A lovely huge welcome and hello to Lynne Shelby and the blog tour for her new novel, There She Goes.
When aspiring actress Julie Farrell meets actor Zac Diaz, she is instantly attracted to him, but he shows no interest in her. Julie, who has yet to land her first professional acting role, can’t help wishing that her life was more like a musical, and that she could meet a handsome man who’d sweep her into his arms and tap-dance her along the street…
After early success on the stage, Zac has spent the last three years in Hollywood, but has failed to forge a film career. Now back in London, he is determined to re-establish himself as a theatre actor. Focused solely on his work, he has no time for distractions, and certainly no intention of getting entangled in a committed relationship…
Auditioning for a new West End show, Julie and Zac act out a love scene, but will they ever share more than a stage kiss?
Lynne is chatting about her five favourite fictional characters today. Over to you.
Reading a novel, I find that some characters simply leap off the page and hang around in my imagination long after I’ve read the last chapter of their story. Not that they’d all be people you’d want to meet in real life, but here are five of my favourites:
In books, governesses are often prim and pitiful creatures but Jane Eyre, the heroine of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, is neither. Outwardly conventional, Jane is actually a rebel against the constraints society imposed on women of her time – her then-radical ideas about equality between the sexes, shocked many of the novel’s Victorian readers! The way Jane remains true to herself while overcoming hardship, and the fact she refuses to become the mistress of the man she loves, not because of her society’s morals, but because it would mean she would lose her own sense of her place in the world, make her one of the most memorable characters in English literature. I first read the book in school when I was a teenager, and have re-read it many times – I’m always delighted to renew my acquaintance with the subversive Jane.
The charming heroine of JoJo Moyes ‘Me Before You,’ Lou describes herself as ‘an ordinary girl leading an ordinary life.’ She is actually a wonderfully quirky girl, cheerful and optimistic, who could do all sorts of things, but the small town where she’s always lived is stifling her potential. When she takes a job as a carer for quadriplegic Will Traynor, she shows that she is both kind and resourceful – someone you simply have to root for, and hope that her life will get better, the whole way through her story. I don’t want to say too much and give away the plot of the book, but Lou Clark is a character that makes you both laugh and cry.
The main character of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium Trilogy’, private investigator Lisbeth Salander, is one of the most original and complex characters ever to burst out of the pages of a thriller. Extraordinarily intelligent, with a photographic memory, she comes across as cold and anti-social, and even cruel at times. She does, however, have her own moral code, and a burning determination to revenge violence against women, even if her actions are questionable. An outsider, isolated from others by the trauma in her past which she wants to hide, her trust issues reveal Lisbeth’s vulnerability, so that while she may not be likeable, you can’t help but be on her side.
Becky Sharpe, who, at the beginning of William Thackeray’s ‘Vanity Fair’, is a poor orphan, is selfish, cynical and self-centred, and will trample over both friends and lovers to get what she wants, namely to make her way up in the world by marrying a rich man. Ruthlessly pursuing her ambition with the use of her physical charms, she has no qualms about lying or stealing, and is completely without any motherly feelings towards her son. And yet, for all her faults, she somehow manages to be bad but not unsympathetic, especially as every time fortune seems to be within her grasp, she is thwarted by her past misdeeds catching up with her. With her high-spirits and sense of humour, Becky shines out amongst the hypocrites who surround her, particularly when she is contrasted with her best friend, the good, yet insipid, Amelia Sedley. Whatever you think of her, Becky Sharpe is a brilliant creation.
The most intelligent and sensible of the five Bennett sisters in Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Elizabeth is feisty, self-assured and quick-witted – as shown by her verbal sparring with hero Darcy. She has a great sense of humour and is able to laugh at the snobbish attitudes of some of her acquaintances, but as she says, she hopes she will ‘never ridicule what is wise and good.’ She is fiercely loyal to her family, even while recognising that her parents are hopeless and the behaviour of her younger sisters appalling – and she is able to admit that she got Darcy all wrong. Of all the heroines I’ve met in books, Elizabeth Bennett is the one I’d most like to meet in real life.
So there are five of my favourite characters from books. Some are heroines, some are villainesses, but all of them are unforgettable.
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and her latest novel, ‘There She Goes’, is one of a series of stand-alone books set in the world of showbusiness. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Reykjavik – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.
Click here to buy There She Goes on Amazon UK.