Characters as travelling companions

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I have returned to my manuscript Paris Next Week: Paris, the second book in my trilogy. The writing has been interrupted because of illness, injury and my mother’s worsening dementia so it has been a relief to finally catch up with my character Sarah Linden, nee Montague.

            She has arrived in London after a five and a half week voyage from Australia and is planning some sightseeing over the next few days. She is about to book into a boarding house on Montague Street and will be picking up her pass-book from the Orient Line office on Monday. In the meantime she will do some sightseeing just as I did fifty two years later. Unlike me, my character is gay and, as a lesbian in the 1920s, life can be a bit tricky but she has a lot of things to do other than meet a woman friend. She has a trip to France to plan and a visit to Chelsea to meet her best friend Louie’s uncle. Hopefully he will have a recent address for her. In the first book of the trilogy Louie married a Frenchman and they are living somewhere on the continent. Louie has not been the best of letter writers.

            Although I know I am dictating Sarah’s movements with my writing and research, it often doesn’t feel like that. It feels more like I am visiting her in the 1920s. I’m giving her odd bits of advice, putting the odd challenge in her way and I’m sure together we will enjoy London. I’ll be her confidante as she negotiates her new life in London and Paris. It’s all very exciting and like a beloved friend’s company, I find it soothes me to spend time with her. If that makes me odd, so be it, as Sarah would say.