I’ve always been interested in daring – possibly because I’m a cautious kind of person. I’m not an adrenaline junkie so I don’t do the big rides, the high jumps and the fast cars, but my imagination is perfectly happy to picture the experience. I think writing about someone who is your opposite is a particularly pleasurable experience. I often get asked ‘Which character is most like you?’ but I find that a rather tedious idea. I write to be other people. So perhaps the question should be ‘Which character is most unlike you?’
In my case, my next heroine fits the bill (Angel Dares, under my teen pen name Joss Stirling, out 1 October). Angel Campbell, young rock musician, impulsive, funny. Disguising her savant ability to control water doesn’t come easily to her. She has to meet her opposite of course, and that proves to be the broodingly handsome Marcus. They meet at a music festival where they’re both performing (think Glastonbury), and finds herself all at sea. For when he sings, her soul answers with its own music. Their mutual attraction cannot be held back but Marcus’s mistrust of Angel’s gift is even stronger. But there are also some bad guys getting in the way. With the net closing in on the Savant community – it is time for everyone to choose a side. Please watch my book trailer to get a feel for the story – I had fun creating this too!
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed being Angel as I wrote her. I walked with a lighter step for months! I get the same buzz when I write Cat Royal books as Cat is outspoken and very courageous. It probably produces some of my best writing. The practical implication of this is that if you are a young writer you might want to start a book about your opposite. Most of our early stories basically have us at the centre so they never really catch fire. (Talking of catching fire, I would bet that Suzanne Collins is not that good with a bow and arrow, but, boy, it is fun to read about her opposite who is.) It is not the same as the advice you sometimes hear about writing only what you know. You may not be a freedom fighter/dark lord/superhero but you are human and you know what it is like to be that, so go ahead, go outside your comfort zone and see what happens. Do you dare?