Good morning lovely bookworms!
It’s time to meet a new character and today I am joined by the wonderful Rebecca Raisin, author of the brilliant Cedarwood Lodge series.
So, Rebecca, who are you introducing us to today?
Morning Emma, I’d like you to meet Aunt Bessie who resides in Evergreen, the small town where the Cedarwood Lodge series takes place. Aunt Bessie owns Puft the local donut shop and has just made a name for herself on Instagram. She’s larger than life, Dolly Parton-esque, a fan of big hair and lots of make-up and has a heart of gold.
When did you create her?
I created Aunt Bessie so my heroine Clio had a go between, a friendly face, because of the long running rift with her mother. Having Aunt Bessie in the books was a nice way for Clio to share her heartache about her mom to the reader, and for her to have a sympathetic ear. Young-at-heart Aunt Bessie plies everyone with donuts, as well as sound advice.
She sounds like my kinda woman!!! Did you write the book to accommodate Aunt Bessie or Aunt Bessie to accommodate the book?
I wrote Aunt Bessie in to accommodate the book and make the town a little more vibrant. Clio returns to her childhood home, a small town where nothing much happens, so I wanted her to have a family member she was close to who hadn’t changed in all those years and who was still doing well in her own right, despite the population of Evergreen dwindling.
What do you like most about her?
I love Aunt Bessie’s zest for life. I really like the fact age is no barrier for her, she still wears a full face of make-up, dresses like a country singer, and is passionate about her business, her friends and family. She’s a refuge for the locals to come and chat and pour their hearts out without judgement. I love people like Aunt Bessie who make you feel like everything you say is important no matter how trivial.
What do you like least about her?
It’s impossible to have a heart to heart with Aunt Bessie and not be force fed donuts. I think the sugar rush would be headache inducing after a while!
Did your early readers/editorial team like her to start with or did you have to change her in any way?
My editors really liked Aunt Bessie, and they actually asked for more scenes with her.
Having read Cedarwood Lodge I can totally understand that and I am grateful she got more page time! Does she have any similarities with anyone real?
She’s not based on anyone I know, but I really like having older women in my books who’ve been through it all and come out the other side smiling, supportive and fun loving. Those types of women you aspire to be one day.
What are your plans for her?
I’d love to do a spin off story with Aunt Bessie, so that might be on the cards for the future!
That would be amazing! Although all the characters would be the size of houses by the end of the book with all the donuts! Would you be friends in real life?
OMG yes! If I lived in Evergreen I’d probably do the school run and then pop into Puft for coffee and a gossip with Aunt Bessie who’d ply me with her latest donut flavour and ask me how I was really going. We’d chat until I realized I had to write but after eating so much a nap would be in order first…
Thank you so much for joining me today Rebecca! I do love getting to know the characters, especially the supporting characters who make the book so much more vibrant! Aunt Bessie is a really brilliant character!
You can get your copies of the Cedarwood Lodge series over at:
Twitter – Rebecca Raisin