Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Elin Gregory here talking about writing, characters and her latest story,The Bones of Our Fathers, one of our highly recommended novels. Welcome, Elin.
Heroes and Helpers by Elin Gregory
We all love a hero, don’t we? I know I enjoy writing mine, but I have to admit that most of my heroes would flounder and fall without the support of their secondary characters. Because I’ve often written stories where the heroes are in small enclosed communities – a workshop, on a ship – most of them have been ‘stag dos’ where all the available characters are men, but when writing stories set in a modern town with a normal spread of population it would seem a bit odd for the heroes to only bother with the other men in the area. In the Bones of Our Fathers I have very much enjoyed adding a mixed bunch of men and women who can help the heroes along, or hinder them if that’s what they are like.
Small towns thrive on gossip and so Mal, used to the anonymity of city living, is constantly startled by how much people know about him. I don’t find that unusual at all. I was brought up in a village even smaller than the fictional Pemberland and knew very well that if I stepped out of line my parents would have been told about it before I could get home to tell my side of the story. That sounds terribly oppressive but it had its advantages too. Any child who needed help could count on getting it. Any elderly person who was ill and didn’t open their curtains in the morning would get a visit from a neighbour as soon as it was noticed. In rural areas there’s a very blurred line between nosiness and neighbourly concern.
So Mal has a support network whether he likes it or not. There are the men, young and old, of the Friday Night irregulars – an unofficial gay club – and his employees, mumsy Sharon and outspoken pool-shark Betty. There’s Lil, his landlady and Veronica “Call me Ronnie, dahling”, a venerable groupie rumoured to have boinked all of the Stones – or was it The Who? She doesn’t know, if you can remember the Sixties you weren’t there! Newspaper reporters, ambulance men, building site labourers, all have an opinion on Mal’s doings and don’t hesitate to share it, but if there’s trouble they’ll join forces. Cities may be exciting places to live but I think I prefer the smaller more friendly environs of a little town.
Which do you prefer – city lights or rural quiet?
Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.
Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?
Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.
Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman Fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job.
Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.
Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.
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