It’s ‘Meet the Character’ time again and this week we have an interview with two characters. The very talented Jennifer Bohnet is interviewing Tina and Jodie from her new novel, A Year of Taking Chances.
Let;s find out a bit about the book first.
Life is about to change forever: When best friends, Tina and Jodie, make a drunken New Year’s Eve vow to change their lives before they hit the big 3-0, neither expected to end the year with much more than another hangover…
Twelve months later, Jodie is married and living in Provence – and Tina is exactly where she was a year ago (although now her rent is double). Tina can’t help but feel a little bit left behind, but as Jodie reminds her, she’s not thirty yet, there’s still time to quit her job, start her own literary agency and sign the man of her dreams!
It sounds fun, doesn’t it? Now here’s Jennifer interviewing Tina and Jodie:
Sitting here in Jodie’s lovely home in the south of France with the two of you, feels surreal. Interviewing the pair of you feels even stranger. I created you both so I know all about you and I’m struggling to find questions to ask. It’s not like you have any secrets from me.
Tina – I shouldn’t be so sure about that. Remember the night in the park when Jodie proposed running away to Wales and keeping cats and I said I’d prefer to keep alpacas? That was because I’m allergic to cats. There – I bet you didn’t know that did you?
No I didn’t. I gave you apacas because they’re a bit different and so cute. Tina, I know you were lonely when Jodie left and felt that life was passing you by again, but then you kick started major changes in your own life when you took Maisie in. I bet you didn’t realise the difference giving her a helping hand was going to make to you.
No, that was a sneaky manoeuvre on your part, one which I intended to resist. Have to admit though it was lovely seeing her blossom and enjoy London life. Until you threw a spoke in the wheel of that for her. One of the many spokes you threw at us all in the course of the year.
Had to be done I’m afraid. Jodie, you and Tina were living the life of single career girls in London before that New Year’s Eve in the park. You were very impetuous when you met Ben, married and living in France within weeks. I must admit I did worry if you had done the right thing.
I was impetuous, wasn’t I? – Totally your fault! But thank you for introducing me to Ben – he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. Even if I did have a couple of wobbles in the first few months remembering how Tina had gone on about marrying in haste, repent at leisure.
I think too, you need to thank me for giving you Christiane as a mother-in-law.
I do! When Ben and I married I was still mourning my mother and Christiane was so kind to me. Tina warned me about French mother-in-laws being protective of their sons but Christiane is different. Probably because of her past – I was shocked when she told me about Ben’s father. She wasn’t fazed either when Travis turned up with devasting news. My ma-in-law is definitely the best. And so chic.
Right, final question for both of you. Do either of you have any regrets about the way things have turned out?
Jodie. None. My only regret is that my mum didn’t live to see how happy I am.
Tina. My life has turned around in ways I could never have imagined and I honestly don’t have any regrets. Oh maybe just the one.
Not telling it’s a secret!
Thank you both for talking to me.
Want to know more? Here’s an extract from the opening
NEW YEAR’S EVE FOURTEEN MONTHS AGO
‘I hate New Year’s eve,’ Jodie Saville muttered to her friend Tina Matthews. ‘All the enforced jollity and bonhomie. Nobody believes a word of it. It’s just an excuse to drink too much.’
Tina nodded in agreement. ‘I do swish you a Happy New Year, though. And me of course,’ she gave an involuntarily hic at the end of the sentence. ‘Going to have a headache tomorrow.’
The two of them were standing close together with a crowd of other people in their local park watching fireworks light the night sky.
Tina jumped and uttered a loud groan as an extra loud bang vibrated the air around them. As the crowd uttered the obligatory ‘oohs’ and ‘ahh’s’ she said.‘Fireworks are very pretty but do they have to be quite so noisy? That one hurt my head.’
‘We ought to make a new year resolution,’ Jodie said, watching the scarlet shower turn into a spectacular burst of gold sparks. ‘Make this the year we change our lives for the better. That big three oh is getting closer and closer for both of us.’
‘Chance would be a fine thing,’ Tina muttered. ‘Maybe we should do what that bloke on the telly did years ago – Noel somebody. He reckoned he ordered the Cosmos to change his life and it did.’
‘So, whatd’youhavetodo?’ Jodie said, slurring her words together.
‘Dunno really. Think you have to decide what you want and shout it out to space. Bit like positive thinking, only louder and more pre…hic… precise.’
‘Nah,’ Jodie said. ‘We can try but I can’t see it working. Tell you what, if nothing’s changed by the time we hit thirty we’ll jack everything in and . . . and join a nunnery.’
Tina about to hurl the last of her Prosecco down her throat almost chocked. ‘You’ve got to be joking.’
‘Okay,’ Jodie said. ‘How about promising ourselves if we’re still single at thirty, we’ll run away to deepest Wales and become mad women who keep cats.’
‘Alpacas,’ Tina said. ‘I’ve always fancied living in the country and keeping alpacas. Much better than cats. And we can knit bobble hats with their wool.’
‘Whatever,’ Jodie said. ‘You hear that Cosmos?’ She tilted her face up and stared at the star filled sky. ‘You’ve got under two years to change our lives, otherwise we’re off to deepest Wales to live with Alpacas,’ she shouted.
The loudest bang of the evening from the last firework drowned out her words.
Want to find out if Jodie and Tina succeed in changing their lives? You can buy the book here:
Jennifer is English but she’s lived in France for the past 18 years. After 11 years down on the Cote d’Azur she moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in Finistere, Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! When she’s not writing she loves reading, cooking and having friends around for lunch – lunches that follow the French tradition of lasting for several hours.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jenniewriter
FBAuthor page: goo.gl/PDKQ8D
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