On Saturday I am doing a storytelling and book reading at The Great Oak Bookshop in Llanidloes.
At any such event you need to decide what to do. How do you fill that time between the excited arrival of all those eager faces, (well I do write fantasy!) and their eventual departure clutching a copy of the black, red and blue tome, (see previous). Do you spin them a tale or two of your own or someone else’s? Do you perhaps gross them out with all the really gruesome bits from the story of Branwen? Do you just drone from the book and therefore give the reader little insight into what actually makes your book tick? Worse still if it is a slow starter you might even put them off!
Well I’m a storyteller who certainly can’t keep still so one thing’s for certain and that is that I won’t stay in one place for long.
Hey wait a minute I could tell them about the characters. About Chris and Margaret, Tony and his mum. Eleri and Lucy. Ah yes especially Lucy.
Lucy is the character I love most in The Seven and maybe in anything I’ve written. She is surly, rude and never uses a lot of words when a few more emphatic ones will do. One day a few years ago before The Seven was published I saw her in the actual grove. Just for those few minutes she’d become a boy. A boy of the same age and disposition digging with a stick under the right tree and wearing wellies and a scruffy leather coat too long for him. All he lacked were the blue designer specs. He gave us the sort of look which said that if he were Lucy we’d all be in trouble. Then I left him there in peace and completely unaware he’d been Lucy for a few minutes.
What else can I say about Lucy Morgan. She’s unhappy but doesn’t remember why. She’s deaf in one ear and both her parents and the local GP are equally confused about why! She loves animals but there are few humans she gets on with. She hates cruelty to animals above anything. And like both Tony and Chris she has no idea how special she is.
Lucy isn’t pretty pretty in pink and let’s all stop for tea with ringlets and freckles. Nor is she a tomboy with a boy’s name whose best friend is a dog. (There is a dog involved but Bryn is more of a nuisance than a companion) She doesn’t really like her brothers and sister and there certainly isn’t a friendly fawn to greet her when she opens her particular gateway. Unlike many of David Almond’s wonderful girl characters say she doesn’t have a male best friend either. She’s resolutely on her own and that’s the way she likes it aha aha.
No Lucy is one of those characters who walks alone for most of her life and when she does find a friend it will be the most unexpected person imaginable. And she’ll be far braver than anyone could ever have anticipated because of course everyone has underestimated her.
So yes whatever else I do on Saturday I”m going to share some of Lucy with you. Hope to see you there and here’s the link.
Meantime you might have noticed that Lucy’s got her own blog now on this very site. It’s about books because as you might not know, Lucy loves books.