Ever since I was six years old and writing sequels to the movies I loved to watch, I have struggled with remaining focused on one idea. Over the past few months I have continued working on Evelyn only to find myself hitting wall after wall of frustration. It was during the past week I found out why I was struggling. I was ignoring another idea. This secondary idea’s main protagonist is as far from Evelyn as I could possibly get. While Evelyn is deeply thoughtful and while bruised and scarred, has endless hope and empathy for people, this new idea, this new character is a brash, lower class young woman who swears like a trooper and has a serious grudge against the world. This was why I was struggling to write Evelyn, she was getting swallowed up by this obnoxious yet wonderfully colorful new character.

The idea came to me the other week, but was not yet formed. All I knew was I had a growing desire to honestly represent Britain’s lower/underclass. All too often I was reading books within the fantasy genre where the female protagonists were beginning to all blend into one. Insert female protagonist, has special gift/power/history and fights against it/doesn’t want it/saves the world while all men and women fall hopelessly in love with her due to her ‘unique’ beauty, yet she thinks she is ugly.

So I would like to introduce you all to Melody Kieth, 22 year old worker at Primark who successfully failed all her exams due to not bothering to turn up. Am I creating a stereotype? No, the above does read like a harsh caricature of a lowerclass/under class individual, but as an author I am able to expand on her life. I am able to make her more than first impressions.

The current idea for the title of this novel is called Cuckoo. Melody is a changeling baby, and through a series of events discovers this and is transported to the Fairy realm in order to claim her throne from the human doppelganger that sits upon it. Her general view point of the whole adventure is apathy and that she really does not a shit. She’s not academically intelligent, and by that I mean she did not finish school or study at college level. However she is street smart, very intuitive and intelligent in her own right. I am, as an author and a human being an advocate for not judging a person on their academic achievements.

An idea of some of her colorful language is as follows:

“Look luv, if ya don’t get your stinky maggot breath out me face, I’m gonna kick you so hard your piss flaps will swell into balls!”

“This is some fucked up Harry potter shite.”

“I ain’t wearing no princess fluffy frilly pink crap.”

So, this is why Evelyn is currently on hold. I have Melody in my head. It’s very loud.

Evelyn and The Shadowman snippet

A snippet from the first chapter of Evelyn and The Shadowman. This is the first draft, which for me is all about telling myself the story before editing it for the reader.

She could not move. No matter how she tried, even her bare feet could not wiggle a single toe. She was frozen beneath the immense power of the shadow man, sinking further against the mattress as he pushed her down. She felt his shadowing cold hands snake up her body and was sure they had long talons for nails. Then, his breath her he cold cheek and she clenched her jaw, biting the inside of her cheek to still her fearful moan. There are no such things as monsters. There are no such things, no such things…
His tongue snaked out and she felt its wetness upon her cheek, and through tightly closed eyes tears began to spill until suddenly-
“You’d best be in bed you little shit! Don’t want that teacher telling me you gone and fallen asleep in class again!”
As soon as her mothers slurred and billowing voice carried up the stairs, the weight vanished from on top of her. She heard the soft creek of her bedroom door open and close before the air cleared and she opened her eyes,
“I’m in bed!” She managed to call out, fighting back the growing lump in her throat as she wiped away her tears. Her mother did not answer, nor come up the stairs to check and she heard footsteps below return to the kitchen . Now, alone once more in her bedroom, Evelyn frantically scanned around her stark room and pulled the threadbare blankets to beneath her chin. The Shadow Man was gone. For now.

Quotes you are aching to use

Every now and again one of my characters comes up with a quote and I frantically try to find a way to have them say it. Currently, I am nursing a rather loud voice in my head, a favoured character of mine who I have allowed to partake in Evelyn and The Shadowman. Raphael, archangel and possibly my most favourite character. Like children, we are not supposed to say we have favourites. I do, perhaps it’s a downfall of mine, perhaps it is why I find myself frantically battering characters away with a baseball bat as they try to make cameo’s in my stories. Regardless, Raphael does and always will have a soft spot in my heart. Sadly, he often comes up with some amazing sayings which currently I have no way of inserting into my novel and they are as follows:

“God exists in the split second before the bullet hits your brain.”

“I have watched a great many people, but none as annoying and idiotic as you.”

“No one told me you were supposed to remove the egg from the shell before you microwaved it.”

“I have an awkward relationship with socks.”

“I have spoken to God, and even God does not know where the socks vanish once they are placed in the washing machine. We suspect Demons. Small, laundry living demons.”

“Can we buy some new socks?”

“I like your socks.”

“I have watched, man, woman and child stumble and fall. I have watched death and famine surround mankind and never interfered. However, if you insists on playing Justin Bieber one more time, I shall unleash Gods fury onto you and watch as your ears bleed, your skin melts and your body crumbles away over aeons. We listen to the Beachboys here. Nothing else.”

“Never. Ever, insult The Beach Boys.”

“If you desire honest answers, ask a child. Adults slip too easily into deceit.”