Today I am pleased to welcome Grace Wynne-Jones on to the blog with a fab guest post about her characters!
When I first met Ava Lavelle I didn’t like her. I thought she was a bossy, highly opinionated woman in her seventies and that her awfulness would be entertaining….she was, after all, a fictional character in my novel Ready Or Not?.
Ava, however, had other opinions about this view of her. She sturdily informed me that she was a complex woman and much misunderstood. Her match-making abilities were not respected by her single daughter and her husband did not seem to appreciate her high standards in housekeeping. Surely it was only reasonable to demand that mats should be used whenever beverages were placed on a table.
Underneath these remonstrations I sensed that Ava was, indeed, not the woman I thought I knew…and she was clearly not content with an unflattering walk-on part in her daughter’s romantic endeavors. She had much affection to give, but she didn’t know how to offer it.
She wanted an adventure and she wanted love. And most of all she wanted to feel she was enough…enough just as herself…. a tenderness developed between us.
I tend to become very fond of the characters in my novels. In Ordinary Miracles, for example, a woman called Jasmine just seemed to turn up and told me what it was like to be married to a man who neglects her. Writing fiction, like life itself, is sometimes most mysterious. Along with the laughs and, hopefully, page-turning plots, it allows one to explore life’s soft underbelly…the parts we may begin to believe that no-one will ever understand.
The characters in a novel share their secrets, and sometimes readers do too. I received some letters about Jasmine and her unhappy marriage from women who felt much the same way. Some of them probably appeared contented. We should be careful about judging a book, or a person, by the cover….
What the characters in my novels have shown me is that humans are very complex and simple…great beauty can exist in the dance between these apparent contradictions. Love is a journey and, as Pablo Picasso once commented, ‘to be young, really young, takes a very long time’.
About the book
Jasmine Smith: forty next month and not ready for it; married to a man she likes and not prepared to give up on love; smothered by life’s mundanity, and yet drawn towards its mystery. She wants the sort of love that makes her feel more alive, she wants wild sex in stalled lifts with film stars. She wants something else…Quiet desperation gets louder after a chance, and dismaying, discovery.
Jasmine Smith is in desperate need of a miracle. And with the help of an adventurous school friend, a man called Charlie and a pig called Rosie, she is about to find one.
About the Author
Grace Wynne-Jones is the author of four highly intimate, soulful, novels that have received critical acclaim and an enthusiastic response from many readers. Called Ordinary Miracles, Wise Follies, Ready Or Not? and The Truth Club, the books all include a large helping of quirky romance. Ordinary Miracles was described as having ‘that rare combination of depth, honesty and wit‘ by OK Magazine
Grace has frequently been praised for the warm belly-laugh humour and tender observations in her writing and has been described as a novelist ‘who tells the truth about the human heart’. She likes her books to feel like friends. Two of them have got into the bestsellers charts and, as an article in The Sunday Independent said, they are often about ‘older women looking for fulfillment and, yes love, in a complicated world’. The eBook editions are available on Amazon for 99p