing the totally fabulous Liam Livings about his new release (if you want to read up about it first, go here, and there will be pictures and a proper interviewy type thing and everything and you'll get to hear about someone who isn't me, which I am sure will come as a great relief to you all. Plus Liam is lovely, so, you know. Not me.
Now. In honour of the release of 'How I Wonder What You Are' (click to purchase and everything...) I am following the unutterably gorgeous Chris Stovell (click all you want, you can't buy her, but you can see her books and her blog) who writes books so atmospheric you can smell the sea as you are reading, and Angela Britnell, whose latest book Celtic Love Knot is set in Cornwall, where I used to live, and I know is also full of the smell of the sea but in a good way, not like seaweed and old mackerel or anything.
Now I'm supposed to tell you things about my hero from 'How I Wonder What You Are', if 'hero' is the right word for a slightly neurotic, phobic astrophysicist with control issues and more brain than he can safely be left in charge of.
1. What is the name of your character?
Phinneas Baxter. Doctor Phinneas Baxter, PhD, thank you very much. He worked hard for that doctorate and he's bloody well going to use the title now he's got it. He's more usually known as Phinn, although his friend Link calls him Bax. Or 'dickhead' for short.
2. Is he fictional or an historic person?
Oh I sincerely hope he's fictional, because someone this accident-prone running through history is going to cause an awful lot of wars. And explosions. Although he's absolutely fine with everything that's more than a million miles away, he's a bit...well...klutzy with anything that he's in actual physical contact with.
3. When and where is the story set?
It's very much in the here and now, and set in a fictional village called Riverdale, up on the heights of the North York Moors. Steep hills, brooding moors, lots of bracken and heather, with a river running through it, crossed by a medieval pack horse bridge. It's like Wuthering Heights without the consumptive coughing.
4. What should we know about Phinn?
His parents are two of the cleverest scientists on the planet. He was conceived as a thought-experiment, brought up travelling the lecture circuit and then dropped in a slightly-less-than-top-range pre-prep school aged four, where he met Link, and the two of them have been practically inseparable ever since. He's good looking, in an academic sort of way, funny, sensitive, and, since his wife died in tragic circumstances, a widower. All in all he sounds like quite a catch, doesn't he? But Phinn is afraid of so many things....
5. What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Phinn is his own conflict, and he messes up his own life. He, and our heroine Molly, have a lot of personal issues to sort out, both alone and together, before they can ever contemplate any kind of relationship. He's so clever it hurts. But that's not always enough, when it comes to liking someone.
6. What is the personal goal of the character?
Like most of us, Phinn is just trying to get by. He's come to Riverdale to hide, to escape, to lick his wounds and possibly to write a book. But squatting in a house with no electricity, no running water and only a dubious septic tank between him and typhoid is probably not the best thing he ever did with his life, particularly when the Universe seems to think that he and Molly should get together.
There. I hope this whets your, not inconsiderable, appetites for the book. As I said, it's out tomorrow as an e-book and, hopefully, in early May as a paperback. Now, as I am The Place Where Memes Go To Die, I don't have anyone to tag to follow me, but I would like to draw your attention to all of my fellow Choc Lit writers anyway. Go over there and check them out, we've got fantasy, paranormal, historicals, time-slips, contemporaries - if you can't find a shed load of books that you love, then I'll...well, I'll.... I'll be very surprised. And I shall probably come round and shout through your letterbox.
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