A writer friend of mine invited me to take part in a blog tour. Would I be interested in answering a few questions about the main character in my Work in Progress?
Patterns of Our Lives
Oh, I said. I haven’t got a work in Progress. It’s finished. I’m taking a break before starting the next one.
It didn’t matter. I could use Patterns of Our Lives for the blog tour questions. So, it’s thanks to Siobhan Daiko that I’m bringing you the results. She is currently working on her novel The Orchid Tree, set in Honk Kong 1941-1945 and 1948-1949. We’ve both chosen to have events of World War Two feature strongly in our first novels. We’ve also both been inspired by old photographs.
Siobhan is an accomplished writer whose work is very highly rated by readers and by other authors. I’ve read the opening to The Orchid Tree and it sounds exactly the kind of read I enjoy.
Here’s a link to Siobhan’s blog, where you can find out more information about Siobhan and her work.
I think blog tours are a great way for writers to share news and help each other. This one was started here and I thank Teagan for getting this thing rolling.
What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic person?
My present day character is widow, Audrey Freeman, returned to England from Australia to search for the truth about her mother. The real main character is Jean Thompson who lived through World War Two. They are fictional characters. Any resemblance to real people is for me to know and for my readers to wonder.
When and where is the story set?
The novel has two settings. First there’s Kingsley, Yorkshire, 1935 to 1965, a fictitious town based on my birthplace of Keighley and its neighbour Bingley. My second setting is Walsingham, in Norfolk 2009-2010.
The dual narrative treatment allows the reader to discover more about Audrey Freeman’s ancestry than she knows herself.
What should we know about him/her?
You don’t need to know anything in advance about Audrey. She’s chatty and tells you all about herself right from the off. We learn straight away how she cherishes old family photographs.
Readers see Jean’s life in the sections of ‘snapshots’ from the past. We get to see events Audrey has no access to. The snapshots she cherishes don’t tell her the whole story. In Jean’s era, when they left school at fourteen, young people moved straight from childhood to become an adult with adult responsibilities. There was no in between stage. Teenagers hadn’t been invented.
What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
The main and obvious conflict is World War Two and how it affects my characters in a north of England industrial town where munition factories worked round the clock.
What messes up both Jean’s and Audrey’s lives are the secrets passed on from one generation to the next.
What is the personal goal of the character?
Audrey wants to find out the truth about her mother’s past. Jean wants to find love.
Is there a working title and can we read more about it?
My working title was Walsingham Matilda. It wasn’t until I wrote a scene where Audrey uses the phrase ‘patterns of our lives’ that the lightbulb moment arrived and I realised all I needed to do was add capital letters and I had my new and more appropriate title. It sums up the theme of the book perfectly.
When is publication?
Patterns of Our Lives is available from June 14th 2014. It’s just gone live on Amazon as a paperback. I haven’t yet finished formatting for Kindle.
Many thanks to Siobhan for the invitation. Don’t forget to visit her blog. Just click on her name to go straight to more information about The Orchid Tree.