Guest Post: Linda Mitchelmore

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TWO HEROES AND A HEROINE – how they came to life.

By

Linda Mitchelmore

 

EMMA AND HER DAUGHTER is the third book in my trilogy, and published by Choc Lit. I know Emma now almost as well as I know myself. I know she’s impulsive. And loyal. And loving. And very feisty when needs be. I know her hair and eye colour and how tall she is. When creating a character, as I did with Emma, I like to have some sort of visual to ground me – a picture of a woman taken from a magazine or a newspaper; she doesn’t have to be well-known (in fact it’s better if she isn’t because it is all too easy to make your fictional character too close to the well-known one portrayed by the media) and in the past I’ve used the pictures of women advertising vacuums or hair dye for my heroine. Emma arrived in my life from the pages of a Sunday supplement in a cookery feature. I knew my trilogy was going to be set in Devon but I didn’t need all my characters to talk with a Devonshire accent (although more people back in the period 1909-1927 spoke with the regional accent than they do now) and drop their ‘aitches and say summat when they mean something as we do down here. So I gave Emma a Breton French father, and a mother who had been better educated than most were at those times. In my head she is accent-less and I hope that’s how she comes across to readers. So, I pretty much had Emma how I wanted her for the whole three books before I started writing. And that left my hero – Seth. I trawled the net for actors with jet black hair. I ripped every picture of a man in the 20’s age bracket from every magazine I could get my hands on. I even considered a couple of models from the Cotton Traders catalogue. And then I saw him. It was October, cold but sunny. I’d been walking on Dartmoor with my husband and we’d stopped off at the Warren House Inn for lunch. The door was thrown open and filling the space where it had been was my Seth. He had candle-straight hair the colour of wet coal. He was large but not fat. Although it was October he was wearing shorts. He had a Spanish look about him. He would have made a good gung-ho hero in an action movie. And then I noticed he was holding the hand of a mentally-handicapped young adult – a lad about sixteen years old or so, who also walked with a limp that made him look as though he was in pain. It was hard not to stare. I wanted to take a photograph of my ‘Seth’ but didn’t like to ask. I made notes on the back of our lunch bill instead. And then while we drank our coffee the food arrived for ‘Seth’ and his companion. Carefully ‘Seth’ cut up the food for the younger lad, helped him fork it into his mouth. And with those actions I had ‘Seth’s’ character for my book – I knew he was going to be caring of those less fortunate, a gentle giant if you like.

But there are two heroes in my trilogy. The second is Matthew Caunter and he’s not a team player by any means although, like Seth, he has a caring side to him. Matthew is an undercover surveillance officer, a brave and enigmatic man with more mystery about him than what happened to the Marie Celeste. He’s taller than Seth but more gangly. And he has reddish hair; hair that is longer than was fashionable in those times, which adds to his attraction for Emma. Where did I get him from? Well, he’s an amalgam of three men I know – or knew, because one of them died some while ago, and while no one in our family knew the truth of what he really did for a living it was believed that his garage business (which he left in the hands of a manager at short notice and often for months at a time) was a cover for what he really was – a spy. He was also wary of making lasting relationships having once been badly let down, and this is true, in part, for Matthew. Matthew’s hair colour is pure Prince Harry, and the length of it has been lifted from a friend who’s an artist and cuts a dash wherever he goes.

So, there we have it. How the three main protagonists in my Emma trilogy came into being. There are also three very strong secondary characters in my story – Beattie Drew, Ruby, and Stella Martin. Many readers have said that Beattie Drew is their favourite character in the first two books. Around the same number have said the same of Ruby, and wouldn’t we all want a funny and true friend like her? Stella Martin is new to the ‘cast’ as it were and few will have read about her yet. I hope readers will empathise with the gentle and elegant Stella, too. All three of them, I feel, deserve a blog post all to themselves some time. Watch this space!

A huge thank you to Linda Mitchelmore and Lu at Choc Lit. 

Emma and her Daughter 150 x 240

Can ‘second love’ be true love?

It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back.

But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down.

Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?

Can ‘second love’ be true love?

It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back.

But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down.

Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?

 

Click to purchase Emma and her Daughter on Amazon (UK) or Amazon.com

Linda Mitchelmore  | TwitterFacebook |

 

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