Thursday, January 12, 2006

When new characters come calling

So, here I am writing a futuristic novella, (with a whole bunch of things lined up for when that is done,) and suddenly these new characters pop into my head with their story. Does this happen to other authors?

It happens to me a lot. I used to make some notes. This time I felt the need to capture them quickly, so I abandoned a Samurai movie I was trying to "relax" with, in order to get them down -- both their mood and their message. Now that I've got them established I can return to the story at a later date. A lot of my short stories get written that way, alongside longer projects.

Anyway, I love the new characters, so I thought I'd share!

Excerpt (c) Saskia Walker

Leonie Carlton watched the hulking shape of the Land Rover weave along the rough dirt track towards the house. Her heart was racing. Despite her best preparations for this moment, she couldn't keep her emotions in check. Mike Racine. She’d have fought tooth and nail to keep him out of her place. She’d also dreamt about him every night since she’d taken over the coffee plantation, three years earlier.

Was it really that long? She had to face it; everything she'd walked away from was arriving on her doorstep. Three years of hard work; this should have been a moment of pride. It still was, but it was tinged with memories, with baggage. Mike Racine, the man who she’d wanted so badly but failed to understand, was about to walk into her space. Thank god she knew he was coming. He hadn’t wanted her to know. Luckily Tansy, her old friend back at HQ, had faxed to warn her. Mike himself was coming over to check out her beans. No kidding.

She gave a wry smile and watched as the Land Rover drew to a halt in the gravel space of her driveway. The windscreen was tinted, hiding the occupant from her gaze. She walked to the edge of the veranda, folding her arms across her chest. “Come on, Mike,” she whispered to herself, “give me your best shot.”

After what seemed an eternity, the vehicle door opened. A moment later a figure stepped out. Unfurling his long, limber frame, Mike Racine climbed out. He slammed the door behind him and walked the path to her door. Dressed in boots and faded black jeans, his khaki shirt outlined the breadth of his shoulders and the lean line of his waist and hips. He wore a baseball cap pulled low on his brow. A poor disguise, she'd have known it was him from his posture alone.

She waited until he drew to a halt at the foot of her steps and then gave a wry smile. “You promised you’d leave me alone, Mike.”

Taking off his hat, he ruffled his shaggy black hair. He wore a teasing smile that tugged at something deep inside of her. He looked good; the intervening time had added charming laughter lines around his sardonic smile, and a more relaxed twinkle to those black eyes of his. He shrugged, eyeing her deliberately from top to toe. “I lied.”

Damn you Mike. So, that was it, there was no apology for breaking his promise. No explanation. Arrogant prick.. Nothing had changed.

Her heart raced in response to his nonchalance, her skin tingling under his scrutiny. "Let's just get this over with, shall we." She managed to turn away, leading him inside the house and vowing to remain professional throughout the encounter. She just had to do her job and get him out of here as soon as possible.

His presence strolling behind her was totally magnetic. It’s three years since you’ve had a decent lay, she told herself, annoyed beyond belief. But she wanted him, always had. And he was so bad for her. When she failed to understand him -- and he’d failed to help her -- she’d walked away. Far away. Queensland. She exchanged a directorship on a leading fair trade coffee importer in London for a hard graft job developing an Australian plantation. And she'd worked him out of her system, or so she thought.


wendywoo said...

Wow! Cool! What an opening! Now I've read that, I can't wait for you to write the rest... and ooh, coffee, what a terrific background. Love it!

ZaZa said...

You have a whole world inside your head. Your travels have really given you a breadth of experience most of us can envy, but the way you can paint living pictures with your words takes me there in a flash. Great job, and I can't wait to read more.

Saskia Walker said...

Thanks so much, Ladies. I'm blushing here! It'll be the first proper reunion story I've done. There was a reunion in ALONG FOR THE RIDE, in the secondary characters, but it's not something I've done much of. It just worked for this couple and their set up. I won't be working on it for a while, but I'll let you know when it's done ;-)