My dear friend and fellow writer, Angela Savage, has invited me to join the Meet the Main Character Blog Tour, which involves posting an interview with ones main character and inviting other writers to do the same. You can read an interview with Angela's vibrant and uncompromising private detective, Jayne Keeney here.
Interviewing Rowland Sinclair was admittedly something of a challenge... he's not always forthcoming with information. I was forced to resurrect my past as a lawyer and cross-examine him a little... so please forgive the extra questions - they were necessary.
What is your name?
Rowland Henry Ffrench Sinclair. How do you do?
- French with two “f”s?
My mother’s family name. My friends call me Rowly.
Are you a fictional or historical character?
Technically speaking, I’m a fabrication of Ms. Gentill’s rather restless imagination. Or I was initially.
When and where is your story set?
I first became acquainted with Ms. Gentill at the end of 1931, in Sydney. She simply arrived one day. Judging by the state of her attire, I assumed that she was a financially embarrassed painter or sculptor who’d come in with one of my other houseguests. As it turned out, Ms. Gentill is not an artist but a writer, and though she’s fairly unobtrusive, she won’t leave. She always seems to be watching. It was a somewhat unnerving at first, but I have, over the years, become accustomed to her peculiar presence. She seems to turn up wherever I go now… New York, Germany, London… she’s quite the dogged traveller.
What should we know about you?
I loathe whiskey. If you’d care to offer me a drink, please make it gin or sherry. I’m also not too fond of Fascists. I like dogs.
- Is that it? Surely there’s more to you than that.
[Shrugs] I’m a painter—portraits mainly.
[Impatiently] I’m an Oxford man, I speak several languages and I used to box. I play polo badly and as infrequently as possible.
What is the main conflict? What messes up your life?
My brother, Wilfred, will tell you that it is the unemployed Communist set with whom I move.
My friends will tell you that it’s my conservative background and my Fascist brother.
I suspect it’s the fact that everybody I meet seems to be insane.
What is your personal goal?
Goals? [laughs] I’ve been told I’m feckless. In fact I believe my brother would consider goals rather too common a concept, though he’s quite adamant that I should settle down and find a purpose. To be truthful, I just want to paint.
- What about Edna?
Miss Higgins does indeed have goals. She’s both talented and ambitious. I have no doubt that she will conquer the world.
- But is she one of your personal goals?
I’m not sure what you mean.
- Is it your goal to make her yours?
[Frowning] Miss Higgins is not a piece of property… I cannot acquire her.
- Arrgghh! Are you in love with her?
Well, yes. A man would have to be dead or insensible not to be in love with Miss Higgins.
Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
I believe Ms. Gentill has called it A Murder Unmentioned. Frankly, I'd prefer the whole episode remained unmentioned, but Ms. Gentill is not always discreet.
You can read the first chapter here.
When can we expect the book to be published?
A Murder Unmentioned will be in bookstores on 1 November 2014. I believe this is the cover.
Shall post writers to continue the tour as soon as I've checked with them.