Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Getting to Know the Rochesters

I've seen this tag on Rachel and Jenny's blogs, and since a) I adore almost all tags and b) tags are insanely helpful in straightening out my thoughts where writing is concerned, I decided to use this one for The Rochesters.  Accck, I really need to find a real title for this story... oh, and prepare for long-winded-ness.  Ahem.

1. Who are the main characters?

Sylvia Lemmins, upon whom I elaborated here.

Mr. Gregory Rochester, Sylvia's legal guardian and the father of the rambunctious bunch known as the Rochesters.

Alice Rochester, the eldest of the bunch and engaged to be married at the end of the summer.  Don't let the picture fool you-- Alice is not the kind of girl who minces around with perfect hair and makeup and never has any fun.  Not.  In.  The.  Least.

Frances (Francie) Rochester, who sings in the shower and forgets to hang up her towel afterwards, makes way too many commitments but manages to keep all her appointments anyway and has never fainted in her entire life, but always thought it would be rather fun.

Celia Rochester, who might strike you on the surface as being the dreamy bookish type but is really rather feisty underneath and has a rather frightening repertoire of practical jokes.  (Not that her jokes are frightening. It's just frightening that she knows so many.  I'm being facetious, folks.)

Mark Rochester, whose face has not yet manifested itself to me, and who is firmly convinced that Sherlock Holmes is the answer to all the world's problems.  He will come to blows with you over the fact, especially if you dare to suggest that Sir Percy Blakeney might be better.  It's a bitter point of contention between him and Celia.

Timothy (Timmy) Rochester, who asks why about everything, is best friends with Pumblechook, the family's golden retriever, and is always ready for a midnight snack.  Whether or not it is actually midnight when the urge to snack comes upon him is irrelevant.

Patricia (Patsy) Rochester, who also remains an enigma to me as far as appearance goes, and who is the button-nosed, cute kind of child. When people remark upon this, she gravely agrees with them.  Who is she to deny the obvious?

George Rawlins, who is engaged to marry Alice at the end of the summer and is well aware of what he's getting himself into with this family.  George is just plain fun.  I like him.

2. How did you get the idea for this story?

This story began back in March, when I was suffering from writer's block over OAN.  One day I randomly pulled out a short story I'd written back in 2010 about a girl who made a cake for her sister's wedding only to have it ruined by the family's dog.  The story's pretty weak, but there were some good elements in it, and I started brainstorming a little bit about how I could work this into a full-length novel.  Lo and behold, The Rochesters was born.

3. What genre is this story?

Hmmm.  Well, it's not really historical fiction, although it takes place in the 1950's... do the 50's count as historical?  I'd say it's Light Summertime Reading.

4. Describe your book in three thoughts:

New experiences.  Family moments.  Silliness.

5. The bit that describes an obscure piece of real life best:

Her back ached from being held so stiff and rigid, and though her ankles were neatly crossed, both legs were fast asleep.  More than anything, she wanted to relax and lean back against the prickly plush seat, maybe even tuck her feet under her or draw her knees up to her chin.  But such a thing was, of course, unthinkable.  The train was too crowded with people.  Maybe some of these people even knew Uncle Gregory—anything was possible.  No, she wouldn’t disgrace her newfound family by behaving unimpeachably on the train. 
~chapter 2 

6. The funniest line said by a side-character thus far:

The costumes, the scenery, the makeup and props and what have you… delightful indeed.  Now I think I need to go fell a tree with my bare teeth so I can feel at least slightly masculine again.

7. Your favourite piece of description:

Mrs. Buchran’s office had always smelled rather oddly of butterscotch candies, the golden oval Brach’s kind that took forever to suck and made your mouth feel quite bland for a good while afterwards.   A little green dish of the butterscotch candies had sat on the edge of Mrs. Buchran’s desk for years and years, yet not one girl in the entire school could remember being offered one of them.  Perhaps they were only for the faculty, or only for Mrs. Buchran herself.  But since no one had ever seen Mrs. Buchran actually in the bourgeois act of sucking a butterscotch, this theory was usually dismissed as a mere “rumor hath.”
~chapter one

8. Your biggest fear in the writing of this story:

That it won't be interesting enough.  I'm writing solely to please myself with this story, and what I find funny and what the rest of the world finds funny can sometimes be very different things.

9. Last full sentence you wrote:

 “Sorry, can we use your hair things?”

10. Favourite character thus far:

Francie, I think, but I like all of them tremendously.

11. What books have been written or have you read that are similar in style and flavour to your novel?

Two are Better Than One and Louly by Carol Ryrie Brink.  Some of Elizabeth Enright's books, too.

12. If it was destined to become a book on tape, who would you wish to read it?

Oooh, fun question.  I think maybe Anthony Andrews-- he'd do all the voices perfectly.  :D


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Miss Dashwood - I really enjoyed reading this, and your book, The Rochesters, sounds perfectly charming! :-) I also really liked your excerpts you chose, and Francie's picture is lovely. By the way, George is - well, very handsome. :-)

You have a lovely blog, and best wishes are being sent your way for your writing!

From one writer to another,


Anonymous said...

Wow!! I think I'm going to like The Rochesters. It seems like a very quirky, Elizabeth Enright-ish book, and I loooooove those kinds of books. : D

And I laughed out loud at George's line. : )


Melody ________________________________ said...

I want to read this book. A character that looks like and has the same first name as Gregory Peck, a girl who has the same longing to faint that I used to feel in my younger years (I practiced all the time in case it ever happened), the '50s, the intelligent humor. And George's line. I know everybody's mentioning it, but I love George's line.

I'm looking forward to reading more of it. :)