Most of my novels are set in a fictitious area of the country, a city called Strand, a nearby town called Easthope and another called Castair, and various villages including Little Oak, Westope and Lebanon; there’s an ancient woodland, several rivers, moors, the coast, Farholm Island… it’s all quite clear in my imagination, and I hope I make it clear to my readers too.
Each of my books was written as a stand-alone novel, even though the story of my characters continued in my head beyond the conclusion; sometimes they would re-emerge as different people in different situations, but the plot I had imagined them being involved with would be realised. I always said I would never write a sequel or series, but this changed after I finished my first Radwinter novel… somehow it only seemed half-told, and another novel about the Radwinters emerged, and another, and now number five should be out about Christmas time!
Despite my novels being stand-alone apart from the Radwinter stories, there are recurring characters, minor ones; there are a couple of taxi drivers, one an elderly man who has a hairstyle like Elvis Presley and is always whistling cheerfully, another has long hair tied back, and is calm and slightly mysterious… there is always quiet jazz playing in his cab.
A pair of characters who again first appeared in ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ and have appeared in several novels since, are Marg an elderly transvestite who runs a small bar down by the old harbour in Easthope, and her partner Geoffrey. Marg is very eccentric and is usually attired in a ball-gown and various wigs of various colours, sometimes reminiscent of Marg Simpson. Geoffrey is silent, and as well as barman, doorman and cellarman, he fixes things – he may have been a carpenter or painter and decorator in a previous life!
Elgard Books, a shop in Strand with a branch in Easthope, first appears in ‘The Double Act’, then in the Radwinter series, and now it features in my next novel Lucky Portbraddon – several times, culminating in a rather dramatic scene involving guns, ram-raiding and murder! Another place is Moon River, a gallery owned by Sapphire Moon (named Sophia but she changed it to be more dramatic!) and there is a restaurant various characters visit in various novels, Honour’s in Easthope.
I feel that these recurring minor characters and places give a continuity to the stories; only one person features in any real way in one of the novels, but I’m not sure if my readers will realise as he is never subsequently given a name.
Here is a link to my Rosa Czekov novel:
… and to The Double Act:
… and to my other novels: