Ordering review copies of ‘The Angel Child’ – always the excitement of seeing what is my invention, from my imagination, in book form. And yet I no longer own the characters; they are real and have been for a long time. The truth is that unless they become people in their own right early in the writing process, I believe, who speak for themselves, do what they want, behave as they wish, they cannot be credible for any reader. Lula, the fortune teller, who bears the load of sorrow for the murdered baby and all the other sorrows she could feel on her back, knew more than I, would only come to life in the way she wanted.
Was it she, or Angela, the angel child, who intrigued the publisher who so nearly ‘bought’ the novel? Or maybe the birdwoman who started the whole process? Or was it Joe, the mechanic, learning how to love with Miserere, the child of the angel child? Or was it the language of poetry, of places of beauty and horror?
Perhaps I want to be Lula, with her rainbow for comfort? By the end I even quite fancied Joe, the mechanic, who owns the rifle range.
And now the novel I have almost finished in first draft form is crying out for me to write that crucial scene – getting into the characters’ minds to orchestrate what they do, what they say, is where I want to go next. Greta asks; ‘Is this tragedy or farce?’