So last week, Casey Kelleher and I got together (virtually) over a slice of carrot cake and a gin & tonic (or six) to have a chat about her new book, The Promise, which is out on the 17th February and is available for pre-order now over at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Thanks for joining me Casey, I’d really like to find out more about your newest leading lady, Josie Parker, who is she?
Josie is a recovering Heroin addict and prostitute. She’s also the mother to two girls, Georgie and Marnie.
When did you create her? Where? How?
I always start a book by thinking about the main character first. I picture them in my minds eye and then start to write their story. That’s the first seed of a book for me. Once I have the main character and a brief idea of the plot, I’m away!
So you write the book to accommodate the character not the character to accommodate the book?
It’s a mixture of both for me. I have a rough idea of a plot or outline for a story, and then I work on my main character and often tell the story from their point of view.
What do you like most about Josie?
I like that Josie keeps it real. She’s a strong, tough character, because she’s had to be. She says it like it is. Bringing up her girls single-handedly in a world that’s treated her badly, you can’t help but have some sympathy for her. I love her strength of character, and her resilience.
What do you like least about Josie?
Josie often makes really bad choices. She’s struggling and her need to give herself some respite from her very difficult profession means she doesn’t always put her children first. Unfortunately for Josie, that’s her biggest downfall and as you’ll see in The Promise, it costs her dearly.
Did your early readers/editorial team like Josie to start with or did you have to change her in any way?
Keshini Naidoo, my editor really got Josie Parker’s character right away. Josie mean’s well. She loves her kids, but she’s a victim all the same. A victim of her own circumstances.
There’s a line in the book that Josie says to her daughters, that Keshini particularly loved. She felt like it really summed up Josie’s character.
“You were both mine. No one else’s. From the minute you were both born, you were only ever mine.”
Does Josie have any similarities with anyone real in your life? If so who? What? Why?
I never base my characters on anyone real, but I do use certain qualities from real people from time to time. Josie is very brash, outspoken, and opinionated. She’s the sort of woman you wouldn’t want to get into a row with, as she’d simply wipe the floor with you and have great delight in doing so in the process.
Would you and Josie be friends in real life?
I don’t think that myself and Josie would run in the same circles. Our lives are world’s apart. I really enjoyed writing her though and for all her faults I have a lot of sympathy for her. I always get very attached to my characters.
What are your plans for Josie?
The Promise is out on the 17th February so you’ll just have to wait and see! I really hope the readers enjoy it.
Well I for one cannot wait to find out what happens to Josie and her little ones and have obviously pre-ordered The Promise!
Thank you so much for brining the gin Casey! It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know more about Josie x
Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite . . .
Family ties can be deadly . . .
Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.
Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life. When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger. Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money. Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.
A gritty, shocking and gripping thriller that will engross fans of Kimberly Chambers, Martina Cole and Jessie Keane.