Imagine Alistair Byrne, the hero of my novel The Loneliness of Moony Moore. He is tall, dark and of course handsome – aren’t all heroes? He is well-spoken and well-educated, just about perfect really. But what about the not so good points? Well, he has trouble asserting himself, is shy and a bit clumsy. He’s just about penniless and although not heartbroken, is getting over a relationship (he’s been dumped for a better catch.)
While Alistair is staying in a small seaside town licking his wounds, his world is changed, yet again, by the discovery of a new talent – some might call it a curse. More on that later.
I picture him to be a modern day P.G Wodehouse character. If you know the books, think Monty Bodkin or even, dare I say it, Bertie Wooster.
Wodehouse’s characters are all brimming with confidence, even when they are in the soup, and aren’t smart enough to sort it out without the help of a manservant. It’s part of his wonderful world, nothing really gets them down, even though they are complete fatheads. By total contrast Alistair is not a blithering idiot, but is totally lacking in confidence, and a gentlemen’s gentleman for that matter too.
My book is set in the modern world, so for a start I’d have to tone down the vernac’. Chaps just don’t have that sort of turn of phrase anymore, even the clever ones. There is murder and spiritual activity in the book, so it’s going to be a hell of lot more sombre than the great man’s work.
In fact, there’s very little comedy at all. Abuse, beatings, corruption, and murder, but no comedy. I promise you, the book is not a comedy – very far from it.
So to recap, Alistair is a slightly clumsy, shy, non-assertive, and not forgetting poor, but well spoken – although he lacks the confidence to say anything – terrible good looking, Oxford graduate who finds himself in the middle of murder mystery where the dead have a habit of confiding in him.
When I think about it, Alistair and my book have very little to do with Wodehouse, I just like reading his magic and I wanted to say so here.