I am delighted to welcome Giselle Green back to Jaffareadstoo
sharing her thoughts on her latest book
31 March 2016
Welcome to Jaffareadstoo, Giselle....
Hi Jo! Thanks for inviting me onto your blog today to talk about my latest novel, it’s a real pleasure to be here.
Tell us a little about Giselle Green, author. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I’ve been writing all my life. I don’t recall anything in particular that started me off, only that I was always reading as a child. I’ve also long been fascinated with words – the power they have to evoke and express.
Where do you get your inspiration for a story from – are you inspired by people, places or do you draw purely from your imagination?
It’ll be a mixture of both. I can have an idea in my mind or something that’s not even quite an idea – more like that nebulous sense you get when you’re trying to recall a dream you know you’ve forgotten – and then that needs to be grounded somehow. Sometimes visiting an atmospheric or evocative place can do that, it helps anchors the idea. There’s an art shop on Rochester High Street which, if you climb up to the third floor, has a great view of the Cathedral spire on a sunny day – in my mind’s eye, I set my main protagonist Nate’s flat up there. Once I ‘knew’ where he lived, I could see him in that flat, doing his daily things, looking out of the window and wishing he could just get out. In general, I’d say the characters are what come first, for me. Where they come from, I’m never sure, but having a visual sense of them is important. Sometimes I’ll look at photos in magazines or online to get an idea of what my character might look like – not glossy photos, but ones which display personality.
What can you tell us about Dear Dad that won’t give too much away?
I call it ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ without any of the characters in the story being related!
A young boy Adam hopes to find a father who’ll take notice of his hopeless situation ... and ends up contacting our hunky but wounded hero Nate who’s in even worse circumstances himself. They are each in their own different way looking for hope ... and they find it in the form of Adam’s caring and attractive teacher Jenna.
Only how is she going to take it when she realises she has been duped by them, all along?
Did you need to do much research for this novel?
I did quite a bit. I started off researching what it feels like to be agoraphobic – my hero Nate has been stuck in his house for weeks following PTSD brought on by his being a war reporter. I found some amazing resources – YouTube videos and such – online, where people detail their difficult journeys with this condition. Full-blown agoraphobia takes some getting over, so I wrote Nate as having ‘agoraphobic symptoms’ brought on by the PTSD, in order to enable the story to move forward.
Later on, there was quite a bit to learn about what happens to children who find themselves in Adam’s position – he’s a child carer, looking after his frail nan. I had to do a lot of ringing around to ask people who work in Children’s Services for possible scenarios of how his story might work out. A lot of this information is not stuff it’s easy to find online, I had to ask people who worked in the field ... I so wanted a happy ending for 9-year-old Adam.
What keeps you motivated as a writer?
Believe it or not, a lot of it is wanting to find out what happens, how it all works out, how my characters get to have their ‘Happy Ending’. I always assume they’ll have one – it’s just not always clear to me from the outset how that’ll come about. With the kind of insurmountable problems I’m fond of giving them – it’s not always an easy task , either!
What do you hope that readers will take away from your books?
I hope they’ll feel a deep sense of satisfaction. I hope they’ll feel as if they’ve been away on an adventurous journey. I hope they’ll have felt so invested in my character’s lives that they couldn’t walk away from them and that - while they couldn’t wait to find out the ending - now they’re sorry it’s all over (and can’t wait for the next book!).
Kindness is the cousin of love, and I’m always writing about love, so on another level, I’d also like readers to take away a sense of hope and of the human kindness there still is in this world.
About the Author