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Friday, 27 October 2017

When fictional characters move from books to the REAL WORLD. @rararesources @janeowenauthor

Rants from the mind of a fictional character


Kelly Cunningham
(a character from Jane Owen's The Bitches of Suburbia)

Kelly Cunningham did not like current affairs, did not like watching the news, reading the papers or listening to the radio.  Kelly’s mother had said, on many occasions, that there were two things one should never discuss in polite company:  religion and politics and seeing as the news mainly consisted of events caused by or involving religion or politics, it frightened Kelly a little bit, it made people so very, very angry.  She still watched it though.  Like most people she could remember quite clearly where she was, what she was wearing even, when she’d turned on the news and seen the Diana’s crumpled wreck of a car in the Paris underpass and the national hysteria that had followed it had shaken her to the core.  Kelly’s mother had also been a great believer in the stiff upper lip, one simply didn’t fall apart like that, certainly not at funerals.  The same could be said of 9/11.  Like most Europeans who’d grown up with terrorism, she’d recognised it immediately for what it was and her heart broke for the Americans whom she assumed, probably correctly, would be irrevocably changed by this attack on home soil. 

Since then, rolling news and smart phones had brought a whole new level of anxiety to her life.   Twenty four hour coverage of every dreadful fire or mass shooting or car bomb came with eye witness reports filmed on an iPhone.  Nowadays people actually filmed as they hid from machete wielding maniacs or lone psychopaths with automatic weapons and it made it all so real, so close but it wasn’t even this so much that upset Kelly, it was the slightly shaky footage of people crying outside a burning tower block, people holding each other tight as they sobbed in front of pop up shrines of cellophane wrapped flowers, helium balloons, candles and teddy bears.  It was the individual stories of loss and fear that made the tears roll down her cheek.

Recently, even the politics had started to scare Kelly.  She was sure she would never be able to quite forgive David Cameron for calling that referendum, a referendum that had divided a country in a way not seen since Cromwell, that had brought to the surface hitherto hidden feelings of resentment that Kelly, nice middle class suburban housewife that she was, had had no idea were festering in the nation’s bosom and the hatred felt by some Remainers towards the Leavers had left her feeling sick to her stomach.   A dinner party with some of Martin’s work colleagues had ended disastrously when, fuelled no doubt by French wine, a discussion about Brexit had resulted in a guest and the host almost coming to blows.  She and Martin had made their excuses and left, not even bothering to stay for dessert.

All this paled into insignificance however, when compared to the threat of nuclear war, even more so because it all seemed to be happening on Twitter.  That was something else that made Kelly Cunningham’s head spin:  social media and the speed with which it had become another weapon in a politician’s arsenal.  She wasn’t quite sure had the world had come to point where world leaders could insult each other and threaten to obliterate each other using 160 characters or less but she was fairly sure her mother would not have approved of this impolite conversation.

No, Kelly Cunningham did not like current affairs, not one little bit.


The Bitches of Suburbia
Nothing much ever happened on Horseshoe Lane - why should it? It was, after all, just a normal suburban backwater with the usual cross section of growing families, ageing pensioners, the occasional singleton and a brace of curtain twitchers.

The arrival of celebrity couple, Heavenly and Travis, however, changes all that. This glamorous pair bring about a summer of competitive party throwing and ambitious home improvement projects that will have disastrous and completely unforeseen consequences.  
Buy NOW on Amazon!
 Neighbours who’ve got by for years with just the occasional chat over a garden fence about the unseasonable amount of rain or the state of next door’s garden are slowly united by suspicion as a husband goes missing, a much loved cat turns up dead on a doorstep and Enid from Number Seven is found badly injured at the foot of the cliff.   

Could one person be responsible for all of this? Could that person be the strange and unlikeable Hilary Jones from Number Nine? There was only going to be one way to find out and it was going to involve a lot of whiskey….

In this her wonderful follow up to ‘The Rock Star Known as Horse’, Owen’s riveting new story finds a murky side to the suburbs, a side where petty jealousies and neighbourly rivalries can escalate out of all control with calamitous results, all intricately observed with her usual dark humour firmly to the fore.  

About Jane Owen
Jane's first novel, Camden Girls, was published by Penguin twenty years ago and quickly became an international cult bestseller published in many languages including Japanese, Spanish,German, Hebrew, Italian and Dutch.  She'd already spent many years working in the film business working alongside stars such as Christophe Lambert, Andi McDowell, Daryl Hannah and James Remar before switching to the music business and working for bands such as The Who, Robert Plant, ZZTop and many more.  Eventually, even that got boring and that's when she wrote Camden Girls.  

After publication, life became interrupted by an unfortunate traffic accident and Jane moved out of London to Sussex and slowly returned to writing.  Her novels don't fit into any specific category and, frustrated by endless rejections along the lines of 'You write beautifully but we don't know how to sell this book' she started self publishing.  Rave reviews gave her the confidence to keep going and believe in what she was writing.

She's still in Sussex, sharing her life with her musician partner, three horses and a dog and divides her day between writing and riding.  

Words from WWBB: Would your character like to voice their thoughts like Kelly Cunningham? Would you dare to let them have their say on current affairs from where they are in the world? Check out HERE for more details, and join us from November through to Christmas where characters are allowed free rein!
Don't let Kelly be alone!

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