Jim Ody is joining me today to shine the spotlight on his character, Penny, from his novel, A Cold Retreat.
Over to you, Jim …
Penny is a girl with dreams of becoming a princess. She knows that she cannot be a real princess but longs to have a life of romance. She is perhaps the same as thousands of little girls around the world. But as she grows older her desire for the perfect relationship leads her to do things that others wouldn’t.
The character of Penny was what the story was written around. I really wanted to explore what would make a girl (and later a woman) do what Penny does. Throughout the book I wasn’t interested in black and white. I wanted to merge the colours and blur the lines of right and wrong. I wanted to question morals and social acceptance. The point was that Penny could be anyone. She makes the conscious decisions to allow herself in situations, and this is what ultimately is her downfall. But is she to blame? She is coerced by boyfriends and lovers, and I explore the questions of at what point is somebody the victim of abuse? Do they have to be physically forced?
I liked the fact that Penny was able to throw a positive outlook on each situation. She was forgiving, almost to her own detriment, and conversely this was also what I disliked about her. She wanted to be loved so much that she was willing to do things that made her uncomfortable.
My early readers were sympathetic towards her. There is a realness that can be seen in her. I have known two or three people like Penny in my lifetime and it’s incredibly sad what low self-esteem can do to somebody.
Huge thanks to Jim for joining me today and to Simon Leonard for organising the tour, make sure you keep up with the rest of the stops:
Want to know more about Penny? Go and get your copy of the book! Here’s the blurb …
As a child, Penny dreams of being a princess. She knows life isn’t exactly like fairytales, but she hopes it can be similar.
The future isn’t so kind to Penny. The princes in her reality turn out to be evil. Battered and bruised she hits rock bottom.
Years have passed but the past cannot be forgotten. Now someone is intent on making the men pay for what they have done.
This is a chilling tale of revenge that explores the impact of not being able to say no.
About the author …
Jim was first published in an English School Textbook in 1987. He won a competition to draw a dog-walking machine. Having won an art competition the year before, he felt that at the age of eleven he had peaked and consequently retired from art.
For 10 years Jim wrote for a number of websites reviewing and interviewing bands in his own unique way, as well as contributing dark poems and comedic features.
Jim likes to write psychological/thrillers that have endings that you won’t see coming. He also favours stories packed with wit.
Zombie Cupcake Press have published his two books ‘Lost Connections’ and ‘The Place That Never Existed’, and will release his third ‘A Cold Retreat’ in January 2018. He also has a short stories in a number of anthologies with Zombie Cupcake Press and Bloodhound Books. Next year will see the release of a haunting novella, another psychological thriller and the start of a comedy/crime series (Caper & Dice).
He has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife and three beautiful children in Swindon, Wiltshire.