I used to watch a program called Whose Line Is It Anyway, where the contestants, usually actors and comedians, would improvise scenes, moments in time, and songs. It was much like me in my Theatre Studies A level class, but with skill and success. I was always impressed at how immediate the actors’ responses were to the instructions yelled out by Clive Anderson – they were out of one character and into a next within a blink of an eye.
Having finished book 3, What Doesn’t Kill You, I am venturing into book 4 territory, and I’m finding letting go difficult, as are my characters. Griff and Evie are determined to prevent Ash and Jo from moving in and occupying my (their?) headspace.
It was the same with Chris and Victoria from Follow Me Follow You.
I know exactly who Ash and Jo are – I’ve studied their personality types, I know their history, their basic fears and desires, what they look like, what body parts they love best – but still, as I sit down and type Chapter One, I’m having to nudge Evie aside.
Evie, it’s time to go. Your work is done. Stop projecting images of Griff into my mind’s eye. Griff, with his strong, protective arms, his dark wavy hair, his sense of command …
And this explains why I didn’t go on to star in the West End. I’d have been a unique hybrid somewhere between Calamity Jane and Sandra Dee, singing You’re The One That I Want as, in my tight, black trousers and off-the-shoulder top, I rolled on over the plains on the Deadwood Stage, cracking my whip.
I might have to write that musical.
Talking of cracking the whip, that’s what I must do – make headway with my WIP – my work in progress – and I can only do that if I immerse myself in the world of historic secrets, TV presenters, and people who fight the good fight.
Griff and Evie Hendry, I love you. You’ve done a fabulous job treading the boards in my head, and I thank you for that. Now it’s time for you both to take a bow, and prepare for your next roles.
Ash and Jo – centre stage please.