I have a wonderful guest post today from Ailsa Abraham, whose novels are currently on special offer, so don't miss out.
Hello, Lorraine, and thanks for inviting me over. I thought I'd just have a muse about ageing today.
The warning there is real enough. I don't suppose any of us can resist giving our characters some traits that belong to people we know, or ourselves. I freely admit that the female lead in the Alchemy series, Riga, is modelled on a very much younger version of me. We can all think of male novelists who are obviously living out their fantasies through their work with heroes who can fly planes or helicopters, sail anything that floats, climb, ride horses and achieve everything perfectly. They may also be experts in various fields which would have taken two lifetime's study to gather.
This got me thinking. Suppose I were to write realistically? I would love to break into the crime genre because most of my life I have been involved with the police. No, I'm not a hardened criminal or drug baroness. My parents were both in the Metropolitan Police and met in training school where my father was mother's class captain. He eventually went on to Scotland Yard while she resigned her “wooden-top” job as a married woman. As he died when I was four, we were constantly visited by the local coppers making sure we were lacking nothing and often taking me for a ride in their police cars.
Even over here in France I managed to become an official interpreter for the gendarmes and customs. I must have “police family” in invisible ink on my forehead!
So if I were to re-cast myself as a detective would it work? Well...no! As I am a very honest person, going through the requirements of a successful character in that genre, I don't fit the bill.
Detectives are usually leaders of a team and popular with their colleagues. My Bipolar Condition would mean that I would be a big hit on some days and a pain in the proverbial when throwing hissy fits all the time on others.
Mental agility? No. Many bangs on the head have left me with enough brain damage to ensure that if I DO have a flash of inspiration, I must remember to write it down before I forget it. Chief Superintendent Abraham would need a full time PA to follow her around taking notes.
Powers of deduction? That would depend on how much distraction there was around. The same brain damage renders me incapable of thinking with more than one source of noise near me, for example, while trying to write this piece I have the TV on beside me and my Old Feller trying to talk. Cannot concentrate on any of them.
Instant availability? No, I can't just dash off to another country or district at the drop of a hat. It's the dog and cat, you see? They have never been away from us in their lives and it would kill me to put them in kennels. Jumping on planes to the States is out of the question.
I'd suggest that I might be an armchair old lady detective but Miss Marple has already been done... Miss Marple on a motorbike with a penchant for dressing up as a pirate? What do you think?
Bio and links
Ailsa Abraham writes under two names and is the author of six novels. Alchemy is the prequel to Shaman's Drum, published by Crooked Cat in January 2014. Both are best-sellers in their genres on Amazon. She also writes gay male romance under her brother's name, Cameron Lawton.
She has lived in France for over twenty years and enjoys knitting and crochet and until recently was the oldest Hell's Angel in town . Her interests include campaigning for animal rights, experimenting with different genres of writing and trips back to the UK to visit friends and family. She runs an orphanage for homeless teddy bears and contributes a lot of work to Knit for Africa. She is also addicted to dressing up, saying that she is old enough to know better but too wise to care.
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