Meet the Main Character Blog Tour

I’ve been invited by crime fiction writer and über blogger Margot Kinberg to participate in the Meet the Main Character Blog Tour. (Fans of crime fiction would be mad not to follow Margot’s blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist to marvel at and share in her encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre). Check out Margot’s blog for her interview with her main character Joel Williamsprofessor of criminal justice in the Pennsylvania (USA) college town of Tilton.

And now to continue the tour with an interview with the main character of my own crime novels…

What is your name? Are you a fictional or historical character?

I’m Jayne Keeney PI, an Australian expatriate based in Bangkok. People mistake me for my creator, Angela Savage, because we both have long, dark, curly hair. But I am entirely fictional and way more cool than Angela.

When and where is your story set?

My stories are set in the late-1990s in different parts of Thailand. My first outing, Behind the Night Bazaar, takes place in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai in 1996. The second novel, The Half-Child, is set in the seaside town of Pattaya — admittedly, a pretty seedy place — with a side trip to Thailand’s ‘wild west’, Kanchanaburi. The latter is probably best known outside Thailand as the site of the Death Railway and Bridge on the River Kwai. The latest novel, The Dying Beach, takes place in early 1997 in the southwest province of Krabi on Thailand’s Andaman coast — arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the planet.

What should we know about you?

One reviewer describes me as “an appealing character, emotional and yet capable of cold-eyed action. She smokes too much, speaks Thai fluently and likes a drink and a shag. She has a well-developed moral compass.” Another suggests I am “driven by that repressed compassion fuelling her need to see justice done.”

This pretty much sums me up.

What is the main conflict? What messes up your life?

I am impulsive — that’s how I ended up in Thailand in the first place — to the point of being reckless at times. Also stubborn and occasionally unreasonable. Fortunately, my business partner and lover, Rajiv Patel, is nothing like me. His intelligence and pragmatism are life-saving for me. Literally.

What is your personal goal?

I’m not really the planning type. I don’t set goals so much as lurch from one opportunity to the next. That said, I’m growing increasingly attached to Rajiv and I guess I’ve got to start thinking about how — and where — we can make a future together. I also need to reconcile my relationship with Australia, which despite being my country of birth, often disappoints and frustrates me.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Angela has 30,000 words of the next Jayne Keeney novel written. She actually started writing it some time ago, intending it to be the third book in the series. But on reflection, she decided it was better suited as a fourth book, and put it aside to write The Dying Beach, which was published in 2013. The working title is A Tiger’s Heart and it is set in Bangkok in 1997, with a side trip to the island of Koh Chang.

When can we expect the book to be published?

Well you might ask! Angela is working on an altogether different novel about commercial surrogacy between Australia and Thailand, part of her PhD in Creative Writing, which doesn’t involve me at all. Clearly, I’m not good enough for her now that she’s aspiring to become Doctor Savage. All the same, I know she can’t resist me — or Rajiv. She’ll need a break from her PhD novel at some point and we’ll be waiting patiently when she does.

Thanks Jayne. And now it’s my turn to pass the baton to other writers and ask them to introduce their main characters using the questions above. I’m tagging:

Felicity Young’s Dr Dody McCleland

Sulari Gentill’s Roland Sinclair

PM Newton’s Nhu ‘Ned’ Kelly

— all awesome characters you’ll want to get to know.



About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. She won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, and the Scarlet Stiletto Award short story award. Her latest novel is, Mother of Pearl, published by Transit Lounge. Angela holds a PhD in Creative Writing, is former CEO of Writers Victoria, and currently works as CEO of Public Libraries Victoria.
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15 Responses to Meet the Main Character Blog Tour

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    It’s a pleasure to know you better, Jayne. Impulsiveness may have its drawbacks, but can lead to some extraordinary adventures. From what I’ve read, your life is seldom dull. 🙂 – I know all about your creator getting distracted with scholarly work. Sometimes my own Joel Williams gets quite irritated when I pay too much attention to scholarly work and not enough to him. If I know Angela at all though, your next story will be told soon.
    Oh, and please thank Angela for the kind link and the very kind words. Much appreciated! 🙂


  2. Louise Allan says:

    I love this idea—you could do it with any character from any genre. Might try it with my own …

    Also, the topic of your PhD is so relevant, given the sad story in today’s news …


  3. kathy d. says:

    Well done, Jayne, well done. Glad to see that Angela is writing about your next adventure, but took a break to write an important book. The case she links to is incredibly sad, but one of the pitfalls of surrogacy. The news here that explains surrogacy issues and problems has raised this exact type of situation, that a baby is rejected because he or she is ill, and the biological mother (or “gestational carrier”) doesn’t get paid or not the full price for not delivering a healthy infant.
    I’d suggest to Angela that she read Kishwar Desai’s “Origins of Love.” It is rather a zany, light look at surrogacy in India, told from several viewpoints. But within the book, there are several good points made, including the rejection of a sick baby, and the denial of basic human and legal rights to the women who must live in a facility, follow all the rules, throughout their pregnancies.
    When children become a commodity, it seems wrought with ethical problems.
    I’m glad to see a fundraising campaign for the woman and her baby mentioned in the news.


    • angelasavage says:

      Thanks Kathy. Angela said to tell you ORIGINS OF LOVE is on the top of her TBR pile once she gets through preparation for the various writers’ festivals in August.


  4. Louise Allan says:

    Kathy d has summed up the issue with the words, ‘When children become a commodity’ … It’s sad, terribly sad, because who would deny someone the ability to be a parent? But what happens to the rejects who don’t measure up? Right now it’s Down’s Syndrome, but what next? An IQ below 100, or the wrong sex, or hair colour, or …


  5. kathy d. says:

    Illness is a factor leading to rejections of infants, birth defects, heart disease, other health problems.


  6. kathy d. says:

    One other point, but a major one is about the woman’s rights. To call a woman whose body is creating a human being a “gestational carrier” is a problem, too. A woman is a person, not a copy machine which duplicates materials, devoid of feelings, ill health and all the symptoms of pregnancy. (And there are so many health issues with pregnant women who have planned to have children and have to endure them.) There have been many lawsuits in the States where women have second thoughts and want to keep the baby her body grew and gave birth to. This is very complicated and fraught with dilemmas. In the States, there are varying laws all throughout the country about surrogacy.
    The legal and emotional issues here are profound. After all, creating a human life is
    one of the most important things in the world. We want all children to be loved and
    taken care of, healthy or unhealthy, and to live a good life. And we want women to
    be well treated, with respect and their human and legal rights intact.


  7. kathy d. says:

    Congratulations to you, Jayne, for winding up on Ned Kelly’s short list for crime fiction. I bet you’re thrilled and so is Angela. It’s about time!


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