Conversing with my Characters

The image show a cold blank window and a room lit with reddish glow

A frosty atmosphere pervades Cynthia’s normally welcoming sitting room which has nothing to do with the February cold. Gina regards me steadily from across the room and Gary, who’s perching on the arm of her chair, wears the expression he normally reserves for the rare occasions when Liverpool FC fail to win. Even Asmar, Cynthia’s cat, has turned his back on me.

Connor addresses me from a commanding position by the fireplace. ‘It’s not that we don’t understand your need to follow your authorial instincts, Ms Hall, and we’re delighted about the upcoming release of your new book, but this latest little series you’ve embarked upon doesn’t seem to be turning out as we’d hoped.’

‘As soon as we saw the title we thought we’d be in it,’ says Gina, ‘but no, you gave the starring role to Joey, and his character only gets a tiny mention in the final paragraph of our novel*.’

‘Then Ceridwen appears and she’s from a completely different book**,’ adds Gary. ‘She must be getting on a bit now.’

‘I would rather like to meet her,’ says Cynthia thoughtfully. ‘Not only is she a woman in her prime,’ she casts a meaningful glance at Gary, ‘but I think we’d have a lot in common.’ She draws her purple pashmina around her shoulders and looks at me earnestly. ‘I hope you’re not going to saddle her with the jade camel.’

‘Saddle the camel.’ Connor chuckles. ‘Good one, old thing!’

Cynthia gives him a withering look.

My gaze travels from one face to another. ‘I honestly thought that you’d all come forward once I’d started the story. That’s the way it usually works.’

‘Oh, so I suppose it’s also our fault that you’re still not starting our sequel.’ Gina’s eyes narrow. ‘We know you’ve already begun thinking about a sequel to the sequel you’ve just finished.’ She nudges Gary. ‘Did you see? She’s already covered that whiteboard of hers with ideas.’

Connor raises his hands towards her in a calming gesture then turns to me. ‘Sorry, Ms Hall, it’s just that we feel we’re not getting the exposure we deserve.’

I have an idea.

‘Listen. Why don’t you all come to the launch of the Spirit of Shell Man next Friday? It’s being held at the Six Sentence Café and Bistro. My back catalogue books will be there, so you’ll be able to engage with readers.’

‘Is that a real place?’ says Gina in sceptical tone.

I smile back at her. ‘It is if you want it to be.’

Connor’s eyes light up. ‘Might I bring along some of my slim volumes of poetry?’

Book launch invitation: join me for the launch of my new novel, Spirit of the Shell Man, Friday 4th March

Grab your seat at the launch here at lunasonline next Friday!

* You’ll Never Walk Alone (2019)
** The Silver Locket (2012)

69 thoughts on “Conversing with my Characters

  1. I’ve dealt with some, let’s call them, personas at the SSC&B but let me tell you: you have a handful crew there!
    But no worries Chris, I just received two bottles of apricot liqueur made with my family’s secret recipe.
    I guess that would take care of Gina; but should that fail, then there is always Ford😎

    SSC&B at the ready!

    PS: the saddle the camel exchange forced my zip of espresso to different pathways as I was laughing with it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scousers barks are usually worse than their bites, but a Brummie might just turn out to be the fall guy unless he channels his inner Shelby. Cyth’s the girl for the apricot liqueur but I’m sure she’d be delighted to share with a certain enigmatic Proprietor.
      Pleased you indulged Connor and his joke, at least it diverted him from declaiming 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, they’re feeling a bit left out, Chris, aren’t they? But they’ve reached out now, and are very aware of what’s going on. You’re going to have to do something to reassure them… maybe a Jade Camel spin-off story within a story… that’s a good idea. I’m trying all kinds of ways to get more of this story out of you! Hehehe! 🙂
    I may try a six sentence story myself, I’ll reach out to some of my characters who’ve been very quiet of late, and see what we can come up with.
    Enjoy your book launch next week! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Taking the side of my characters eh, Tom?🤔😉 Who knows, they might still get a part in the current story.
      You should definitely try a Six! You and your characters will be right at home. 🙂
      But, hey, you’re coming to the launch, aren’t you??

      Liked by 1 person

      • We shall have to wait and see then (curses! foiled again!)
        I think I will, but I’ll try to find some older characters from back in the day… although I am hearing a few faint cries of ‘what about us?’. Hmmm… 🤔
        And the book launch? Oh yes! But I can still suggest you enjoy it in advance! 😀😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • Er, Chris, hehehe… I’ve just realised I’m confused (well, I haven’t just realised that; but I have this!), where’s the café? Is it here or elsewhere? Is it anywhere and everywhere? I don’t want to miss the launch; but I have a feeling I may end up looking in the wrong place and miss everything! Aaaarrrghhh… FOMO!!! Terrible thing!

        (This comment consists of six sentences, apart from this one, unless I’m still displaying confusion) 😊🙄

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ah, the ultimate question (well, not really). The SSC&B is a construct, a virtual place in space and time, created from the combined consciousness of some of the regular practitioners of the Six. A grand location for a worldwide cyber based book launch. A place which crosses the time zones and can be accessed at any time. Barring hitches, via the magic that is WP, it will materialise from the ether this coming Friday at 4pm SA time, even though it may appear to be a dark and frosty evening in New York.
          And not necessarily in 6, and only 6, sentences.

          (Hope that helps, Tom?)

          Liked by 3 people

  3. Ha! 😀 Really enjoyed this new perspective from your past characters each with their own distinct personalities, Chris! Hope new week’s book launch all goes smoothly ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s what happens when you unleash strong characters into the written word. They WILL have their say. I’m looking forward to meeting them again on Friday in the SSC&B. But not as much as I’m looking forward to the book! See you then.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Denise… and thanks for arranging stuff down at the SSC&B for Friday. It’s going to a blast!
      (Just keep an eye on Connor – too much whiskey and we won’t be to stop him taking to the stage. His sonnets can be rather wearing after a while).

      Like

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets called to meetings by disgruntled characters. Lol. Funny how they all want their time in the limelight. That was tons of fun, Chris. I hope they all show up for the launch party for a little hobnobbing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Delightful, Chris. How I’d looove to engage with my only set of characters so far, even Nasir(not)
    I’ll be tuned in on Friday.
    Hugs, Chris.
    blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is great that you are getting out and about, Chris. I don’t seem to be able to write sequels at all. It is enough of a battle to get the first book done. My stories have not been conducive to a sequel to date and I kill all my characters off so that quietens them. Maybe you should try it – giggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] This is for Six Sentence Stories, where the prompt word is ‘Book’. It’s a reworking in part of Dance of the Pianist, from way back in 2014 (which in itself was a reworking of an earlier shorter version of the same poem, and has been reposted on this blog umpteen times). And the invitation? Well, Chris Hall’s book launch of The Spirit of the Shell Man is on Friday 4th March at the Six Sentence Café and Bistro; further details can be found here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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