When I write my starting point is almost always the character of my heroine. Strangely, when I get to my first draft that’s also the thing I feel needs most work. Megan McLeod, heroine of my second novel, No Time Like Now, is no exception. So here are some things you should know about Megan…
1. She’s an only child of two only children, has fallen out with her father and her mother is dead. That leaves her struggling with a desire to be loved and cherished — a desire which she doesn’t quite trust.
2. She has a very conventional upbringing. Daughter of a church minister in the West of Scotland, Megan was taught that a girl should be a nurturer, someone who looks after others. And while she holds to that up to a point, she’s come to believe that she has a right to do what she wants, up to a point. In other words, as long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else.
3. But has she hurt anyone else? Megan begins the book suffering from amnesia, a few weeks in her past that she doesn’t remember which somehow cast a shadow across the rest of her life.
4. Given her severe religious upbringing, she’s a surprisingly passionate woman. It wasn’t unit lee went to university that she fell in love. She learned a lot about herself then, as well as about her lover, Tim Stone. Maybe she feels a little guilty about that, too, deep down in her soul…especially because there’s so much of what happened between her and Tim that she doesn’t regret.
5. She’s on the run. Not from the law, but from herself and from the secret that she lies in her past and which, if she really wanted to, she could uncover. But ignorance is bliss for Megan…until Tim comes back.
6. What she wants and what she needs are diametrically opposed. She wants to be free of her past by leaving it behind. She needs to face up to it before she can be free of it. And while she’s prepared to take some steps towards reconciliation, it takes a twist of Fate and some very unpleasant characters to bring her face to face with her memories.
7. She’d love to be a blonde. Maybe that’s because she doesn’t like what she is, or maybe it’s because her gorgeous rival in love is blonde. Either way, like most beautiful women she isn’t happy with what she is.
There’s much more I could write about Megan. She likes cats and sunshine and beautiful beaches, bright colours and ice cream. But all of these are the trimmings. The deep heart of her character is the need to be herself and to be loved.
Read the book and see if she makes it…
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