I'm delighted that Patsy Collins has agreed to do a guest post right here about her new book, Firestarter. You can find Patsy at Words about writing and writing about words and at Womagwriter's blog. But that's enough from me. Without further ado it's over to you, Patsy.
It's said that an author always puts something of themselves in their main characters. I don't do that deliberately, but I suppose it's inevitable that our thoughts and experiences influence whatever we write.
Alice Bakewell is the main character in my new novel; a romantic comedy called Firestarter. I set most of the story close to where I live and wrote the majority of it in the camper van, so she and I do have locations (around the New Forest and a trip to Wales where things get steamy*!) in common.
*Steamy for Alice that is. I'm keeping quiet about my own trips over the border. There's such a thing as over sharing.
Alice is very pretty, bubbly, curvaceous and has long hair. We could be twins! OK, maybe not. She is slightly younger than me (a mere 22 years difference) and her hair is sleek, glossy black, not a riot of unpredictable red. She straightens hers - every day! Neither of us is skinny, but Alice's curves are flaunted in fashionable clothes which she actually enjoys shopping for. I had to push my imagination to its limits for that part. Her social life was quite a stretch too as she has one.
She's a maths whizz with a sensible job which she's very good at. I had a proper job, in an office and everything, once. No really, I did.
A slightly offbeat sense of humour is something Alice and I share. Everyone finds Brussels sprouts fairly hilarious though, don't they? We also both find creative ways of getting even with people who've annoyed us. Alice has slime-ball Miles Molde manoeuvred into drinking her dad's terrible home-brew. I just write about it happening.
The pair of us both enjoy our food, especially cake. I'm blaming most of my curves on researching Alice's eating habits. I had to do a LOT of research. Her mum uses unusual recipes which I had to invent for her. Alice gets invited to classy parties and events where fancy food is served. I don't, or at least not often, so I had to cook my own fancy nibbles. You can't just make one of each, can you?
All that eating means Alice and I need to find ways to burn off the calories. Alice does aerobics and zumba. My imagination was put to use again there. I agree with her there are more useful ways to exercise. There are more fun ones too. See my comment on over sharing.
Conservation work is Alice's useful way of keeping fit. It's something she's surprised to discover she enjoys. It's handy that she does, as the wildlife sanctuary is the place a certain hunky fireman spends a lot of his free time. Volunteering there helps Alice get close to firefighter Hamish. She also learns a lot more about birds, including her, and my, favourite - oyster catchers. Hamish is particularly interested in rather rare red-footed corvids. Thanks to Alice's ornithological education I'm now a little more knowledgeable about our feathered friends. (Haven't mastered photographing them though!)
Alice has a real thing for firemen. Fit, strong firemen with muscular thighs. All her fantasies feature a fireman, some even involve his uniform - at least to start with. First he rescues her from a perilous situation, holding her safely in his strong arms, then there's mouth to mouth and of course he'll need to gently but thoroughly check her for injuries and then ... Oh gosh, I've used up nearly all the space Teresa allocated me, so there's no room to continue, detail my research methods, or even say if I share Alice's opinion of firemen. What a shame.
Thank you, Patsy. Firestarter is available from Amazon. I can't wait to read it!