One of the writers from the #writingcommunity that I follow on Twitter, posed a most interesting question: If the MC of your book knocked at your door, what would you do?
Immediately my mind went to Sylvia Kramer, the main character of Old Broad Road – my gritty novel set in Newfoundland that’s due for release this summer. Actually I’m working on the fourth draft of the sequel at this very moment…well, I’m writing this blog right now, but you know what I mean. Where was I? Oh, right.
This was my response to the Twitter question about a visit from the MC of my book: I would invite her in. Normally, I would hug her, too, but with Covid... Then I’d pour each of us a brandy. Though I don’t often imbibe, this is Sylvia’s drink of choice for those special and reflective moments, and since she’s the perfect host, I want to do my best to accommodate her.
We’d settle in for an evening of candid conversation. I’d commiserate the tragedy in/of her life and congratulate her bravery. We’d talk about Carl for a bit because I think she really needs someone with whom to share her honest upfront feelings about this rough-around-the-edges teddy bear. Oh, and I’d check out her tattoos. Well, the ones that she’s comfortable showing me.
I’m curious to know more about her previous life. I’d like to hear about what she did for personal enjoyment (did she have any?) before she became a middle-aged runaway. Actually, I’d like to know about her childhood and, also, her elite lifestyle with Paul. But only if she felt like talking. Wow, do you think that could lead to another book? A prequel! I guess that would make OBR a series. Hah! Wishful thinking.
It wasn’t until a few days later that I considered another possible response to the Twitter post. My memoir Hazards of the Trade was released in April of this Covid-riddled year, and guess who the MC is in that book? Me, of course. So, if I knocked on my door as the owner of a small lingerie and swimwear boutique, how would I react? Good question. And since I had the business for nearly twenty years, at what stage of this entrepreneurship would I show up?
So here’s the knock on the door and a few plausible comments after we’re settled in, tea in hand.
Oh girl, that perm has got to go. (Obviously it's the early years of my business. The 80s)
If you plan on keeping that figure, ease back on the snacks, sweet cheeks.
You think you know it all, but…well, you’ll find out.
I’d have to go easy on the critical comments in case they're misconstrued as ...critical comments. But, overall I think I’d enjoy the visit unless ‘my’ stringent professionalism, a.k.a. anal attitude, got in the way. Ease up, girl, not everyone shares that intensity! I’d offer encouragement and praise, but no insight to the future. Honestly, would that even be fair? I’d soak in ‘my’ passion for the trade and admire ‘my’ ability to wear high heels twelve hours a day, yada yada yada. Then I'd listen, listen, listen, because I know 'me'.
When I finally get ‘me’ to stop talking, I’d show ‘me’ to the door. Because there’s no need for social distancing, I’d give ‘me’ the biggest, most heartfelt hug I could muster. I know how much ‘we’ really need it.