An Interview With Charley R
I’ve told my side of the story – now it’s time to hear it from Charley. We decided the best way to do this would be to do an interview, although we may have got slightly sidetracked at times! This interview took place on the eleventh of February, via Facebook. I apologise that the line breaks are so un-line-breaky, but I can’t make them behave. *sigh*
Miriam: So, Charley! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.
Charley: ‘Tis my pleasure!
Miriam: Great! Okay, so you’ve been involved in St Mallory’s Forever for longer than me, and you were the one to ask me on Mark’s behalf whether I wanted to join. Is that correct?
Charley: I think so – my memory’s a little hazy of the event, but as far as I know, Mark said it would be a good idea, but I didn’t want to do it on my own. And it’s always more fun doing a mystery with other people.
Miriam: Ah, so it was YOUR idea to get me involved? I didn’t know that.
Charley: I think it was – Mark kept pestering me to do it, but I thought “Hey, I can’t do this on my own!” and I remember that time we started on another rather short-lived mystery collab on Protagonize.
Miriam: Ha ha, I’m pretty sure that would have been too conceptually difficult to keep up, but never mind. I’m grateful for you getting me in on St Mallory’s.
So, which of the characters from St Mall’s do you associate the most with? Tell us a bit about them and why that relates to you.
Charley: To be honest, probably Xuan. Like me, she travels a lot with her father’s job, she’s bright but people don’t often believe it, and we can both be witheringly sarcastic when we want to.
Miriam: That’s interesting! I would have thought you would understand Abby quite well, as she’s a Doctor Who fan on top of having the boarding school background, but when I was writing the ‘About’ for the book and I was summarising the characters, I did pick up on that aspect of Xuan’s personality. I’d just been working on your bio, too.
Charley: Yes, I do relate to Abby a bit – mainly on the Doctor Who and boarding school background bit – but Abby’s been at boarding school her whole life, and comes from a stable, probably vaguely wealthy home. I and my family are none of those, haha!
Miriam: There’s always that, obviously. For the benefit of people who don’t bother reading bios, want to tell us a bit about how you ended up at a boarding school?
Charley: Well, it all started about five or six years ago (I think it’s nearly six years ago … wow, that’s a long time!). My family and I were living in Australia at the time, and I was about to go into Year Seven – aka, leaving Junior school. We were going to be moving back to the UK soon, and we encountered a problem.
Mum knew I was going to have to take big exams soon, but Army life had been so sporadic that my education was really screwed up. As a result, mum decided it was time we went to boarding school, as it was really the only realistic option we had in order for me not to die of starvation in a cardboard box later in life. It all sort of unfolded from there.
Miriam: How similar is St Mallory’s to your own school, Sherborne Girls?
Charley: Hmmm … a lot of the timings and rules are the same (not surprising, since I was in charge of setting them out!) The idea of boarding houses is exactly the same, and we DO have a music block, and we DO have house lacrosse tournaments etc … I think it all ends there xD
Miriam: So, none of the teachers were based on teachers you’ve got?
Charley: Mrs Trewell, the briefly-mentioned Housemistress of Marylebone is based on the housemistress we had who left last year. And I won’t lie, the Bursar looks a bit like my English teacher, bahahaha!
Miriam: Ah, Sam the bursar! A most suspicious character.
Charley: Indeed … he couldn’t get much fishier, could he?
Miriam: Indeed not. We’ve done some plotting together – want to tell our readers how that works?
Miriam: Go ahead – the floor is yours.
Charley: Haha, thank you! … Nice lighting we have here.
Anyway, I think most of our plotting is pretty off-the-hoof, as the muse bites us. I myself tend to leave “Charley Brainwaves” at the end of my chapter postings for people to comment on as you like. We also converse via email (which, with three of us sending emails in all directions, sometimes with all three included, sometimes not) can get very entertaining indeed!
Miriam: I may or may not have sent you some rather unexpected text messages in the past, too, isn’t that right? I mostly have ideas in Physics lessons. Obviously, I have to tell you RIGHT THEN. *grins*
Charley: Oh yes! Some of them are most amusing. I think I like your Sherlock ones best though!
Are you referring to Sherlock mentions within St Mallory’s (of which there are several), or just the random Lestrade jokes
that I tend to send late at night?
Both of them – though the latter do bring smiles to my face on hard days
As for geeky inserts, well, I’m just as bad on the Doctor Who front!
Miriam: Ach, I wouldn’t say it was a ‘bad’ thing…. as long as we don’t get sued.
I think that’s all we’ve got time / wordcount for today.
Charley: Pity – I’m enjoying this!
I’m glad to hear it. I’ll open the floor for any of our readers to leave comments and questions for us both, and perhaps we could do another interview in the future?
In the meantime, I’ll go back to sending you xkcd comics
and distracting you from real life.
Charley: I welcome it with open arms.
Now come on readership! Or do I have to invoke the Goo Gun of Doom?
Now there’s a threat and a half! Do you have any questions for Charley or myself? We’ll be happy to answer them, and I believe Charley intends to interview me in the near future!
Categories: Charley Robson, Miriam Joy, Writing
Tags: boarding schools, characters, Doctor Who, friendship, internet friends, mystery novels, plotting novels, popular culture in novels, Sherlock, St Mallory's Forever, writing process