Today I am very happy to be introducing Sue Limb, the author of the hilarious Jess Jordan series to the blog today as part of the Chocolate SOS blog tour in celebration of its publication! I hope you enjoy reading her guest post on creating the main character Jess Jordan as much as I did. Welcome Sue:
People ask, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ and ‘Is your teen heroine Jess Jordan based on a real person?’ Sometimes a writer does build a character painstakingly, thinking, I need somebody who’s scared of life… maybe a hypochondriac… someone a bit like Auntie Mabel, only without the martial arts fixation… But with Jess it wasn’t like that.
It was more as if a girl was stalking me. I wasn’t sure exactly what she looked like: whenever I tried to catch sight of her she seemed to dodge away behind a pillar. She wasn’t a real flesh-and-blood girl: I knew she was a character and she’d somehow stumbled into my head, so I tuned in to her and started writing . I suppose you could say she was Another Self.
Anybody who’s been a teenager vividly remembers the heart-stopping trauma, the skin-crawling embarrassment, the hot floods of terror that happen on a daily basis. So of course, in a way I’m remembering my own teenage years when I write a Jess book.
But I was a very different sort of teenager. I was a solitary, poem-writing nerd: a kind of Adriana Mole. Jess was herself, right from the start: feisty, sociable, wise-cracking, compassionate. Perhaps she’s the teenager I wish I could have been.
And her soulmate Fred is probably the guy I wish I could have met when I was at school. Their double act, with its effortless mutual understanding and mock-aggressive banter, is the place where Jess feels most at home.
‘I’d rather be marooned in the Gobi Desert and be groomed to death by meercats than marry you,’ says Jess.
‘I’d rather be deep-fried in egg and breadcrumbs than be married to you for a split second,’ replies Fred.
Sometimes writing is impossible. You get writer’s block and find yourself scrubbing at the kitchen floor with a toothbrush – the most meaningless chore is an escape from the blankness of the page. Occasionally you set out to write something, plan it, and just steadily put the hours in. But once in a blue moon, a character or two comes out of left field and takes you by surprise – you pick it up and run with it. That’s how it was with my adorable Jess and Fred.
Thanks for the interesting insight into the character of Jess! You can read the next part of the blog tour tomorrow at Wondrous Reads and the rest of the schedule for the week is shown in the banner below.
Description for Chocolate SOS (from Bloomsbury):
Jess has broken up with Fred, though really she is waiting for him to come to her door and beg to get back together again. But is that the sort of thing Fred would do? He has said himself that he has no backbone . . . Meanwhile, a gorgeous boy has moved in next door and, to Jess’s mingled horror and delight, is making it very, very obvious that he would like to be a lot closer than next door . . . Surely, now, Fred will be driven, in a fit of jealousy, to sweep Jess back off her feet? Won’t he?
Links to find out more about the Jess Jordan series or Sue Limb:
Video interview with Sue Limb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv8k7UiiL4A