I love writing! Always have and, I hope, always will. I was writing all sorts of things from a young age and, during my early teens, started to read as much as I could too. All Kinds of genres filled my shelves and all with different, and yet somehow similar, protagonists. There are many books that have troubled, bullied, grieving or outsider main characters. There are few with seemingly normal characters that just happen to be a little special or simply have something special happen to them. That isn’t a criticism, as I enjoy all of those types of characters, it’s merely an observation.
When I started writing my first novel ‘Brunswick’ I wanted to make my main character a “normal” kid, no extra troubles than usual. Of course he was based on my son so that was easy enough!! I wanted to do this because I thought it was important to point out that you don’t have to be troubled to have it tough. Not all teenagers are bullied, grieving or outsiders, but that doesn’t mean that growing up for them isn’t hard. There are many things that happen as we grow up that are tough to deal with, growing up is, after all, change and change is hard. When someone says “boy you think you have it tough, you should be in my shoes”, I always wonder why? Why do they have to be in your shoes to know how it feels to have a hard time or to face a challenge? Surely it isn’t a competition to see who has the toughest life, and we should all have the power and reasoning to know that everyone has the right to a good moan.
Then there's my second novel ‘Mary’ and the protagonist is totally different. She has a troubled past and all sorts of grey clouds hanging over her. Again though, I wanted to take that in to a different direction. Most of the characters that I have read that sit anywhere close to Mary Pendleton become hard and unyielding to others. They become standoffish and just generally tough nuts to crack. It doesn’t always happen that way though, sometimes people that have been through a tragedy and left with, what seems like nothing, become more vulnerable and almost desperate for as much as they can get. That is what I wanted Mary to be, yes she is a troubled teen who'd do anything to block her past out, but it’s how she does this that's different and interesting. She welcomes friends willingly because she's desperate for them, love from a boy is grabbed at through loneliness. The thing is, sometimes things happen and they don’t always make us harder and stronger. Sometimes they actually make us weaker but more determined, and that’s ok. Or at least I think it is anyway. After all a lot of strength comes from determination in the end!!
I have to admit that going in the opposite direction all the time is a bit of a thing with me, I worry that it may make me seem a little pretentious and that I’m being different for the sake of it. Really though it’s just that I like to see things from the other less looked at perspective, maybe it’s because I’m a little stubborn too!!
So what’s normal anyway? I think I’m quite freaky at times and probably stick out like a sore thumb, whereas in reality I am probably just a boring, slightly frumpy mummy type. The thing to remember is that we are looked upon by so many perspectives in the world we have all, at some point, been normal and sometimes even freaks and everything in between. So I just do what I do and try to do it well, I embrace my normality as much as I embrace my inner freak!! Maybe we all should?