My Favourite Character to Write
The kinds of characters I enjoy writing always shift from novel to novel. In The Other Half of Me, Eve’s cool villainy often appealed to me more than Theo’s endearing innocence. But by the time I was writing The Outline of Love I was drawn to Ivy, a ‘good’ character dealing with a difficult and unusual secret.
In Strange Girls and Ordinary Women I realised that Vic had – unexpected by me – become my favourite character to write. I have absolutely nothing in common with her, but that made me more interested in puzzling her out. I liked her the least, but that made me feel sorry for her. While the wounded but quietly persevering Alice is a more winning and sympathetic character, and Kaya’s strength and courage has to be admired, nobody really likes Vic, least of all herself. She is an outsider watching the more exciting lives of people around her, but this is her own choice, and so isn’t likely to provoke much sympathy. On top of this she is repressed, passive, sternly shy; all in all: very hard to love. Because of this I felt quite protective over her. I wanted Vic to be alright.