A Writer’s Confession
Forgive me fellow bookaholics for I have sinned.
I have taken poor innocent people and I have put them through hell. I have made them fall in love, and I have made the object of those affections reject them. I have made them drink far far more wedding party punch than is advisable, and I have forced them to have to get up unreasonably early the next morning. I have upset, inconvenienced and humiliated them at every turn.
I am really very sorry.
Actually I’m not sorry at all, because putting poor innocent people through hell is basically what writers do. The only thing that stops us from having to go to confession several times a day is the small detail that the people in question are imaginary. We make them up with the sole purpose of making their lives as difficult as possible. We intentionally create these fully-formed humans and we force them to want things which we then conspire to keep just out of their reach. We send them off on great heroic journeys with no thought for their comfort or preparedness for the task. We make them toil constantly in pursuit of their desires with never so much as a tea break or a toilet stop. Seriously, the thing with the toilet stops is particularly unfair. Us writers never let those poor fictional people go to the loo unless it’s to cry or engage in a comic interlude. The whole of bookworld must be permanently busting to pee.
Occasionally a character will slip past us. We’ll take our eye of the ball – probably we’re distracted by a misused apostrophe somewhere on Goodreads – and one solitary character will make it through a book unscathed, emotionally undamaged, content and happy from beginning to end. But even they aren’t safe, because if we don’t torture them enough, then our editor will demand we create more tension and conflict in their storyline, and if we can’t, then those poor innocent happy characters face the ultimate sanction.
I’m almost ashamed to say it, but that poor character, who’s done nothing wrong other than have the misfortune to be inadequately imagined by their writer, faces the risk of being cut altogether, ripped out of existence as suddenly and surely as they popped in. Or worse. At least if they’re cut, they simply cease to be. Some characters are imagined, created, crafted into life, only to meet with an untimely end – a plot convenient car crash or a passing serial killer. They end their days as nothing more than a character-building plot point for other, more major characters.
So please do forgive me bookaholics. I’ve created people, given them life, pulled them from the realm of imagination and given them life on the page, and then I’ve filled those lives with challenges, and misfortunes, and conflicts, and pain. I’ve invented whole rounded individuals for the sole purpose of killing them off. I’ve done all those things bookaholics. And forgive me, please, because I’m going to do them again and again and again.
A huge thank you to Alison and Lu at Choc Lit. ♥
Four people. Four messy lives. One night that changes everything …
Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect.
Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself.
Helen has loved the same man, unrequitedly, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers.
Alex has always played the field. But when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach.
At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice is not always the right one.
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/MEFw88
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/3rHnig
Alison May was born and raised in North Yorkshire, but now lives in Worcester with one husband, no kids and no pets. There were goldfish once. That ended badly.
Alison has studied History and Creative Writing, and has worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, and a freelance trainer, before settling on ‘making up stories’ as an entirely acceptable grown-up career plan.
Alison is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and won the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy in 2012. She writes contemporary romantic comedies, and short stories.