Monday 27 February 2017

Charlotte Butterfield Guest Blog - Creating a female lead you want to be your friend…

It’s quite rare for me to enjoy a book where I don’t really care about the characters. That’s probably why I steer away from psychological thrillers and dark, twisted tales of woe. I like to feel invested in the characters’ future, I want to root for them, cry for them, laugh with them and cheer loudly when they get their much yearned for happy-after-after. And I can’t really do any of that if I don’t like them in the first place!
            When I think about it, every book I’ve ever loved had a strong, sassy female character in it – Sense and Sensibility, my favourite Austen novel hands down had the brilliant double act of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood; Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You had bumblebee-tights-wearing Louisa Clark, and of course there will always be a special place in my heart for teenage super sleuth Nancy Drew!
            When I was creating Jayne Brady, my heroine in Me, You and Tiramisu, I wanted to make her as real as possible, even down to her short-sightedness, clumsiness and fondness for general silliness like walrus impressions using chopsticks. But I also wanted to make her incredibly kind, loyal, and laugh-out-loud funny. I wanted to create a strong female lead that wasn’t a size zero, or who even wanted to be, but instead someone that ate garlic bread with lasagne followed by tiramisu and loved every mouthful.
Jayne is the voice of reason throughout Will’s rise to fame, she keeps him grounded, and is a constant source of fun and reality checks. When Will’s notoriety starts spiralling and Jayne becomes embroiled in the fame game herself, I genuinely felt concerned for her – how on earth was this country girl from South Devon going to cope with it all? Jayne’s the type of best friend we’d all want, she’s dependable, a bit daft, but genuinely blinkin’ lovely, and I think that’s the key to creating a character people warm to. I’d certainly like to invite her round for a cold bottle of Pinot Grigio and a takeaway!

The blurb

It all started with a table for two…
Life for self-confessed bookworm Jayne Brady couldn’t be better – she has a twin sister she adores, a cosy little flat above a deli and now she’s found love with her childhood crush, gorgeous chef Will.
But when Will becomes a Youtube sensation, thanks to his delicious cookery demos (both the food and his smile!), their life of contentment come crashing down around them. Can Jayne have her Tiramisu and eat it?

About the author

Former magazine editor Charlotte Butterfield was born in Bristol in 1977. She studied English at Royal Holloway University and an MPhil in Gender and Women’s Studies at Birmingham University before becoming a journalist and copywriter. She moved to Dubai in 2005 and lives with her husband and three children.

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