|Author Stella Hervey Birrell|
Several years ago, I was talking to a friend, who had finally ‘got it together’ with her future husband. We were discussing what our fantasies were. Our fantasies for life and relationships, not sex, this is not one of those blog posts.
‘It’s hard,’ she said. ‘My fantasy has just become a reality.’
I can relate. The main character, Melissa, in my first novel, ‘How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right?’ is not your standard ‘fantasy’ heroine. Actually, Melissa is not a heroine at all, the word anti-heroine was made for her : amoral, blunt, sexually incontinent, she is also lost, miserable, and lonely.
But she does exist on fantasy. She wants a soulmate, even though she doesn’t believe in them. And she can’t work out how to start her quest: apart from throwing herself at every passing boy of course. Which seems to work, sometimes…
Melissa does travel in the novel, but not through other dimensions, portals or around an alternate universe. She travels through time, if by ‘travelling in time’ you mean forwards and backwards through a summer, and an autumn, just after the millennium. She travels through space, if by ‘through space’ you mean ‘moving house from England to Scotland.’ She does travel in her mind, if by ‘in her mind’ you mean learning some important things about her body and her fantasies, and, eventually giving her fantasy up for lost. Because that is right when things always start to happen. It doesn’t matter what genre you are reading, when a character says they’re ‘all done with that,’ you can pretty much guarantee ‘all that’ is about to happen.
Melissa has a dream, and she chases it relentlessly. I respect that. It was what I did when I started
writing. But unlike Melissa, who looks around and sees everyone else settling down with their perfect partner, I looked around at the world of writing and wondered how my voice would ever be heard over the clamour. Would anyone read about Melissa and think ‘yeah, I could go for that?’
For a long time, Melissa occupied space in my imagination and on my computer, and in several emails, introducing her to publishers and agents. It looked like she would be staying there. But then Crooked Cat showed up. Who needs a fire-breathing dragon when you can have a Crooked Cat?
It was a fantasy of mine, to be a writer. I didn’t have to swap dimensions to make it a reality, although there were times when it felt like an endless, lonely quest. I didn’t get an amulet to protect me from other people’s opinions, or a magic quill that produced 1000 words a day.Melissa is about to go out into the world now, as a character in a book I wrote. I’m sorry I didn’t give her a bow and arrows. But I made her of strong stuff: hopes, dreams and fantasies. I reckon she’ll be OK.
About the author
Please come and say ‘hi’ in one or more of these places
My blog space is https://atinylife140.wordpress.com/
Twitter is @atinylife140
I have a page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stellaherveybirrell/?ref=hlI can also be found wandering the streets of various East Lothian villages.
My book is available on :IBooks - Search ‘How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right?’ in the iTunes Store