Tag Archives: trucks

Living the Dream.The power of characters.

Last night I dreamed I went to duMaurierLand again. (Sorry Daphne)

Let me explain. When I was younger and I might dream of living the life of a writer, I’d create for myself a room with a desk by a French window, beyond which there would be green swathe running down toward the sea and there would be bracken and paths through stands of trees. Indoors, I would have a log fire and tea in a bone china cup and I’d probably be wearing something quite figure-hugging and pearl earrings. You see, dear reader, I read everything Daphne published. The lot. All the novels. All the collections of short stories. I keep by my desk an old copy of Rebecca and every day, before I begin, I look at it. Sometimes, I pick it up and sniff it.

Daphne

my teenage heroine

There’s nothing like the smell of a good book. Kindles can’t do that. They can’t reproduce the touchy-feely thing about holding a favourite book in your hands. It would be sacrilege to read Rebecca on an e-reader. Wouldn’t it? Would I experience the same sense of connection with the woman who has inspired me for years?

first edition - I wish I had one

first edition – I wish I had one

Can you curl up with a Kindle?

Rebecca

a scene from Hitchcock’s 1940 film

Rebecca is my talisman. I keep it by my side to remind me of the power of characters. In du Maurier’s Rebecca there’s a character so powerful she controls everything even after she’s dead.  Rebecca, who Mrs Danvers adored, still occupies the thoughts and actions of the de Winter household to the extent that poor second Mrs de Winter doesn’t even get a first name all through the entire novel.

That’s power.That’s character. And yet . . . and yet.

I’m writing in the twenty first century. I might have a desk now AND a French window, ( I live in France; everybody has French windows) but Manderley it isn’t. My characters don’t wear pearls and dress for dinner.

My main character in Trobairitz drives a truck. This is where she spends most of her time.

Volvo Globetrotter cab

My character loves her cab

 

She hasn’t worn a skirt for years. She stuffs her hair under a baker boy cap when she’s driving and it’s so long since she had any fun with a man, she wonders if all her bits still work.

Daphne, as far as I remember, didn’t write about women’s bits or have a character admire the way a man fills his tee shirt.

But, if I can get my characters onto a page , whether on paper or a backlit screen, and readers remember them long afterwards, the way I remember Rebecca, I’ll be in du MaurierLand.

Passionate about Trucks

Volvo1

I love trucks. Especially ones like this. I hang out the car window to take pictures of them. I hang around truckers’ websites like a sniper, hitting on forums and stealing their conversations. I watch all the trucker TV programmes.

It’s no surprise then, that my novel Trobairitz features a mothertrucker as its main character. Trobairitz were female troubadours in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. My twenty-first century lady troubadour tells stories at an overnight truck stop. She doesn’t know she has it within herself to put back into her life the things she needs. She doesn’t even know she needs them yet.

Volvo2

She’s careful about getting too close to people. That’s why she tells stories instead.

She loves driving. She loves her truck.

She has another love.

 

 

Etype

powder blue – champagne leather seats

Her car.