Julia Hughes - writing thrilling adventures - time after time after time.
Go to any readers’ forum on the web, or earwig into any conversation about books, and I guarantee you there will be one topic or theme that makes eyes light up, and even the shyest “lurker” break their maiden.
“Name your favourite all time fictional character”
I’ll guarantee you something else as well - the same old names will crop up time after time. Sherlock Holmes, Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, Heathcliff, Miss Havisham, James Bond, Harry Potter, Rebecca, Rebus, Rupert Campbell-Black, Hermione Granger ... they’re coming from all walks of life, and some are already a couple of centuries old, so you can say they’ve stood the test of time.*
One thing they all have in common though is their ability to be larger than life. Pick anyone of the above, and think about it. Isn’t Hermione cleverer than the cleverest girl you went to school with? Heathcliff could brood for an Olympic gold medal as for Campbell-Black, no woman between the age of eighteen to eighty is safe from him (and I get the feeling he’d make an exception outside those age ranges if the gel was pretty enough).
Conan-Doyle, Ms Austen, Dickens et al obviously aren’t available for interviews and I rather doubt even in my wildest dreams (it involves an elevator and power failure) either Jilly Cooper or J K Rowling would ever consent to being interviewed by little old me.
Nil Desperado - or something like that - when author Stephen Spencer dropped by for a chat, I lulled him into a false sense of security before springing the biggie: How do you create such realistic characters? If you’ve read any of his books, you’ll know immediately what I’m talking about. Like so many talented artists, he considers the answer to be simple. Stephen also modestly gives all credit to another author, whose advice he seized. Now in his own words, Stephen Spencer is “paying it forward”. So if you’ve ever wondered why some fictional characters manage to take on a life of their own, long after their creators have written “The End” click Author! Author! and you’ll find an exclusive interview with Stephen.
*In case your favourite character isn’t listed, instead of muttering under your breath about it, you can always tweet me @Tinksaid, or add a comment.
Crombie’s Crocodillo is based on an idea by the late great Jack Bickham, who in addition in penning 75 novels, also found the time and generosity to share his knowledge of the craft with fellow authors. Amongst his “38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and how to avoid them)” is this:
“Don’t Drop Alligators Through the Transom”
An American friend was kind enough to translate, (actually he was duty bound having recommended the book to me) and I was delighted to discover that a "transom" is something we Brits call a "fanlight." Generally found in older houses, this is a small pane of glass above a door, intended to provide secondary light. Usually they’re so high up, they never get cleaned and just sit there collecting dust, and screaming at visitors: Yes the chatelaine of this house is a slut. I hate ‘em. And the thought of an alligator crashing through one is absolutely irresistible. Jack Bickham of course was making a completely valid point about introducing something quite unrelated to the story line, (a deus ex machina).
Apparently there are lots and lots of alligators in New York. Even more in Florida, but there aren’t that many in London; so surprise surprise! Our story begins with the circus coming to town.
This started out as a piece of flash fiction, promised it would stop at a short story now it’s grown enough to be called a novella - Crombie’s Crocodillo just keeps growin’ and growin’.
Although very much a work in progress, Chapter One is available to read now, and unsurprisingly owes more than a nod to the old style Ealing Studio Comedies, in my opinion. Click here to read Chapter One on Goodreads
Wren Prenderson; "A Ripple in Time" best hero.
"The Griffin Cryer" best Urban Fantasy. Thank you to the hard working judges and everyone who voted at the eFestival of Words, organised by Julie Dawson, of Bards & Sages.
A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time, and The Griffin Cryer. Thank you to Julie and her hard working panel of judges and reviewers.
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